Monday, May 23, 2011

The One with the Perfect Library

Are you an Anne of Green Gables fan? If so, you might have heard about the house o' dreams.

Being the hopeless sentimentalist that I am, I also have a house o' dreams. It would have a lot of tall and pretty trees, a hammock, a sunny kitchen, to name a few.
But one of the most most most important things is for it to have a library.
And not just any library. I want a perfect library, with:

  • Dictionaries
  • A sunny perfectly comfortable place to read
  • Tomes
  • Photo albums
  • Collections
  • Classics
Although, honestly, what this library has is not what is important; what is improtant is how big and well mantained and full of books and pretty cool it is. 

I think that the pictures above are the closest to perfection that I have ever seen. Found HERE.

Sigh. Someday... for now, I'm stuck with my small collection in a small bookcase in a small corner of my non-book centric room.


Have a happy day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The One on Typewriters


(Click on photo to be redirected to its origins.)

I'm taking this break from Geometry and the Middle Ages and Oedipus Rex to comment on something I read in the paper today.

What it said was that, recently, the last typewriter factory closed its doors.

I am of the generation that, when sat before a typewriter, regards it as an antique piece, regards it with amusement. Pressing its keys is funny, seeing its results exiting. It isn't a common, everyday thing, it's a piece of wonder from times begone.

And now, I found out that they are now officially dead. If you were to sell your typewriter, any typewriter, you could officially call it "vintage" on Ebay. They are an obsolete product, something that isn't "used" anymore.

But there is something about this "obsolete" product that makes said adjective somewhat sacrilegious.

Weren't some of the greates novels written on it's "obsolete" keys? Didn't Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Neruda, Pearl S. Buck, and other geniuses work on these "obsolete" machines? Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger, Steinbeck... can you imagine Margaret Mitchell pounding away at a Mac, sweating out over Word? And what if Word had suddenly "unexpectedly quit?" Then what, no sunset in the South scene?

And yet, our current generation has the daring to call them "obsolete."

All I know is that if I were to write a book, or write anything at all of substance, I wouldn't want to do it on a computer. In front of the glaring screen, with the malliable production and the untangible creation. I wouldn't be able to write anything of substance with the distractions that a computer can provide.
So what does this mean? That the era of the books of substance has died... with the typewriter?

Because there is something not just nostalgic about a typewriter, but also faintly real, understandable, material, that gives us not an illusion of work, but a concrete fact of it.

Many times I feel like I was born in the wrong era.
Today was another one of those times.

If you have a typewriter to sell, contact me, please.

Yours trully.

P.S. We could call THIS the temporary solution. It's marvellous.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The One on Oh Romeo, Oh Romeo

No matter how sleepy or full of homework I am, I will always have time to read and post, so here I am. :) Thank you for bearing with my absence this beautiful month of May.

We're reading Romeo and Juliet in class. Interestingly enough, it has been a great let-down. I love Shakespeare, and tolerate love stories fairly well. (I did not cry with Gone with the Wind because of the love storyyyy! It was because Melanie died, duh. I don't know what my position on love stories is, in fact.)

I remember reading A Midsummer Night's Dream and being much more impressed than this. Oh well.

I have, however, highlighted some passages worthy of mentioning:

Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops-
O, swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy prove likewise variable.

My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Patience perforce with willful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'res gall.

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear-
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blesséd my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The One on Finished My Odyssey

Now, nobody can say that reading this book is anything but an experience. 

Because I don't think that it was really because of Odysseus that this epic came to be named as the Odyssey, but oh, maybe it was because getting through the 400-500 pages is HARD.

I can't say that it was impossible. It's not The Mill on the Floss. No, it's achievable. Interesting at times. The poetry is nice at points. The soliloquies can be funny or downright dramatic.

Anyways, Goodreads review:

The OdysseyThe Odyssey by Homer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5/5 stars

How could you criticise the Odyssey? Let me count the ways

You could hate its depth and breadth and height

The monologues that stretch out of sight

Yet beyond all this you know its Grace

After all, you hold something beyond the everyday's

Quiet you'll need, by sun or candle-light

But through Greece you'll roam freely, as Odie strives for Right

It's literature, purely, and this critique becomes Praise,

For in its letter are passions put to use,

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith,

I will always remember the day

When i finished the Oydessey --- I loved this with the breaths,

smiles, tears, of --- err I ran out of inspiration

But, really, how DO you critise the Oydssey? It is, after all, one of the greatest books written in all of history. Maybe no book has been read more than this one, and then, a humble High School freshman comes along, and why would anyone pay attention to any critique that she would have to pay to the greatest epic ever written?

Because no one wouldn't!

Probably, the reason that the Odyssey becomes such a drag for most students is the fact that it is quite long compared to other literary texts read in High School (Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm... not particularly extensive), so the reading pace is too fast to be enjoyed (40 pages every night for me was a daunting task when I had to do other work for 7 other classes).

But if read slowly, aprecciating the metaphors and the ridiculous soliloquies, the genius of Odysseus and Homer with him, is great. If anything, I will be eternally grateful to my school and Ministry of Education for forcing us to grind through the 406 pages. It wasn't the most exiting book I've read, or the most emotional, or the most poetic, or anything that involves the word most. But, it was written about 3000 years ago, for which it deserves a little more than just "credit" and for which not only do I greatly admire the Odyssey, but think I fell a little bit in love with it, like one falls in love with new mails in your inbox.

Because they're exiting, but will never be the most thrilling to read.

(I fail to explain the feeling... read the book.)

View all my reviews

I do believe everyone has to read the Odyssey at some point in ther lives, and I'm so glad I did. It wasn't a bad experience.

Have you read the Odyssey? If yes, what was it like for you?

P.S. Now we're starting Romeo and Juliet. ¡Ay de mi, cuándo se terminaran los poemas épicos!
P.P.S. Did you see what I was trying to do in my review? I started off with a mock interpretation of Elizabeth Barret Browning's most famous poem!

The One on 100 Beautiful Words

Click on THIS. NOW. DO.

It's a listing of the 100 most beautiful words in the English language.

Some I would like to highlight:

Assemblage A gathering.

Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Comely Attractive.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.

Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

These are not necessarilly new words, or very hard words ("love" is in the listing) but they are the most perfect of words.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The One on Book Parodies

So it's no secret that I am a big partidary of electronical reading devices. (Click HERE to find my review on the Kindle and iPad!) But I also think that these reading devices will be long time obsolete before the true book is. I love books. I love looking at them, smelling them, so much more, and of course, reading them.

Which is why I aprecciate the video found above.

P.S. I am fully concious of the fact that it is in Spanish. I'm sorry about that. Not because I'm fluent in Spanish means everybody is (oops.) However, I tried to find a version in English or with subtitles and couldn't! I'm sorry :(

The One on An Inspector Calls

I have discovered the magic of reading plays.

Thank you, J. B. Priestley:

An Inspector CallsAn Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although I have read few plays, J.B. Priestley's work with An Inspector Calls showed me how much I was missing out on; a different type of reading, one that is exclusively reserved to what the reader can picture hearing and seeing, and thus, imagination is let loose on a bigger scale.

What could the characters be thinking, how must the characters be beyond what we are seeing represented on stage? And part of the genius of this play is the ease with which one can visualize the representation, and I could see it as being tense, conflictive, entertaining; thus, an extraordinary play. And this extends beyond the portraits of the characters, achieved through, obviously, indirect characterisation (which were brilliantly performed), and a perfectly developed story line.

A parenthesis: I watched the interpretation of the BBC, and, although it is extremely loyal  to J.B. Priestley's work, it wasn't quite as I imagined it to be. Surely, it must be one of those dramas in which the interpretation should be reserved to theatre, and fails to convey the author's creation on the screen. I would greatly enjoy having the opportunity to see this interpreted live.

View all my reviews

An amazing play! All I can say is read it. A jewel of a mystery, I would love to see this interpreted someday.
Here's the BBC version...

Had you heard of this play before?

Good tidings!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The One on Happy Planning

First of all, Happy Mother's Day, Mommy! Te amo.

Second of all.

I shouldn't be posting, I shouldn't be posting, I shouldn't be posting.

I should be reading the final pages of the Odyssey (that will come) and studying about Rome and about vectors.

But here I am, and I might as well celebrate it while I can!

What I plan on babbling about today is finally the project!

I have set the date for when it is to start! July 1st! You can not miss it ladies and geeeeentlemen! (Yes I do read these kinds of thing with a sing-songy voice.)

And I am super happy to tell you that I am in fact planning it all out so that I do actually complete the project.

And because reading lists is more fun, here goes a list of all the cool things that will be happening on The Years of the Nobel starting July 1st! (I do acknowledge the fact that I sound like one of those blogs which have massive amounts of advert.):

  • July 1st, as you might have already understood, will be the first day the Nobel Project. And it will start with Mario Vargas Llosa, to celebrate the fact that he is, in fact, the current Nobel Prize.
  • I'm also thinking on which books I will be reading... So far, Goodreads and THIS list have been of great help, however, if you have anything that you would like to recommend, please feel free to comment! (So far, I have thought about Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner, to name a few.)
  • To celebrate the advent of the Nobel Project, I will get a Twitter dedicated to this blog! Yay, more stuff to distract me from actually reading!
  • And also, July will be a greeeat month. I will just hint this; I will blog every single day in July! Yes, every single day. So you just have to check in!


I'm super sorry if this blog post was too happy and frivolous, but I'm just exited that the date is set. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The One on A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

Pulitzer Prize. Say what?

The following is my Goodreads review for A Confederacy of Dunces:

A Confederacy of DuncesA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
My rating:
1 of 5 stars

It is hard to review a book like this:

Where the writing is horrible.

And the characters are annoyingly shallow (no depth of character.)

The story line is one that most English teachers would gasp at.

And attempts at satire and comedy are weak enough, to give you amusement enough to last through another few pages.

And ultimately, it is very boring.

The hard thing about reviewing a book like this is that I didn't hate it (nor finish it.) I was simply very unamused, very bored, and feel like this was a horrible waste of time.

Kudos to those who have been able to like this dunce of a book.

View all my reviews

The first time I heard about this book was in Rory's graduation speech (HERE) and then the Rory Gilmore Book Club on Goodreads was going to read it, so oh well, why couldn't I? (Please don't mention the impending Nobel Project... that's coming, I promise!)
And then I read it.

My first impression was that it was easy to read. My second impression was that this book is supposed to be a comedy, and I could see nothing comedic in it.

I don't think I laughed once!

And, like my review mentioned, this is obviously a book by someone with no literary expertise. So my disbelief of the Pulitzer for this is not small.

I don't recommend it, at all. 

If you have ever read it, please do comment here! I want to know what you think. :)

P.S. New Fleet Foxes song! Love.

The One on Whatever

I decided to leave A Confederacy of Dunces behind. What a waste of time.

I'll be posting my reviews to this one and a play we have been reading in class soon!


P.S. I'm sorry to say that I won't be posting or reading much throughout this month... what with finals and projects and tests, blergh! I have three tests next week, poor me. :(

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh May, please do come and go by fast...

and may you bring many happy books with ye. :)
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