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Wonderful poem, I 'll go reread the others too. The picture is perfectly matching the poem by the way. A few days ago, I too read an article online about Tennyson's anniversary celebrations. His house on the Isle of Wight has become a museum apparently and has just opened. He has lived there for 40 years, hence the sea was an inspiration of his, I suppose. I am not going to link to the mentioned article because the journalist was comparing Tennyson to an A-list celebrity of his days, hounded by fans, which I found so vulgar and inappropriate!
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on Break, break, break at Books Do Furnish A Room
Well, the English tongue has a word for "affinage", it is the maturing, just checked it. I was thinking seasoning would do, but no.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on Goat Song at Books Do Furnish A Room
Your "no danger anyone thinking I was reading chick-lit" is so utterly funny. There is no such danger indeed, I confirm it! No reader of this blog would doubt it, and just in case, it is now clearly ascertained - but no, I am not kidding you. The story reminds me of the book The Man who Planted Trees that you read last winter. The story, plot and circumstances are quite different, but the morals and reactions of the villagers are slightly alike. Is this a true story, or based on a true occurrence? One more thing, you are currently reading and blogging at such a tremendous speed, it is unbelievable!
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on Lanterns on their Horns at Books Do Furnish A Room
The poster on the cover is very nice. The building behind the girl is so typical of the 30's architecture. Here is a gift for the Musical Cat, and for you to enjoy. (Two new and unpublished pieces by Mozart. Sorry, it's not in English. You just have to scroll down a little bit and click on the green button, on the left)
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2009 on Malice in Wonderland at Books Do Furnish A Room
I am quite amused to read that they have named their cheese after the container. They should have definitely picked an original and brand-new name for their own cheese, which is unique even if they have borrowed well-known techniques to make it. Europe has numerous sorts of goat cheese, and their names are so variegated as well. One of them, produced in Central France, is even called "the breast of my nanny" - rather impermissible for the American market, I guess! The taste also depends on how long you let the cheese mature and become older and dry, and then the appropriate word you'll need is "affinage". In the goat language list, you have omitted the inevitable scapegoat. And thank you for reminding me of the tragedy. Those poor and innocent goats seem to take all our bad occurrences. I know a very nice and quick recipe of chilled summer soup made with courgettes and fresh goat cheese. Anyone interested?
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2009 on Goat Song at Books Do Furnish A Room
Well-done! This is lovely. Cats definitely love you. Please next time show us a picture of a Dorset cat! Your feline and felinoplile audiences would be very grateful.
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2009 on Pondlife at Books Do Furnish A Room
August being August, I was rather expecting an outdoor, colourful and sunny scene in the countryside. The painting is fine, but it would rather suit to a more wintery month according to me, as it suggests a reading during those long winter nights. The picture of the book of hours that you chose also features a reading woman by the way. Books of hours are always so colourful and well-illustrated. And this reminds me that I forgot to tell you that I went to an exhibition about the drawings of William Blake a few weeks ago. I guess it was the same exhibition that took place in Edinburgh last winter. And there, I got to see the original poem Tyger, Tyger that I read previously on this blog. I was surprised because it was a tiny and delicate thing; the hand-written text of the whole poem and the related pictures surrounding the poem took less than 2 inches (widthwise) by 3 inches (lenghtwise). The tag was reading that said tyger is supposed to be an allegory of the blood of the people that were killed during the French Revolution.
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2009 on Women reading: August at Books Do Furnish A Room
I am not sure I understand all of it - especially the sardines thing at the end... I had to check if sardines are sardines indeed! I rather prefer the last e e cummings poem about love that you published. But it reminds me a lot of a book of love-themed short stories by Hermann Hesse that I read lately (original title is Liebesgeschichten). Like this poem, it deals with first loves and discovering the love feeling and love disappointment sometimes too. I use to struggle to read and finish Hesse's books (he was apparently very fashionable in the 60' and 70'), but I really enjoyed this book. Tonight, I am off to listening to Turkish music in a garden.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2009 on Myfanwy at Books Do Furnish A Room
Congratulations on your endeavour to read more of Paul Auster! After your mitigated first experience, I was almost sure that you would have given up - but who am I to say so, as you use to say yourself... If I were asked, I would have rather counselled to you to start with his more conventional works like Moon Palace, The Night of the Oracle or Mr Vertigo. Then, you would really evaluate how fine a writer he is. The New York Trilogy belongs to his experimental and avant-gardist books.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2009 on Streetwise at Books Do Furnish A Room
I quite liked the novel Howards End, but have completely forgotten the film. I have A Room With a View awaiting on my shelves. But don't forget that we were promised more pictures from Russia and we are eagerly looking for seeing them. Have a nice week end, wherever you are!
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2009 on A View of One's Own at Books Do Furnish A Room
Dear Dark Puss, I am sure you look gorgeous even when you don't wear a tailor-made suit!
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2009 on Tailors at Books Do Furnish A Room
The Louis Amstrong song story is quite weird indeed but I guess it was an international hotel/environment and most tourists want to feel quite at home, even when they are abroad - I don't understand that, but that's a fact, they probably feel more secure this way. Furthermore, we don't hear much music from Russia in our countries, and we know no Russian singer or band, do we? I mean modern music from lively singers and musicians. I personally just remember a post-Perestroika rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys that hit the Western dancefloors in the early nineties, but they didn't last longer than one or two summers. Saint Petersburg was still called Leningrad then. It seems now it was such a distant past... While I am writing this, I am also recalling that song from "British Man in New York" Sting "Russians love their children too". Do you remember that one? I wouldn't blame the Russian people for loving luxury foreign goods because they have been deprived of them (and severely bullied about that) for so many years. Moreover, they probably want something different from what they were used to for quite understandable reasons. Remember, remember, Mr Bagshaw... Well, it is probably not the very people you saw in the streets, but no doubt the former generation experienced the Soviet era. Besides, luxury companies are in dramatic search of new markets and they have nowdays very, very aggressive marketing strategies. Anyway, I have no idea what these Russian women look like but I agree that too much is too much.
Everything looks so clean, neat, bright and new. Have they already cleaned, repaired, repainted and refurbished everything all over the city? I quite like the onion domes; they have such an Eastern twist. And the last picture is stunning indeed! Thank you for sharing.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2009 on Churches on the Neva at Books Do Furnish A Room
Well, I am not the most appropriate and helpful person for more typical English expressions... Due to the lack of real tailors, you won't find in books the mention of "tailor-made clothes" anymore, but I have already seen the mention "in a designer's suit" in recent novels or articles. Fish by the way have often funny or puzzling names. Switching into musical mode, just like our favourite Cat, Taylor is also a very famous brand of guitars - but no, I am not a guitar player. Have you already heard of the story of that Canadian singer who travelled with his guitar? See (and hear) in this link: I am not a big fan of country music... But I hope the rest of us won't be reduced to write a song and perform on the Net next time we happen to have trouble with an airline company...
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on Tailors at Books Do Furnish A Room
Her words are simple and sound very sincere; no doubt she knew Bulgakov very well. But the end of the poem is too pompous. Well, maybe it is the Russian style or the translation, I don't know.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on Akhmatova and Bulgakov at Books Do Furnish A Room
Very funny. Although I would love to be an interior architect, I wouldn't let my house or garden redecorated by someone else! Isn't L'Hermittage the name of the most famous museum in Saint Petersburg?
I commented on this the other day but the comment didn't appear on the blog apparently. I was telling you that this painting typically belongs to a trend called "fauvisme", due to the very bright colours, "and the absolute elimination of everything superfluous", as you say. Their painting is also quite rough, there is no real perspective. See also the works of Matisse, Derain, and de Vlaminck. And Matisse by the way lived by the Mediterranean See (in Nice, South of France). They were dubbed the "fauves" (ie wild animals or wild cats) due to the daring vivid colours they used; these colours were new to their contemporaries and they were supposed to be aggressive.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on Women reading: July at Books Do Furnish A Room
I read this book when I was a teenager too, and I only remembered that I was very impressed by it. Like you, I didn't remember how much he focused on small things of daily life. However, it makes sense to keep one's attention on the present when they have no possibility of deciding for themselves, no freedom of any kind, and little perspectives for the future. I guess it is the condition for survival. Then it also makes sense to try and protect the body first and keep alive; this is the only goal they have. Now, I am wondering if people still read this book now that the Berlin Wall and its political consequences are over (just 20 years ago). Of course, there are the books you mention, but we shall not forget that there still are people on this earth who live in, or under the threat of, similar camps. Anyway, enjoy your visit in Saint-Petersburg, it should be grand! To Dark Puss I just want to say hello to you, Dark Puss, I am glad to talk to you now and then. If you are on the continent, you may have suffered from the hellish heat lately. Happy holidays to you too!
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2009 on One day at Books Do Furnish A Room
I never heard of this Russian poet before. The poem has really an e e cummings twist according to me. It's probably due to the same off the wall point of view, to the quirky associations of facts and locations, and to the mention of death at the end - although it is not properly and strictly death itself here. And yes, I know, you will now think that I have strange ideas, once again!
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2009 on Memory and desire at Books Do Furnish A Room
Speaking of WWI, do you know, or have you already heard of a series of books written by Ann Perry about the story and antics of a British family during the First World War? The titles of the books are: No Graves As Yet Shoulder the Sky Angels in the Gloom At some Disputed Barricade We shall not sleep I have come across these books on bookstores shelves several times. And I was decided to buy the first novel and read it, but each time the first novel was missing. Apparently, most people decided to read the first novel, but then they never came back to buy the second one - at least, that's what I am telling myself. From what I recall, Ann Perry is a London-born novelist, she is still alive and lives now in Scotland. And she has written a lot of thrillers who take place during the Victorian era. But now, last but not least: the blog has gone dramatically miaowless and whiskerless lately... any news from our favourite cat?
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2009 on W H R R at Books Do Furnish A Room
Thank you for your answer. I know I should explore more of Kipling works, and I have been telling myself to read more of his novels for a very long time. And it is surely still my aim. Now action is needed! But 2009 seems not to be a good vintage for reading for I haven't read much since the beginning of the year, I must sadly recognise.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2009 on Work at Books Do Furnish A Room
You have already published this poem here: It certainly deserves a second (and much more) reading, and its meaning still remains quite a mystery to me. Maybe next time will be the right one. And before you ask, no, I don't learn by heart all the poems you publish on your blog!
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2009 on Awake, and in love at Books Do Furnish A Room
I was trying to recall other poems whose theme is actually work and can't find any. It must be quite a rare topic for poets - not very inspirational, I'm afraid, or just something poets didn't use to know "for real" themselves. Well, of course there is an endless list of poems on hard rural work or craftsmen's activities but these are not tasks and duties achieved by the poets themselves. Conversely, one feels that Larkin experienced the situation first-hand to be able to write such a poem. He sounds both so desperate and ironic! And anyway, I hope you can enjoy a nice and well-deserved weekend and forget work till next Monday.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2009 on Work at Books Do Furnish A Room
Just stopping by briefly to say hello, I have not been very focused lately. But I want to make the most of the longest days of the year. I was trying to spot the differences between Snow and Powell in between the lines of your posts, and I have now my answer. I quite like the e e cummings poem but I need to reread it more carefully. And I still have to read accurately the Tennyson on the Arthurian tale. Have a nice day... and week end, if I don't show up tonight.
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2009 on Diffugere nives at Books Do Furnish A Room
All this sounds very gloomy indeed but I hope the "call no man happy until he is dead" is just very good and typical British humour. Having to wait till death to be happy is not to my liking, I try and find happiness in my daily life and feel happy each day.