I usually have a collection of lists on my desk, of pieces or books or films that I'd like to hear or read or see. For example, here's my little opera list:
- J.A. Hasse, anything.
- Giachinno Rossini, Guillaume Tell (have heard but have not seen on stage)
- Carl Maria von Weber, Oberon (the English original)
- Hector Berlioz, Beatrice et Benedict
- Hugo Wolf, Der Corregidor
- Giselher Klebe, anything
- Henry Brant, The Grand Universal Circus
- Louise Talma, The Alcestiad
- Virgil Thomson, Lord Byron
- Robert Ashley, That Morning Thing
- Richard K. Winslow, anything
Nothing on any of these lists is of particular urgency, but each item represents a gap or a curiosity that I'd rather have filled than left open. Keeping lists also functions as a kind of negative image of the listening, reading or watching which I have done. I realized recently, for example, that I'd never seen the 1934 Ozu film, Story of Floating Weeds and since Ozu's 1959 re-envisaging of the film as Floating Weeds is such a favorite, this got promptly put on my to-see film list.