A Riddle

Consider it not in French, but Italian.

There are obsession-inducing transmissions, audio transmissions.

The ending is ugly … overall and in one language, at least.

But the story is a poet’s story – it begins with _O_ and ends with _O_.

6 Replies to “A Riddle”

  1. Well, okay, Orlando. I’m not sure about the middle two lines.

  2. Orfeo?
    (as from “Orpheus”)

    L’Orfeo, an opera written by Monteverdi (Italian), but first public performance in Paris, France.

    Audio transmissions – RFE (Radio Free Europe),
    not sure about the obsession-inducing transmissions though.
    Ugly is ‘feo’ in Basque, ‘feio’ in Portuguese.

  3. (Note that Jason’s comment was posted while Anssi’s was awaiting approval.)

    Anssi’s right from my standpoint. I was thinking of “Orfeo.” In the Cocteau film Orpheé, Orpheus listens to radio transmissions (on radio frequency, “RF”) in his car. Because it’s a reference to radio transmissions that were made in code during the French resistance, “RFE” is probably an even better answer than “RF.” As traditional in the story of Orpheus, the poet is torn apart by the Bacchic women in an ending that is ugly (“feo”). Change the French “Orpheé” to Italian and you get “Orfeo,” but the pure operatic interpretation of French/Italian is a good one, too.

    I wrote this one at Richard Powers’s reading from his new novel, Orfeo, at the Harvard Book Store.

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