An English In Kentucky


















Friday June 28th 2019Tim Candler9


    Bravura. "The recital ended with a blazing display of bravura." A suggestion of technical skill, a confidence gained from practice. Then apparently there's the idea of daring as in "the show of bravura hid a guilty timidity." I'm told Bravura comes from the Italian Bravo. Bravura is not so much Bold in my understanding, it's more dexterous. The Charge of the Light Brigade was bold, the results, even if the Cavalry was skilled, were kind of disastrous. Bravura is a word used after the event is done and time to take stock.  But in the sentence "It seemed like a bravura move on her part," really not sure what is meant by bravura, yet at the same time everyone has an opinion, and to get a better sense of what was meant by bravura, context is critical. So "it seemed like a bravura move" came from the pen of a likely very jaded and exhausted journalist looking for some way to end an account of the recent debate. The "seemed like" part suggests that "it seemed like she was offering a blazing display of a skill won from hard practice."  Or possibly it was a bunch of gobbledygook that sounded as though she was being very skillful, but in fact she was being very bold which in itself is a skillfulness deserving of the word Bravo even if it did end in disaster.



    In reporting a political debate, it must be very difficult to get past the appearance of everything up there on a stage, journalists tend not to be cheerful, hope filled, wild-eyed fringey types. Which is one of the reasons why good journalists generally are usually wrong in judging popular appraisals of this or that political performance, but pretty good at seeing though politicians. The account ended with a more, in my view, insightful sentence. The beef was with the moderators managing ten candidates, not one of them with enough time to do anything much more than make mistakes. High spirits, individual ambition and passion all combined to create the possibility of unruliness. According to the journalist in her second possible display of bravura, it appeared that she was "attempting to rescue the moderators," and, I can assume because I admire her, the reputation of her party. And this apparent act of hers is in my view a sterling example of high character, a capacity whenever the visceral rears and all you really want to do is throw dung at someone, to pay heed to the whole, the everything of a moment. I think in the end, never trust anyone who uses the word bravura, unless they're in a drawing room waxing lyrical on something like a piano recital.


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