Books 2010

Books 2009

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Saturday, 01 August 2009


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.

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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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