Word/Quote of the week

Triskaidekaphobia: a morbid fear of the number thirteen. In some cases this fear is exacerbated by the thought of Friday 13th.

All his life, the composer Arnold Schoenberg wrestled with numerology, and he held an intense fear of the number 13. (For example, he named his unfinished opera Moses und Aron , instead of Moses und Aaron so that the title would have 12 rather than 13 letters.) A certain discomfort stemming from his birth date, September 13, haunted him, and indeed intensified during his later years. Perhaps he foresaw that he would die at age 76 (7 + 6 = 13, a fact not lost on Schoenberg) on Friday 13 July, 1951.

Quote of the week: William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book 1:

Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows

Like harmony in music; there is a dark

Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles

Discordant elements, making them cling together

In one society. How strange that all 

The terrors, pains and early miseries,

Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused

Within my mind, should e’er have born a part,

And that a needful part, in making up

The calm existence that is mine when I 

Am worthy of myself.


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