THIS REVIEW DEDICATED TO NIK KANE, A NEW GOODREADS LIBRARIAN
This book was incorrectly recorded as: "THE FABER BOOK OF ENGLISH HISTORY IN VERSE".
I THEN...more THIS REVIEW DEDICATED TO NIK KANE, A NEW GOODREADS LIBRARIAN
This book was incorrectly recorded as: "THE FABER BOOK OF ENGLISH HISTORY IN VERSE".
I THEN ASKED: Why has this book has been given the Incorrect Title?? Why hasn't it been corrected??? Why has someone created this book manually ??? Are Goodreads Librarians failing in their duties??
Less than 24 hours later, Nik, on his First Day as a Goodreads librarian,as his second FIX-IT of the Day fixed This One !!! Hence my Dedication above...and see Nik's Message below.
THE REVIEW: It always amuses me when I tell people I have pried into a friend's diary...the consequent Outrage and Condemnation are pathetic!!(Pooh on Youuu I think !)
Generally diaries must be the MOST boring documents ever produced.They should be banned!!!If you think you'll find a revelation, deep dark secret, whatever fantasy you have created...SORRY!!!you have zilch chance of finding it!!!! Perhaps... which is why one...pries, n'est-ce pas?
I later found that this 'friend' used his diary, among other devious methods, to destroy others. He would leave it carelessly on the kitchen table in a Holiday House of mutual friends just after writing up a poison-pen entry. He counted on the Old Taboo against reading such documents. Someone was always tempted and the next thing...an Eruption or a Hidden Hurt to eat away at the Heart ...but no one would/could admit from whence it had originated. The diary would quietly disappear into his armoury. He calculatingly destroyed many friendships.
These diary entries from 500 years of mostly British Life stopped one reviewer here after page 5, he claiming he's not interested in hearing about anyone's rotten...OR marvellous day, for that matter. Such a lack of curiosity and empathy!!! Which usually means a lack of a pulse in ANY part of the body. I hope he's not married...divorced?...yes.
The day the Bastille fell and the French Revolution started, Louis 16th, who had spent the day hunting, wrote in his diary: "14th July. Nothing."
Sadly, this UN-British entry fails the Entry Test for inclusion in this Wonderful Collection.
However just read this one for 30th June,1914 :
"There has been another assassination, this time of the heir of the Austrian Emperor. I do not quite know how it affects the political situation."
These two entries are only significant because of WHAT WAS NOT WRITTEN! AND because of WHAT THE READER KNOWS!!
OOPs!!!So YOU,dear Reader have been PRYING too !!!! Feeling guilty ?? Enter Expletives and Justifications in the box supplied !!!
All these PRIVATE diaries - lost, hidden, preserved, written in codes, some openly published...have ALL lived their Separate Lives. Many, such as Byron's final ones, fail to make the grade because they were destroyed, burnt, ...to save reputations, prevent hurt, stop scandal. Boswell's, despite their bawdiness, their sexual frankness...(why not!! No one was ever supposed to read these...REALLY !!?)...were preserved, despite their 'immoralities', because the 'ladies' knew their literary worth if only because they told of Dr Samuel Johnson and His Circle. And how did the 'lady' ancestors know how disgusting they were??........................ Pried of course!!!
Some days have a particular "THEME"... 9th June has three entries from 1797, 1914 and 1938. Here it is words...the art, the sound and the lack of words:
1797 and Thomas Green discusses "the art of the ventriloquist"...it's a wonderful dissection...even has a book reference.
Then Vera Britten in 1914, soon to be involved in the carnage of World War I due to the sudden death of a very unlikeable heir to the Austrian Throne, also deals with words, the way in which they are said:
"To hear a man's voice say 'you' in a tone which he uses to no one else on earth, is in itself a gigantic temptation to make him go on saying it like that & to go on listening. It is wrong of me to think of such things, still worse to take pleasure in them, but then I am not good, & in spite of high purposes, only a very human girl. Still, that's no excuse."
And finally, in 1938, a man who uses words to regret how the sheet of paper on which he hopes to write GREAT THINGS remains forever blank:
"How many nights have I sat alone in my room listening to the laughter in the streets, looking furtively at my watch to see if I could get up and go to bed. All those nights in my stuffy little room in Paris, in my room at Oxford with the clock of Tom Tower striking nostalgia on the night air, at school with the movements and the muffled voices of the boys in the corridors, and at home at the table which faced the window looking out on the lawn with the single oak tree. And always this piece of staring, white paper in front of me with the few and feeble words strung across it. These wasted nights are most remarkable. Nothing could be more stubborn than my devotion, nothing more stupid than my persistence. After all, I have written nothing - I will write nothing. Twenty years have not been enough to convince me of my lack of talent."
Mon Dieu, I just want to grab Charles Ritchie and shake him, and reassure him - "But just read your last marvellous paragraph.It brings tears to my eyes this, your little history of brave persistence in so many times and places which your pen so simply conjures up for me. Don't stop. The magic of your words are there, just let them flow and let us judge them.Don't ever stop." BUT it's all too late. Over and gone. Separated by Time and Space, we only have the words and the spirit of the man. Oh!!! ours to pry and appreciate and inject them with new life...n'est-ce pas?
Of Bloody Course !!!!!
(Some Research has assured me that Mr. Ritchie persisted and published.)(less)
One may question whether Australia EVER DID have a Rise.
Certainly the Arrival of the First Convicts on the First Fleet in 1788 would have, MUST have, m...more One may question whether Australia EVER DID have a Rise.
Certainly the Arrival of the First Convicts on the First Fleet in 1788 would have, MUST have, made the soon-to-be-displaced Current Residents wonder just WHAT was happening on their bountiful shores !! It certainly wasn't a Lesson in what Civilisation may have consisted. (THEY certainly didn't have a Policy of forcing Newcomers to learn THEIR Language/s.)
But it would very soon be obvious that Their World had taken a Serious Dive!!! Many of their Necessary Artifacts were soon being taken, stolen and sent Home to Mother England as interesting curios...canoes necessary for fishing for example; and perhaps communal grinding stones necessary for food production. (They, however, were to be reprimanded, disciplined for 'stealing' sheep for dinner.) Anyway, most died from infections too soon...an unintentional Case of Chemical Warfare, which would soon develop into Intentional. After all, they were savages without culture or organisation. The Enlightenment view of the Noble Savage was soon set aside by the Civilised Ones, AND in that area not too much has changed. (Clearly more than 200 years is required before Civilisation is able to put down roots.Although the fault no doubt lies with the Stubborn Recipients...or their inherent Low Quality Genes.Not the Sowers of Civilisation!!!)
Whether Nick Bryant examines this particular area I know not. But he DOES examine Much Else which needs Examining and I am VERY GLAD INDEED that he has written a Good Kick in the Derriere for what Australia has Become. Or Never ceased Being since its 1788 Arrival.
This book appears to hold more than One Gem on EVERY page. I enjoyed a Browse and trust this ensures a...GOODREAD!!
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/sculp...moreDURING 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. (less)
I suppose it could be safely said, that Forster's novel, having being written over one hu...more Film OR Book ???
Why not...film AND book !!!!! LOVED them both.
I suppose it could be safely said, that Forster's novel, having being written over one hundred years ago now, IS dated ...but enjoyed and loved the MORE precisely because it IS !!! I savoured every piece, regardless of feeling a need to reread sections sometimes. And THAT was never a Problem. Just MORE Pleasure! (One needs to do this with Contemporary Lit. and it is definitely NOT always with pleasure!)
What I especially enjoyed was, which is usually the case, the book offers more information, more probing into and revealing the characters, and here with such Gentle Wit and Irony that is a delight to be in Forster's company. Major and minor characters have other aspects that enrich the story and give it the complexity of Life.
And when the Lovers return to the Florentine pension, ALL is NOT forgiven by some friends and relatives. Others have grown closer and are more appreciated. Forster is a Realist, which is one of the Strengths here. No Mills and Boon. Exactly like Jane Austen. A Realist.
Looking forward to Forster's "The Longest Journey" now. Wonder why they didn't make a film of IT?? (less)
before you venture into the Morass of Interpretation, an exciting place to wander no doubt, BUT below offering an Equally Wonderfu...more DEDICATED TO KALLIOPE
before you venture into the Morass of Interpretation, an exciting place to wander no doubt, BUT below offering an Equally Wonderful and Intriguing but Simpler Alternative.
I borrowed this book from the local library a few years ago for a single essay ...hoping, vainly as it proved, to browse the Others as well.
The Essay in which I was in Hot Pursuit was to enlighten me re the mercurial and fascinating but indecipherable Machiavelli; the essay, "The Originality of Machiavelli".
Berlin's essay offered so many possibilities as to the key to Machiavelli that I simply gave up, totally swamped and bamboozled by CHOICE. For me a good lesson in interpreting history, personality or whatever.
I intend to borrow it again ...unless another borrower destroyed it in a Rage of Despair.
Since then I have continued to enjoy multiple essays and articles and commentaries on Machiavelli; and also enjoyed the Sufferings or Amazing Certainties of the Authors.
I particularly liked one essay in a Philosophy Now magazine but I can't recall the issue. And that gives me a perverse pleasure. I may search for it one day , but I do relish the Magic of Machiavelli.
HOWEVER... one has only to look at His Portrait by Santo di Tito, in the Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence, also conveniently reproduced on many covers eg the Penguin edition of "The Prince" or a Philosophy Now magazine cover (not the one with the essay!!) to find that a Face is Worth a Thousand Words.