Books 2010

Books 2009

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Sunday, 01 February 2009


What a stunning painting I love it!

I was intrigued by the challenge about pictures of men reading. Well, how about Manet's "La Lecture" where a male figure reading a book is to be seen standing behind the portrait of Mme Manet seated a touch unconfortably on a sofa in flowing white, his hand gently laid on the back of the sofa.(For a link try Why does the title so firmly take attention away form the sitter to a 'detail' at the back? Of course, he is reading aloud to her - quite a different sort of 'reading' to the one one is probably expecting, it is her 'listening' which is as much the subject of the painting (and isn't she a touch bored?)Another one reading mundane matter?

Dear Lindsay, from Cornflower's weblog here is another young woman reading for you to dream about .Sorry to have made such a mundane comment yesterday!

Leave me my dreams! But don't you think the echo of "yellow" is convincing - and her colour is somewhat heightened. I think she was bored, waiting for something to happen, picked this up, and is now gtting intrigued ...

Cornflower is correct I think in assuming her reading matter is rather mundane, or perhaps she is just too jaded by now. In fact she looks rather fed-up to me. The "Yellow Book" was also of some considerable typographic interest too if I remember correctly back to my teenage years when I took a serious interest in such matters.

Hope's got all the fabrics down well, but does not her expression (general countenance, even) suggest she's reading something a little more mundane than The Yellow Book?!

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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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