" I have been out to Burano "
Burano is the lace-making area of Venice, quieter and more residential than the main islands.
Burano - Credit: Houbazur
" what was he doing, teaching those young orphans? "
Ospidale della Pieta
Vivaldi, although ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, did not practise as a priest for long. For thirty years he worked at the Ospedale della Pieta,
which sounds like a very enlighted institution for the time. He taught music to orphaned boys and especially girls, and composed for them. Many of the children were deformed, and Vivaldi had instruments adapted for them. The girls performed for the local gentry, and gained an excellent reputation, even abroad.
The music was performed in the church of Santa Maria della Pieta, no.8 on the map at the back of the book (Afterword p.7).
" When the Freuds entertained in Vienna they always met people with a joke. "
Like Julia, most people don't associate Sigmund Freud
, the Viennese psychiatrist famous for his theories about the unconscious mind (and especially the sex drive), with jokes. But in 1905 he published a book entitled "Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious"
, explaining his theory that jokes allow people to express forbidden ideas, which releases emotion.
Whether he was actually funny to be around is, of course, another matter.
The Interpretation of Dreams on Book Drum
" Down the front of his tonsure-stock was a narrow border of purple silk. "
It is because of his title, bestowed by the Pope on priests who have rendered him some personal service, that the Monsignore wears purple. The stock is a piece of cloth worn on the breast beneath the collar at the opening of a jacket.