Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 14 April 2008


Well, I was meaning 'wives', sorry!

They are definitely impressive and what impressed me most is their faces and their gestures. The figures were originally painted and each one had its own particular face. The painters were so good at rendering the gestures that you can almost believe that you are watching the face of a lively person - if you look carefully - and you keep wondering and wondering. Same effect with some Chinese masks I saw last year.

Archaelogists expect to find and dig out even more objects and figures from Qin's grave (especially his wifes - no typo here, he had numerous) and from other graves in the same area. They expect a kind of Chinese King's Valley. Sadly, air and light - not to mention pollution - dramatically damage the colours and painting and they still have to find out how to protect and keep them safe.

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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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