Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 24 July 2009


Sardines was a game a bit like hide and seek only you had to cram a many people in to the hiding place as possible, which is why it was called sardines because of how sardines are crammed in to a tin. I got that from my mother who was a child in the 50s in the England.

I think the sardines refers to the "spread" - which just means a generous meal - "some in the alcove and some in the hall". So the sardines just means they are eating them, probably tinned ones, cold in tomato sauce, on taost, in the passage (hall or corridor). A child time tea time ritual!

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.

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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