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29
Dec

#AWW2018: Shirley Hazzard

 

  • Editor: Brigitta Olubas
  • Title: Essays on the works of Shirley Hazzard
  • Read essay:    Future Anterior: The Evening of the Holiday (2014)
  • Read story: The Evening of the Holiday
  • Pubished: 1966 (novel)
  • Monthly reading plan

 

First reading: essay by J. Frow   Prof. Literature University of Sydney

  1. The text was NOT educating despite this man’s stellar credentials!
  2. But that was my fault….I have to learn to read these scholarly works:
  3. I thought a literary professor would encourage me to read Shirley Hazzard’s
  4. book The Evening of the Holiday….he has done just the opposite!
  5. Frow  has made the book so confusing (theme of punctuality…huh?).
  6. I was not going to let this happen…I read the essay a second time.

 

Second reading:

  1. I have now learned to gather specific information that
  2. I feel enlightening and if the author wants to
  3. go off on a tangent (punctuality)…I let him go but did to follow him!
  4. I’ve also learned to make a plan: if the words are ‘too academic’
  5. for example, comedy of incommensuration I must  take the time to find
  6. …words in the dictionary that make the meaning clearer.
  7. Also in literary theory the words aesthetic and ethical are often used.
  8. As soon as I see these words my mind goes blank.
  9. Now I have learned the basic meanings of these words
  10. …so I can continue in the flow of reading without losing my mind!
  11. aesthetic – more concerned with the love of beauty, emotion and sensation…as opposed to
  12. ethical – more intellectualism ( accepted morals; principles of right and wrong)

 

Conclusion:

  1. Despite my rocky start reading J. Frow’s essay
  2. …I do want to read The Evening Holiday!
  3. The story which quietly allows people to change their
  4. …minds about one another
  5. …and fall in love without melodrama.
  6. Characters:
  7. Middle aged, married Tancredi
  8. young Sophia (British/Italian descent) in 1950’s Tuscany.
  9. I am curious how Shirley Hazzard
  10. …brings this all together in just 144 pages.

 

The Evening Holiday  (story)

  1. Published: 1962 ‘long short story’ in the New Yorker
  2. Published: 1966 novella
  3. Trivia: textures of Italian life and culture are bound up with the romance
  4. Structure:
  5. ch 1-6 courtship – ch 7 festival in village –  ch 8-14 affair – ch 15-16 au revoir.
  6. Characters:  are attracted to each other’s complications
  7. Weak point: Hazzard spends 50% book describing everything
  8. …fountains, gardens, piazza’s, villa’s countryside and even the post office.
  9. This sense of space gets ‘out of control’.
  10. Strong point: Hazzard uses inner dialogues to move the action along.
  11. We read what Sophia is thinking  VS
  12. …what Tancredi  THINKS she is thinking.

Last Thoughts:

  1. This book was very short and easy to read.
  2. There is a rhythm to the sentences.
  3. Personally I found the love affair too sugar spin sweet.
  4. There were no passionate outbursts, pledges of love
  5. …just a ho-hum fling that was reaching an inevitable ending.
  6. I will not let one book discourage me….
  7. ..and will try to read more of Shirley Hazzard!
  8. #NeverGiveUp

 

28
Dec

#CanBookChallenge Playwright Hannah Moscovitch

Finished: 28.12.2018
Genre: play  “Infinity”
Rating: A+++

 

Conclusion:

  1. When you least expect it….suddenly a
  2. small play can brighten my reading day!
  3. Infinity:
  4. Characters I felt for…
  5. hopscotching places and times.
  6. Carefully observed..family dynamics.
  7. Prose that moves like a cheetah.
  8. Wise but not preachy….
  9. Reading time: 60 minutes!
  10. #Bravo  Hannah Moscovitch

 

Hannah Moscovitch

  1. Born June 5, 1978) is a Canadian playwright who rose to national
  2. ..prominence in the 2000s.
  3. She has been dubbed “an indie sensation” by Toronto Life Magazine
  4. CBC Radio calls her “the wunderkind of Canadian theatre”.

 

27
Dec

The New Yorker 24 & 31 December 2018

Elementary  by Bill Blitt

Barry Blitt (1958) . He is a Canadian-born American artist. Blitt creates his works in traditional pen and ink, as well as watercolors.

 

  1. Cover:     Robert Mueller…..the most mysterious man in Washington!
  2. Mueller’s inquiry has been at once expanding and narrowing,
  3. ...gaining steam and losing momentum, intensifying and wrapping up!
  4. Mueller has kept virtually silent about where his investigation is going.
  5. This mystery is the  result of Mueller’s sharpest tactical decisions
  6. …setting off parts of his investigation to multiple U.S. attorneys’ offices
  7. …up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
  8. #SoftCollusion?    #HardCollusion?      #NoColusion?

 

  1. Jeffrey ToobinTrump’s Red Line
  2. Article about Adam Schiff (Democrat)…a person to watch in the coming years.
  3. He is per 01.01 2019 Chairman Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  4. Schiff is investigating Trump.
  5. Is his Presidency a vehicle for advancing his business interests?
  6. Be ready to watch the sparks fly….again!
  7. Presidential candidate 2020 ?…Adam Schiff

 

 

  1. Ben Taub – is an American journalist. In 2017, he won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
  2. and a George Polk Award.
  3. Shallow GravesGruesome report of the aftermath killings after the fall of Mosul 2016-2017. Taub reveals that Iraqi government
  4. …claims numerous civilian massacres occurred at the hands of ISIS…
  5. when in fact Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization (Hashd Al-Sha’abi) did the killings.
  6. The Iraqi government has sought to minimize attention to such atrocities.
  7. Now Trump is visiting US troops who are (still) in Iraq.
  8. BREAKING:
  9. Several political parties in have released statements condemning Trump’s visit and
  10. ….calling for an emergency session in parliament to discuss
  11. the acceleration of legislation to evict American forces from the country.
  12. #NeverEnding conflict in Iraq!

 

 

  1. Adam Gopnik (Book critic) – How café culture created modern liberalism
  2. Unlike the synagogue, the house of study, the community center, or the Jewish deli, the café is rarely considered a Jewish space.
  3. Yet, coffeehouses profoundly influenced the creation of
  4. …modern Jewish culture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.
  5. Shachar Pinsker (professor of Hebrew literature)
  6. discusses on the influence of cafés on modern Jewish culture.
  7. Democracy was not made in the streets but among….the saucers!
  8. Irony: we all go to coffee shops
  9. ….just like they did in Warsaw, Berlin and Vienna
  10. …but today nobody talks.
  11. You only hear the click/clack of laptop keyboards.
  12. How…times have changed.
  13. I’ve looked at this book….good for a VERY interested reader of Jewish literature
  14. …but I found it difficult to like.

 

 

  1. Emily Nussbaum  (TV critic) – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  2. Pulitzer Prize winner Nussbaum is not impressed with this show.
  3. She even opened her heart for season 2.
  4. People change, shows change, critics change.

 

  1. Vinson Cunningham (Theatre critic)
  2. Slave Play  – provocative and explosive new play,
  3. …Jeremy O. Harris rips apart history to shed new light
  4. on race, gender and sexuality in 21st century America.
  5. and To Kill a Mockingbird (classic by Harper Lee)
  6. …play by Aaron Sorkin.
  7. I read both reviews and believe
  8. …Vinson Cunningham is a master of writing reviews
  9. …but masking this true feelings.
  10. He is person in control of his tone.
  11. Sometimes the critic can only highlight items in the performances.
  12. The reader must decode Cunningham’s thoughts
  13. …and decide  if the play is worth the time and ticket fee.
  14. Cunningham has a unique polished writing style!

 

26
Dec

#DealMeIn2019 Challenge

#DealMeIn2019

  • Hosted by Jay sign up here:  @Bibliophilopols
  • What is the goal of the challenge?
  • To read 52 short stories in 2019 (that’s only one per week )
  • What do I need?
  • 1) fifty-two short stories
    2) A deck of cards
  • LIST:
  • Stories published in 2018  The New Yorker:

 

Hearts:

  1. Ace – Whoever is there, come on through – Colin Barett
  2. Foreign Returned – Sadia Shepard
  3. Texas – David Gates
  4. Writing Teacher – John E. Wideman
  5. The Boundary – J. Lahiri
  6. Bronze – Jeffrey Eugenides
  7. Stansville – Rachel Kushner
  8. Mrs. Crasthorpe – Willliam Trevor
  9. Seeing Ershadi – Nicole Kraus
  10. The Poltroon Husband – Joseph O’ Neill
  11. Jack – No More Maybe – Gish Jen
  12. Queen – The State – Tommy Orange
  13. King – The Intermediate Class – Sam Allingham

 

Clubs:

  1. Ace – The State of Nature – Camille Bordas
  2. How Did We Come to Know You – Keith Gressen
  3. A Flawless Silence – Yiyun Li
  4. Treatments – Robert Coover
  5. The Boarder – Isaac Bashevis Singer
  6. Without Inspection – Edwidge Danticat
  7. The Long Black Line – John L’Heureux
  8. Stay Down and Take It – Ben Marcus
  9. Silver Tiger – Lu Wang
  10. Orange World – Karen Russel
  11. Jack – Fungus – David Gilbert
  12. Queen – Omakase – Weike Wang
  13. King – The Luck of Kotura – Gary Shteyngart

 

Spades:

  1. Ace –The First World – Joseph O’ Neill
  2. Under the Wave – Lauren Groff
  3. The Dog – J.M. Coetzee (Dec 2017)
  4. No More Than Ever – Zadie Smith
  5. I Walk Between the Raindrops – T. Coraghessan Boyle
  6. Displaced – Richard Ford
  7. A Refugee Crisis – Callan Wink
  8. Ways and Means – Sana Krasikov
  9. The Wind Cave – Haruki Murakami
  10. Cecilia Awakened – Tessa Hadley
  11. Jack – Poor Girl – Ludmilla Petrushevssky
  12. Queen – When We Were Happy We Had Other Names – Yiyun Li
  13. King – The Rise and Rise of Annie Clark – John L’Heureux

 

Diamonds:

  1. Ace – The Coast of Leitrim – Kevin Barry (Ireland)
  2. Flaubert Again – Anne Carson
  3. Waugh – Bryan Washington
  4. Backpack – Tom Earley
  5. Cattle Praise Song – S. Mukasonga
  6. Show Recent Some Love – Sam Lipsyte
  7. The Frog King – Garth Greenwell
  8. Snowing in Greenwich Village – John Updike
  9. Children are Bored on Sunday – Jean Stafford
  10. Chaunt – Jay Williams
  11. Jack – Time for the Eyes to Adjust – Linn Ullmann
  12. Queen – Acceptance Journey – Mary Gaitskill
  13. King – The Lazy River – Zadie Smith (Dec 2017)

24
Dec

#Classic: Dickens The Christmas Carol

  • Author: Charles Dickens
  • Genre:  novella
  • Title: The Christmas Carol
  • Published: 1843
  • Themes:  memory,  importance of family and friends , generosity
  • Setting: London

Trivia:

  • Charles Dickens was among the first members of The Ghost Club 1862 focusing on paranormal ghosts and haunting.
  • Dickens was thought to have created the character of Ebenezer Scrooge after stumbling across the wealthy trader’s tombstone.He was shocked by the  inscription, “Meanman” Dickens noted  “To be remembered through eternity only for being mean seemed the greatest testament to a life wasted.”What Dickens failed to realise was that the tombstone actually read “Mealman” in recognition of the desceased  successful career as a corn trader.

Introduction:

  • Published in England in 1843, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol had an immediate
  • and lasting impact on the Christmas holiday.
  • The novel’s  lessons of charity and family spoke directly to a Victorian society.

Characterization:   Ebenezer Scrooge:

  • Dickens always uses names of characters to attract the readers imagination.
  • Dickens uses Ebenezer Scrooge to remind us of things we ought not forget.
  • The first name appears  2 x Marley’s ghost. 1 x Fezziwig  1 x on Scrooge’s gravestone.
  • Ebenezer is anglicized version of the Hebrew name eben = stone and ezer = helper
  • Literally = a stone that would offer assistance
  • Metaphor: the gravestone with the name ‘Ebenezer’ offers Scrooge help.
  • It reminds him  (and the reader) how his life might end it he does not become a new man.

Characterization:   Ebenezer Scrooge by his  words: (pg 9)

  • Words like are there no prisons, Union workhouses, The Treadmill and Poor Law show Scrooge’s opinion about helping the poor.
  • He is not donating any money to help the poor!
  • “Nothing”, replied Scrooge. You wish to be anonymous? I wish to be left alone.
  • Workhouse: public institution in which the destitute receive board and lodging
  • The Treadmill: machine designed to power a mill with manual labor
  • Poor Law: allowed the poor to be brought to workhouses

Characterization:  by physical appearance Ebenezer Scrooge:

  • Scrooge’s cold heart has affected his appearance.
  • Nipped his pointed nose
  • shrivelled his cheek
  • stiffened his gait
  • made his eyes red
  • his thin lips blue
  • his grating voice.

Ebenezer Scrooge:

  • Scrooge represents a class of rich Victorians.
  • They refuse to see the plight of the lower working class.
  • They miss the warmth of family that the poor manage to maintain without money.
  • Greed is “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching”  the life out of these Victorian  snobs.

Foil:

  • Foil is secondary character who is used as a comparison to show the difference with the main character.
  • Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, embodies the joy of sharing Christmas
  • “..a good time,a kind, forgiving, charitable time  […]
  • when men and women consent to open their  shut up hearts freely…”. (pg 6)
  • Scrooge reacts with bitter clearsightedness:
  • “…every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’s should be boiled with his own pudding,
  • buried with a stake of holly through the heart.” (pg 6)
  • Fred: face ruddy, all in a glow, eyes sparkled, – Scrooge: shrivelled cheek, red eyes, thin blue lips

Expression:  to come down handsomely (pg 3)

  • ‘they often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.’
  • This is an ‘old fashioned’’ expression, but if you don’t understand it you will not see the reference to Scrooge.
  • The weather gave more in rain and snow than Scrooge gave in money.

Expression:  I’ll retire to Bedlam (pg 8)

  • Bedlam was a popular name for St. Mary of Bethlehem hospital in London at the time of Dickens’s classic.
  • It was a hospital for the mentally disturbed.
  • Scrooge felt that it was more sane there than outside where people foolishly  were celebrating Christmas.

Expression:  St Dunstan (pg 12)

  • Dunstan was a monk, archbishop of Canterbury and a Saint.
  • In an old English folk rhyme he pulls the devil’s nose with red-hot tongs.
  • Scrooge feels St. Dunstan should have nipped the devil’s nose with some of the cold wintery weather.

Imagery:    vivd example of a mental picture is on page 3

  • “Even the blindman’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on,
  • would tug their owners into doorways and up courts and then would wag their tails
  • as though they said ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master.
  • ’The dogs say that being blind is better than having an evil eye
  • This refers to having some part of you that drives other people away.
  • Unfortunately, Scrooge couldn’t care less what the dogs think of him.

Symbols:

  • One piece of coal  fire in counting-house:  Scrooge’s miserly ways
  • Knocker:  symbolizes ‘welcome’, becomes ghostly head of Marley = beware those who enter.

 

Conclusion:

  1. Holiday….#MustRead!
  2. Merry Christmas….and to all a good night!
23
Dec

#AWW2018: Chloe Hooper “The Tall Man”

 

 

Introduction:

  1. This is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise
  2. …where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman
  3. ….and forty-five minutes later lay dead in a police cell.
  4. This is also the story of that policeman Christopher Hurley
  5. …and of the struggle to bring him to trial.

 

Conclusion:

  1. Chloe Hooper is asked to document
  2. ….the murder inquest that is about to begin.
  3. This book is a documentary with words.
  4. The author admits her ignorance about Palm Island  that
  5. could fill a book…and it did.
  6. Ms Hooper was curious if readers would feel the outrage
  7. about this terrible death.
  8. It takes place against a complicated backdrop
  9. ….that many people tended to look away from.
  10. Strong point: Ms Hooper uses factual language
  11. …to create emotion!
  12. Strong point: Clear and direct way of telling the human side of
  13. …the Doomadgee  case and its broader implications.
  14. Strong point: the book focuses on justice rather than crime.
  15. The narrative draws its power NOT from the human suffering
  16. …but from exposing the effects of decisions made around that suffering.
  17. #PageTurner

 

  • Trivia: …..look at this list of awards!
  1. Winner-  2009 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Douglas Stewart Prize
  2. Winner – 2009 Australian Book Industry Award – General Non-fiction
  3. Winner – 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – Non-fiction
  4. Winner – 2009 The Indie Book of the Year Award – Non-fiction
  5. Winner – 2009 Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize
  6. Winner – 2009 Davitt Award – Best True Crime
  7. Winner – 2009 John Button Prize
  8. Winner – Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2009
  9. Winner – 2009 Ned Kelly Award – Non-fiction
  10. Winner – 2008 Western Australia Premier’s Literary Awards – Book of the Year & Non-Fiction
22
Dec

#Non-fiction: Indonesia ect.

 

Conclusion:

  1. “Indonesia etc”….I know nothing about it.
  2. But Elizabeth Pisani’s book is the perfect place to start.
  3. She seamlessly blends her personal travelogue with fascinating facts
  4. about the most invisible country in the world.
  5. Indonesia occupies a unique place in among Asia’s major powers.
  6. The stronger Indonesia becomes, the more it could protect
  7. …other lands against China becoming THE dominant power in Asia.
  8. If it keeps its act together, will grow fast over the next few decades.
  9.  and become a serious strategic player in Asia in its own right.
  10. #InterestingRead

 

21
Dec

#Xmas Kitchen 2018 Pâte Brisée

 

Introduction:

  1. I have tried to find the perfect recipe for a pie crust
  2. to use making a Quiche Lorraine
  3. My mistakes in the past:
  4. I did not roll the dough between 2 pieces of baking paper (…this is a #MustDo)
  5. I did not roll the dough thin enough. (…must be 2-3 mm thick)
  6. I did not leave enough dough around edges (…pastry shrinks)
  7. I did not use a ring as baking form. (see FOTO).
  8. This lets dough rest on cooking sheet instead of bottom of a form.
  9. The heat from the cooking sheet assures a crisp bottom on the crust.

Utensils:

  • rolling pin
  • 2 sheets baking paper
  • ideal is a pastry cutter but you can use a fork
  • 1 culinary ring form  25 cm

Oven:  Fan/180 C

Ingredients:

  • 90 gr butter
  • 180 gr flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs cold water
  • sugar  (5 gr)
  • 2 egg yolks

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, butter, salt, sugar …add egg yolks…mix…add water….mix.
  2. Wrap dough in kitchen foil and let it rest in fridge 1 hour or overnight
  3. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of baking paper
  4. Place dough in form on cookie sheet in fridge 30 min
  5. Using baking paper with ‘bean weights’…
  6. Bake the crust ‘blind’.
  7. Bake 25-30 min (check to see if it is golden brown)
  8. Take out of oven and let cool

Quiche filling:

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1/2 cup shredded (Swiss) cheese
  3. snippets of cooked bacon or ham ( optional for vegan quiche)
  4. 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Sprinkle cheese and bacon on warm crust.
  7. Place cookie sheet in oven…
  8. This is important so you don’t spill filling while
  9. wrestling with the oven door or rack.
  10. …pour mixture eggs and milk into crust.
  11. Bake:  Fan/180 30-35 min 

 

20
Dec

#AWW 2018: Anita Heiss

 

Finished: 20.12.2018
Genre: non-fiction
Rating: B+
#TBRNovember

 

Conclusion:

  1. All these stories are important.
  2. People are being  so open and
  3. …honest telling us
  4. what makes them be who they are.
  5. I took something from all these selections
  6. …but most of all I loved Marlee Silva.
  7. Her father used a great analogy
  8. …to explain to his young daughter
  9. what it means to be a product of two cultures.
  10. Her father poured two cups of black coffee
  11. …adds creamer to one of them.
  12. “..no matter how much milk you add: they’ll never not be coffee.”
  13. Marlee uses this image as a shield to this day.
  14. This book was an eye-opening education
  15. …for me about
  16. growing up Aboriginal in Australia.
  17. #MustRead
19
Dec

#Irish Playwright Brian Friel

  • Author: Brian Friel (1929-2015)
  • Title: Philadelphia, Here I Come!
  • Published: 1964
  • Genre: tragicomedy
  • Reading time: 1,5 hr
  • Trivia: this play made Friel famous in
  • …Dublin, London and New York
  • List of Challenges 2018
  • Monthly plan
  • List of Plays
  • #ReadIreland

 

Quickscan:

  1. The play describes Gareth’s  last night in his home town of Ballybeg.
  2. He is an Irish lad about to set off for America.
  3. Friel recognizes an idea of home
  4. ….at the moment it is about to disappear.

 

Characters:

  1. Gareth is played by 2 actors: Public and Private.
  2. Friel reveals in this way the difference between
  3. how we see ourselves (lonely, emotional life)
  4. and how we appear to others (gregarious, social).
  5. Other characters are:
  6. Gar’s surrogate mother Madge; housekeeper
  7. Gar’s speechless, affectionless father
  8. Gar’s ex-fiancée Kate

 

Conclusion:

  1. This play grabs you by the hand not your throat.
  2. It is sentimental piece of writing with the
  3. right blend of regret….loveless youth, distant father.
  4. and laughter….on the threshold of escape to,
  5. “a vast restless place that
  6. …doesn’t give a damn about the past.”
  7. The reader must decide is this play about
  8. ….and exile or emigration?
  9. #WorthYourReadingTime

 

Last thoughts:

  1. This play is really meant to be seen and not only read!
  2. The interchanges between the two actors ‘Public and Private’
  3. bring a real dynamic that captures the audiences attention.
  4. The maternal touches/gestures of Madge
  5. …the surrogate mother show her loving character.
  6. She stuffs snacks and a few pound notes in Gar’s luggage,
  7. …invites 3 mates to come and say good-bye.
  8. She warns Gar to be strong…because he will get homesick.
  9. Her exit the end of the play will pluck a heart string!