Fascination Frantic

Dear Sir,

No doubt I am the one millionth reader to write to you on the subject, but nevertheless: ‘There’s a fascination frantic in a ruin that’s romantic’ is not from a popular 1930s song (review by Christopher Woodward of Antiquarians, May LR). It is from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Act II. KO-KO and Katisha, both considerably advanced in age, recognise all that they have in common and decide to marry. KO-KO sings:

Are you old enough to marry, do you think? Won’t you wait until you’re eighty in the shade? There’s a fascination frantic In a ruin that’s romantic; Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?

 

Katisha replies:

To the matter that you mention I have given some attention And I think I am sufficiently decayed.

Didn’t Christopher Woodward’s old school put on a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta every year, as mine did in the 1960sl Yours faithfully,

Susan James, Mainz, Germany (but long ago of

Hangdon, Middlesex)

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,