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Today's Stichomancy for Igor Stravinsky

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:

as calmly as she could, "I like Edward Ferrars very much, and shall always be glad to see him; but as to the rest of the family, it is a matter of perfect indifference to me, whether I am ever known to them or not."

Mrs. Dashwood smiled, and said nothing. Marianne lifted up her eyes in astonishment, and Elinor conjectured that she might as well have held her tongue.

After very little farther discourse, it was finally settled that the invitation should be fully accepted. Mrs. Jennings received the information with a great deal of joy, and many assurances of kindness and care;


Sense and Sensibility
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Koran:

remember; though most men refuse aught but to misbelieve. But, had we pleased, we would have sent in every city a warner. So obey not the unbelievers and fight strenuously with them in many a strenuous fight.

He it is who has let loose the two seas, this one sweet and fresh, that one bitter and pungent, and has made between them a rigorous prohibition.

And He it is who has created man from water, and has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship; for thy Lord is mighty.

Yet they worship beside God what can neither profit them nor harm them; but he who misbelieves in his Lord backs up (the devil).

We have only sent thee to give glad tidings and to warn. Say, 'I ask


The Koran
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:

what is here set down. There is nothing here of my talk with the English soldier prisoners and nothing of my visit to the officers confined in the Butyrka Gaol. There is nothing of the plagues of typhus and influenza, or of the desperate situation of a people thus visited and unable to procure from abroad the simplest drugs which they cannot manufacture at home or even the anaesthetics necessary for their wounded on every frontier of their country. I forgot to describe the ballet which I saw a few days before leaving. I have said nothing of the talk I had with Eliava concerning the Russian plans for the future of Turkestan. I could think of a score of

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:

This scene of despair, this darkness that may be felt, these cries of anguish,--the whole musical picture is as fine as your great Poussin's /Deluge/."

Moses waved his staff, and it was light.

"Here, monsieur, does not the music vie with the sun, whose splendor it has borrowed, with nature, whose phenomena it expresses in every detail?" the Duchess went on, in an undertone. "Art here reaches its climax; no musician can get beyond this. Do not you hear Egypt waking up after its long torpor? Joy comes in with the day. In what composition, ancient or modern, will you find so grand a passage? The greatest gladness in contrast to the deepest woe! What exclamations!