One of the things wrong with modern education is that we are losing the legends and lore of earlier times. I’ve written before about a friend of mine who thinks Dorian Grey was a character created for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen .
This came back to me this morning when I was at Barnes & Noble. There was a rack of notebooks (Kids, notebooks are like small iPads, only you can’t watch movies on them and the batteries last longer — ask your parents) for sale, but nobody seemed to be interested. I took the above picture of the sign (pictured above) as I realized that the problem was that kids today don’t understand the cultural significance of Moleskine Legendary Notebooks, because they never learned the legend of Moleskine in school.
I decided that since no one else will do it, I would step forward and help further the education of today’s youth. Gather around, kiddies, as I tell you of the Legend of Moleskine.
The Legend of the Molesk in E
Long ago, in a mythical land called Austria, there lived a man named Johannes Brahms. Brahms was a great musician and composer. All day long, Brahms would think about new songs he could compose to make the people happy. Whenever a song would pop into his head, he would quickly write it down in his journal, which he kept with him at all times.
One April, Brahms and some of his buddies went to the French Riviera for spring break. After one particularly raucous beach party, Brahms wandered away from the crowd and strolled along the beach, enjoying the sea breeze. As he left behind the din of the party, he started to hear music coming from just beyond the next dune.
As he reached the top of the dune, he was astounded to see dozens of clams, squids, scallops and other seafood entrees in a shallow cove, producing the most beautiful sounds Brahms had ever heard. The haunting melody, with its subtle chords and booming crescendos, filled Brahms’ heart with the kind of crap good music is supposed to fill your heart with. Quickly, Brahms whipped out his journal and began taking down the notes as fast as he could.
When he got back to Vienna, Brahms set to work composing a new piece based on his notes. When he was finished, he called it Molesk Sonata in E Major, after the mollusks that had inspired him. (Note: Brahms was a notoriously bad speller, having learned English from reading Beowulf and the works of Willm Shaksper.)
When it was ready, Brahms scheduled a concert before the court of King Whoever Was in Charge of Austria II. He decided to warm the audience up with his other newly written piece, the Wiegenlied (German for “Wiegen didn’t tell the truth”). Unfortunately, the Wiegenlied was such a boring song that it put the entire audience to sleep. Under the bright lights of the stage, Brahms didn’t notice, and when he played the Molesk in E, none of the audience ever heard it.
The next day, when the reviews came out, Variety panned the concert, calling Brahms’ Wiegenlied “a total snoozefest, like listening to a lullaby”. No mention was made of the Molesk in E. Brahms was so frustrated by the reception that he threw the notebook containing his seaside notations in the trash and vowed never to play that sonata again.
To this day, musical scholars and others with nothing better to do with their lives continue to rummage through the landfills of Austria in search of the legendary Molesk in E Notebook.