I had got back from a short overseas trip to find that Emma Ayres had disappeared from our radio airwaves, namely ABC-F "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EMMA???"
I had got back from a short overseas trip to find that Emma Ayres had disappeared from our radio airwaves, namely ABC-FM Classical station. Her accent,her quirky ways and sly gently landmine-placed humour had REALLY grown on me.I was thrilled when she announced she had become an Australian citizen.I knew her partner Jane was a close friend of the wife of one of my nephews. I felt almost related!!!! Our new Liberal (Facisti would be a better word !!!) Federal Government was cracking down on our Government TV and Radio stations, the ABC ie the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Friends and I wondered if Emma had been one of their earliest targets. Conspiracy theories aside...she was missed...and still is.
What a thrill to find a BOOK by and about her in the local Dulwich Hill Bookstore of which I have almost bought half the contents !!!I bought it immediately for a fellow fan, Fran. Madly and enjoyingly trying to complete it before Fran returns from a trip to Perth.
Glad to see lots of Aussies have enjoyed their read too...just checked at the book's Goodreads Site. And a few from O/S...overseas. Perhaps those not too conversant with Music get a bit taken aback by the MUSIC theory ...but when you have known about Emma THAT is Emma!!! You read it and expect it and possibly WANT it !!! So nonsense to want to get the publisher to reprint it as TWO Books!!!!!!!!!!?????? Like asking the publisher to reprint "War and Peace" in 2 Volumes marked...yeah !!!
I was compelled to add this book to MY FANTASY shelf for various reasons, both positive and negative. A Tale of Rags to Riches, of Obscurity to Fame/InfI was compelled to add this book to MY FANTASY shelf for various reasons, both positive and negative. A Tale of Rags to Riches, of Obscurity to Fame/Infamy, of Talent Recognised and Rewarded - these are all candidates here.
I have recently visited the town of Zeehan on Tasmania's western coast, an area still largely a wilderness of rugged mountains,fast flowing rivers and impenetrable forests and much still untouched for tens of thouands of years, which is one of its chief marvels and pleasures. Another marvel of Tasmania and especially of Zeehan is Eileen Joyce.She was born here in 1908 and left when only 2 years of age for the dust and stunted bush of a mining town in the south-west of Western Australia. Things here did improve luckily but Eileen never regretted that most of her life was spent as a celebrity pianist in England and worldwide, not least Zeehan, with all the fame, wealth and comforts that followed. Her humble background also led Eileen to exaggerate her past in her more comfortable circumstances. Which brings me to the Downside of FANTASY.
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My old Pre-Review:
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My older sister reading poetry to her grandson found a distinct alteration in his behaviour when she went from prose to poetry. It's rhythm really caught his attention in eyes, expression and gesture.
When we were teenagers she had received a Complete Works of Tennyson for Xmas and we took it with us to the beach that Summer to read, loving the stories,the topics, the rhythm,the beauty of his words. "The Lady of Shalott" was to be an enduring favourite. Later we were to discover the Victorian artists who had done justice to these poems. We'd lie on the beach taking turns reading to each other. Our dear Mum sat by, astounded. But poetry had come into our ownership and by itself, with no poor teacher or school getting in the way.
So often I see the products of Poor Teaching, where children come out hating authors along with their novels and/or poetry. "I hate Jane Austen!!" one student teacher blurted out passionately when she saw me reading one of JA's witty social satires. Sometimes reflection sends them back to a book as adults and they become passionate about the book they once fiercely rejected. I expected to see this phenomenon on Goodreads when I went to review "The Scarlett Letter". Yes, there were the hating present day students and there were the adults discovering a wonderful book years later, but under their own steam, not under a teacher's orders, a teacher who couldn't teach appreciation because they too hated the novel.
At school I really enjoyed teaching and analysing poetry. Often I would write a poem for the class based on our current topic. The kids LOVED it and brought favourite poems to share or ones they had written. We ransacked the school library. Getting them to dip into a poetry anthology to find a poem to share with the class was a Great Way of exposing them to a wide range of poetry and getting them to express why they liked a poem or preferred one to another. Often they would pick out a poem they could not really understand, ones that I myself had also enjoyed in Primary school or my older sister brought home but hadn't really the faintest idea what was going on sometimes. William Blake's "Tiger,tiger, burning bright,in the forests of the night" and the Witches' chanting their spell from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" was another. We talked about really liking something we didn't really understand. I didn't bother if they plagerised words, phrases or lines when composing. Fancy plagerising Shakespeare when you were only eight years old!!!! Often I would get them to respond to a book,a poem,a maths problem, an historical incident etc. with a Cinquain, Rhyming Couplet, Limerick, Haiku etc these being poetic forms I'd allow them to discover and attempt to compose with themselves.
I found inadvertently at one stage in my life that poetry helped me deal with personal problems. But then it always had...through the philosphies expressed. But soon I realised that I couldn't find anyone who perfectly addressed my problems. No alternative but to write them myself. This wasn't a daunting decision. They were for my eyes only. I'd dabbled with writing poetry before but never with such purpose; and I found I really enjoyed the whole process. As with John Donne who liked to share his poetry with friends, I sent copies to friends too. No need to publish it formally. Fame had absolutely nothing to do with it. It has never interested me. Privacy is a treasure.
So today when visiting the local bookshop to wish staff a Happy New Year, and there on the Bargain Tables outside lay a thick, broad paperback (you don't get to SEE a book when its an E-Book, do YOU !!?) titled :Bill Moyers- this at the very top, below which a carved apple with assorted plants growing in a window in its front; and below bold scribed: THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE...a language book,I said, having bought two thick beauties here recently. But in smaller italic letters below lay the key: A Festival of Poets. Without more ado I grabbed it up and swept into the store. Chris praised Bill Moyers as an excellent journalist...so it was bought.
Since I got home I've browsed the Feast in store. Oh, this is gonna be GOOD, Man !!!!!! This is gunna be damned GOOD!!! ...more
Not always easy reading a 'Virginia Woolf'. To The Lighthouse, Orlando and A Room of One's Own I ate up. Mr I'd read the book..."Mrs Dalloway" that is!!
Not always easy reading a 'Virginia Woolf'. To The Lighthouse, Orlando and A Room of One's Own I ate up. Mrs Dalloway, Between the Acts and Jacob's Room not so digestible.
It so happened that Michael Cunningham's 'take' on "Mrs Dalloway" was more accessible than his book in terms of proximity and time, so I nicked into the movie theatre and was...BOWLED OVER !!!
I saw the film again a couple of days later and was amazed how much I'd missed the first time. A few weeks later I took my Mum and a friend to see it, prepared to be bored,and again was riveted...acting, story ,music... it was always a deeply moving experience. I reread Mrs Dalloway and saw its film starring a favourite Vanessa Redgrave.
AND THEN...the BIG MISTAKE!!!...I read Michael Cunningham's "The Hours"
I could not even RECOGNISE the film. It was lame. No PUNCH at all!!! That was years ago and I'm still PUZZLED!!!
So someday soon, I hope, I will be able to reread "The Hours" and hopefully be able to alter the present Star Rating.
When Television arrived in Australia in the 1950's our Visual World was MIGHTILY expanded ...along with our minds and our knowledge. Names unknown and Ta When Television arrived in Australia in the 1950's our Visual World was MIGHTILY expanded ...along with our minds and our knowledge. Names unknown and Talents never before seen were laid before us and devoured. Our Parents, thrilled to be reliving their Cinema Youth, introduced us to Al Jolson...his film biography and his LP discs; Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in "The African Queen"; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films with their fantastic dancing. We got our first taste of Shakespeare in Hollywood's superb 1935 rendition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"...my primary school classes were fascinated with the same film in the early 2000's.
BUT...then there was Bette Davis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I HATE her. She has POPPY eyes!!!"I proclaimed. (She was playing the inspirational Welsh teacher of the future actor Emlyn Williams in the film of his play "The Corn is Green" released in 1945.)
Many of the people we saw were still BIG in film and would be for years to come. We unwittingly learned Film History and appreciated our Parents' Past. The War was still a Fresh Memory.I thought everyone would be over it when 1955 came.(They're STILL talking about it, making films and documentaries, writing novels and memoirs.)
Happily, just yesterday, I bought the DVD of Bette Davis' 1938 Academy Award winning performance in "Jezebel". I saw it once only on the telly in the late 1950's...and have NEVER FORGOTTEN...the film or her!! I'm still on the look out for her riveting performance in "The Letter" based on the Somerset Maugham short story. I don't notice the eyes now. But someone who really DID penned the song "Bette Davis Eyes"!!! She IS rather beautiful...and one of the Cinema's Greatest Actresses.
Alexander Walker's brief 135 page book concentrates on her films and her career of making them; and of the powerful will and personality behind them; of how she fought the Studio System; of how women relied on her to represent their lives. For six decades. In 1942's film "Now, Voyager" she played a young woman breaking free from her possessive mother. Copious fan mail arrived for Bette... especially from the daughters of possessive mothers AND from possessive mothers repenting their possessiveness!!!
She learned that women relied on her and that her range of acting could help, warn, counsel in the broad spectrum of women's lives and experiences. From a snappy aging Elizabeth the First in love in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" to an actress dealing with the limits of her career at its peak in "All About Eve",she had something to offer.
ALL her films are listed in the book's final pages with Title, Director, Scenario and Source, Photography, Editor, Cast, Running Time, When Released and Producer. ...more
I'm racing through this and it's Grand !!!! THANKS, Edmund!!! (I'm wondering if it may take a Gay Man to write about One??? AND another writer too !!! I'm racing through this and it's Grand !!!! THANKS, Edmund!!! (I'm wondering if it may take a Gay Man to write about One??? AND another writer too !!! And live in Paris?? It surely can't hurt!!!!)
Otherwise,this is a brief read, but from someone who knows his subject inside out. Consequently it's concise AND informative and entertaining - but not laborious, boring etc etc!! You will come out informed and entertained. And ready to travel elsewhere into Proust Territory.
Edmund White's concise, unverbose biography of Marcel and his recommendation of George Painter's biography, Volume One of which I read many years ago, gives me a refreshing way into Proust's final volumes.
Painter's book will be more detailed than White's but White mentions one winning quality of Painter's...he is amusing.
DURING THE READ!!!: Although I am on page 481, I've only read 23 pages !!! This is because I am reading this BACKWARDS...!! There are 500 paintings/sculpDURING THE READ!!!: Although I am on page 481, I've only read 23 pages !!! This is because I am reading this BACKWARDS...!! There are 500 paintings/sculptures/installations on show here NOT 10,000 as the cover proclaims...which may be a relief if you are in a hurry.There is ONE work per page...very civilised. I decided to begin with my own era,the one that offers you your MOST immediate challenge and confusion. If I mention "Abstract Expressionism", who amongst us would feel truly confident??? What does it mmmmmmmmean??? we wail. No need to panic !!! Do you like clouds??....Even LOVE clouds??? Of course you MUST!!! Well, THEY are ...abstract. And THEY DON'T upset you, do they?? Course NOT !!!
Of course a book like this will raise a Chorus of Complaints because "my favourites are NOT included".
You have just learned a Good lesson!!!!
The Judging of a work of art is Highly Subjective. And here are 500 of Them. And Perfectly Valid. Which in no way excludes YOUR favourites.
BUT Any Exposure to the Opinions of Others is NOT to be taken Lightly. And Whoever voted in This Lot,, THIS is a Scrumptious Feast and can only assist you in deciding - or undeciding - exactly what Your Favourites may - or may not be. You may possibly Go Insane during this process if you take it on. Hopefully you will emerge at the Other End, and with Some Remnants of Insanity to assist you on Life's Journey. You are not expected to BELIEVE anything just because it is between the Covers of a Book. So just ENJOY the Feast presented and continue to like what you like because you're going to Change Your mind about Your own 500 anyway!!!! This book can only be an Aide. ...more