Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 25 September 2009


This poem reminds me of the film "The Times That Remains" by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman that I saw a few weeks ago. He tells about the wars and the situation in his country as he witnessed it personally, as a child then and now as an adult who lives abroad. It is even trickier than the Almodovar and we don't understand much at the beginning, but please, if you go, don't leave before the end. It is really a very good film, with a lot of humanity and open-minded understanding. After all, we are all human beings who want only to live their lives.

The situation told in the poem is really sad, the father speaks like an uprooted man who can't find his way and tries to be faithful to his people and past.
Personally, I don't like at all the phrase " a true ...(fill in the blank)"; it just leads to errors and misunderstanding and can even sound provoking to other people. Each of us can be very proud of what they are without saying it that way. And neither do I like the mention of blood because it certainly doesn't carry culture, nationality, education or history in itself.

As I am preparing to see soon the Jane Campion film about Keats and his youth sweetheart (I don't remember the title now, sorry), I bought a book of poetry and I am trying to read some of his most famous poems to get into the mood. I can't recall your mentionning Keats on this blog. Then I guess it may not be a favourite of yours... Could you eventually give me an advice please, or tell me if there is a poem I can't miss? Thank you in advance.

PS I hope your blood test was OK and you are in perfect health.

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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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