It is evident in every chapter; whether the person is talking to themselves; or to a group of imagined f What makes this a Superior book is the Research.
It is evident in every chapter; whether the person is talking to themselves; or to a group of imagined friends; to their psychotherapist; their husband; their sister; their lover; a famed poet...etc. And every chapter contains Conversation/s...a rare jewel these days, when most people DON'T listen and most conversations from the Mobile Broadcasters has me fleeing train or bus rather than missing my stop to find out 'What Happened Next', whereas many a book I've had my nose in has DONE JUST THAT !!!!
The book's FULL title is ..."Adeline....A Novel Of Virginia Woolf" This is intriguing in Itself. For me, it gave more insight into VW than most straight biographies ever could. And I've read Much about the Bloomsbury Group.
Norah Vincent has read the journals, letters and autobiographical works of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, as well as the letters of Lytton Strachey and T.S.Eliot; and read excellent biographies of most Bloomsbury characters, she tells us,(see final page), and I BELIEVE her !!! Where else could she have got these intimate, searching and wonderful conversations!!?? Just one or two I ran aground on, but look forward to rereading them, because they hold keys to understanding. Her huge and thorough research has enabled her to get into the minds of a host of characters...especially Virginia. This was eventually UNPUTDOWNABLE !! I found myself regrettably getting closer to the end.
I regret my usual 'rush to judgement' which I have retained (read on!) as a Disciplinary Measure on myself ...thankfully I was holding out for a BIG improvement...and my Hopes were rewarded...happily, surprisingly and rewardingly.
I went from 'barely reading' to "galloping through". Hope you get to enjoy it too. A prior knowledge of the Bloomsbury Group would be a necessary prerequisite I strongly feel. And I can assure you there is no other biographical work like THIS one. But there are plenty of informative and enjoyable ones. They will definitely enhance Norah Swift's Very Original Work.
* * * *
On First Opening Norah's "Adeline":
WHEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have just waded through the First Chapter of this overwritten bombastic prose. A far cry from the Bloomsberries who had a reputation for speaking and writing with great simplicity ....it is their lives which are regarded as highly complicated !!!
For someone who is claiming to be channelling Virginia Woolf this does not bode well. I needed a transfusion and went where I usually go after this rough sort of experience ....I read some "Virginia Woolf" ...and It was like a breath of Fresh Air. AND put me in touch with The Real Thing !!
I very soon began to wonder whether this writer was not going through an early obsession with Virginia Woolf, as do some fans of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. It leads many to complete Jane's unfinished novels; or write an account of how on one of Charlotte's visits to London she witnessed a murder which led to adventure and a romance !!! Ludicrouus ? YES ! Here we have someone who is getting right inside the Someone, a Very Dubious Task .
Listen...just go to Virginia's Nephews. They knew her personally and LOVED her, were amused by her. Nigel Nicholson found her a lively and amusing visitor, "a favourite aunt who brightened our simple lives with unexpected questions." Quentin Bell has written a two volume biography of this famous Aunt and it reads easily and perceptively as only an insider can. I do hope Norah Vincent used these sources as well. You see, I DO HOPE for an improvement. Shame the publisher ever noticed Chapter One !!!
To Kall...viewing a recent Georges de la Tour in Madrid ?
You LUCKY THING being able to go to this exhibition
I LOVE this guy's paintings...their still To Kall...viewing a recent Georges de la Tour in Madrid ?
You LUCKY THING being able to go to this exhibition
I LOVE this guy's paintings...their stillness, due to deep pondering by the subjects in all their seemimgly monumental calm and simplicity really show up the "over-the-top'-ness of Caravaggio -alllllll turbulence, melodramatic lighting etc etc..but one has to LOVE these as well !!!! Two Masters...unique with still so much in common. Why set one against the Other when you can have BOTH !!! Like Sutherland and Callas !!! Why bother to fight about people who have sooooo much to offer???
My FIRST trip to Europe in 17th Dec 1973-early Feb 1974 had me having such magical experiences...at theLouvre their Georges de la Tour exhibition was.. well OVER, FINI !!! ...BUT...many of the postcards were still on display and I bought a BUNDLE !!! ....the gods were kind to me THAT rainy Paris Day !!!
And a few years later a book was published and I GOT IT !!!
Wonderful portrait of St Jerome I'd NOT seen before. Better than the others. ..and soooo de la Tour !!
Now I have read that he was an 'odious' person which was at variance with his paintings with their and depth and sensitivity.
These labels do not help at all. Are not necessary. Because the Human personality is so varied; and vicious statements attributed may well have been delivered with a glint in a mischevious eye, a humorous seductiveness ...THAT makes all the difference and adds a whole 'other' dimension to a person.
No one is 'perfect" whatever that entails and we have the wonderful works, the survivors...Deo Gratias !!!
PS. What about the pastels of Maurice Quentin de la Tour???
I found my 350 page tome titled "A Short History of French Painting" book from The Oxford Bookshelf when I returned home from that first trip..and "there was Chapter VI headed "Portraiture and La Tour". ALAS...not My George !!! but Maurice Quentin...the 'portraiture' should have warned me ...but here is another Genius with the talent of the Holbein of the Tudors ...those fresh, hot of the press of the artist's most recent sketch. alive, present day, character defined FACEs ...and the pastel is practically PHOTOGRAPHIC when a genius with feeling is manning the brush,crayon pencil..or pastel stick and Maurice's IN COLOUR ...real live breathing people ...go google HIM !!!!
Thanks for getting me up to date with George, Kall, 40 years on! ...MUCH appreciated, I can assure you !!! waYne...xxx ...more
Whilst reading this tough little book which continually delivers massive Wallops far exceeding the thinness of its size, I became absolutely fascinatedWhilst reading this tough little book which continually delivers massive Wallops far exceeding the thinness of its size, I became absolutely fascinated by Machiavelli's FACE, his portrait adorning its cover, particularly because it was not imagined, but painted by a contemporary, Santi di Tito. This man, in his spacious, almost billowing costume of vivid red and black, appears almost fragile with his slim and finely boned face which exhibits an obliging and inoffensive expression and an air of elegance enhanced by his reserved and almost timid Mona Lisa smile, but it is his alone. One would be inclined to trust him as he appears a competent and intelligent fellow.
But for me it certainly didn't seem to be the face that would belong to the writer of this pretty grim political treatise. I finally HAD to photocopy it and pin it up in an obvious place so that I could absorb it and begin to plumb the character of the author, because he was obviously much more than what he presented in looks. I'd once lived near his rustic home of exile in the Tuscan countryside for several weeks and found myself regretting very much never having gone out of my way to set foot there. The gods only know what effect such a visit would have had on me, but I suspect NONE. Just more ...confusion??
Reading "The Prince" I admired the fact that what Machiavelli set out to do was NOT to describe how ideally a Princely State should be run, but how it actually WAS run, a realistic exposee if ever...and he spoke from experience.This writer was nothing if not practical.
How did he gain this experience??? In 1494, Florence had become a Republic with the Medici Family, finally ousted after 35 years of unofficial rule. In 1498 a young Machiavelli was engaged as a diplomat and negotiator for the Florentine Republic so often came into contact with Princes, namely Cesare Borgia, illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI and also the likes of the Warrior Pope,Julius II. The picture he paints of the Prince as Ruler is drawn from life and the advice he offers is not only unsettling...it is downright criminal, ruthless, merciless and bloody!!! The trouble when someone sets out such a schema for all and sundry to read is there are ALWAYS those who do practise what somebody else merely preaches. Napoleon and Mussolini are among many students of "The Prince"; and of course Adolph of the Hitler Family, a statesman not worthy of the name.(There's one family we all definitely wish practised Birth Control!)These are the types who flocked to learn.
But the Medici were also a Worthy Audience. That much Niccolo knew. They had returned to power in Florence in 1512 with a tyranny under Cardinal de Medici. Niccolo was sacked and exiled to his farm. Less admirable is the fact that Niccolo Machiavelli seemed desperately trying to suck up to the Medici's so that he could return to a world of politics, anything so he could get out of his exile in the countryside and back into the Fray. But he certainly knew what he was dealing with. In February 1513 Machiavelli was falsely implicated in a plot against the Medici Family. He was tortured, fined and imprisoned. He was released within a month but his chances of finding Government work were slim and nothing eventuated. This was when he decided to use his talent for writing and his interest in politics to advance himself. He would write a book of a type popular at the time: advice to a Prince. But his would be based on Fact and this he thought would appeal in its wisdom and originality to his Medici Rulers. But what are we to make of a work he had started long before any thought of a book such as "The Prince" would have entered his mind...perhaps?
Machiavelli had been writing initially about the Other Side of the Coin in "The Discourses" where he examined the world of Livy's ancient Roman Republicanism. No doubt he was also considering Florence's very recent experience of a Republican Government.He actually interrupted his writing of "The Discourses" in 1513 to complete "The Prince", obviously a much more practical and urgent piece of writing. He returned to "The Discourses in 1515, continuing to work on it from time to time until 1517.He obviously believed in it. He would die ten years later, never having achieved his wish to return to Public life. Perhaps it was a discarded dream by then and involved a ruling group he did not respect.
Machiavelli very probably was NOT Machiavellian at all. Although he has been stigmatised for centuries with his OWN NAME !!! As have many other far more Deserving Souls. Perhaps he was very much as he was captured in his portrait by Santi di Tito...perhaps just a bit too willing to oblige.
I spent months agonising over this review several years ago. I even read essays on Machiavelli and his poisonous little gem of a book by Isaiah Berlin whose complexity left me with a spinning brain, or what was left of it.I need to do far more study.I have not completed The Discourses.And have recently purchased a life of Machiavelli written in 2010 by an Italian writer, which looks VERY promising.
AND I do have an image of a Face - sensitive, intelligent and obliging. I put a lot of promise and hope in that face !! ...more
Two Modern extremes to survey and hopefully RELISH !!!!!! This published in 2013 and Sir Herbert Read's "The Meaning of Art"of 1931 - this one currently Two Modern extremes to survey and hopefully RELISH !!!!!! This published in 2013 and Sir Herbert Read's "The Meaning of Art"of 1931 - this one currently Modern and the latter by Read, Early Modern.
It will be fascinating to see what approaches they take, what is held in common and where they diverge.
When I think back to my First Major Error and at the same time Insight as an Art Critic I was about 5 or 6 years old. Our Art World was mainly confined to the annual religious calendar, the Columban Calendar,whose pictures were mainly from the Renaissance and after.Old calendars had their pictures cut out and embroidered round the edges with coloured wool by the local Nuns, our teachers,to be sold at School Fetes. It was always a thrill to look through the Year's New Calendar which usually arrived first at our Grandmother's - she smoked, had scored a 'hole in one' at golf, was a fantastic gardener, loved watching the wrestling, drove the nuns home from our school, St Brendan's, to the convent on the hill, St Felix every afternoon, held huge parties in her home to raise money for the Church and ran every society she joined.
It was there, hanging newly above her telephone, I found the new calendar one year and was knocked over by an amazing piece of Modern Religious Art. I had never seen figures elongated and with such beatific faces, fingers, hands, faces, bodies almost writhing in swirls of paint. I was seeing my First El Greco and being given an excellent lesson in Art History and the Meaning of Style.I was stunned when I read the years of his life.
I hope to be pleasantly mistaken and led in these readings. 'WHEN ?' is the ONLY problem that I can see !!!! ...more