There comes a point in life when one tends to get lazy about culture. Aesthetic entropy sets in. One loses the resolve to take on Tolstoy’s novels in the original Russian, to master the Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord, to write an epic poem, to reinterpret the prophetic works of Blake. When this happens, it seems to me that one has the option of lapsing into one of two forms of dilettantism: operatic or architectural. Neither is very demanding if pursued correctly and both offer a simulacrum of cultivation.
I myself have plumped for architectural dilettantism. Opera I am saving for my dotage, when I hope I shall be, less easily irritated by its intrinsic silliness as an art form and the mediocrity with which it is performed these days. I am not quite