Monday, October 31, 2011

The One on Currently on My Nightstand

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

and I'm re-reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Monday, October 24, 2011

The One on The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats

The Stolen Child
by W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats:
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries. 
Come away, O human child! 
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand, 
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep. 
Come away, O human child! 
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand, 
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams. 
Come away, O human child! 
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand, 
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest. 
For he comes, the human child, 
To the waters and the wild 
With a faery, hand in hand, 
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.

Probably this poem is more full of metaphors than I could ever understand. What could be or want to be an "oatmeal chest"? And "bathe a star" means what? Sometimes the genius of poets is so unreachable, so impossible that one can just lay starry eyed at the magic that they create.

Anyways, I admired the way the innocence and magic childhood versus the dangers of the world were portrayed here. The rhyme and repetition -all beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The One on Anne

I'm currently reading Anne of Green Gables with my sister, and of course we're going at incredibly slow pace, but that's only normal in my circumstances (reluctant to read for some reason.) Oh, and my sister wasn't even capable of reading the Harry Potters. For the win.

However, it's been fun. Not to mention that its one of my most cherished books.

Have a nice day,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The One on Reeds in the Wind

Reeds in the WindReeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am incapable of finishing this book, even if I only have thirty pages of so to go. It's not that this book is so horribly bad, as a matter of fact, I am positive that some people might enjoy it. However, it's not the book for me. I was bored throughout it, I had to force myself to open it, etcetera. There is no reason for my lack of conclusion of this book other than my lack of interest for it and the feeling that life should not be wasted on unpleasant books.

I'm slightly dissapointed in Grasia Deledda.

View all my reviews

To prove that I'm not just rating all those Nobel laureates five stars just because they were awarded that thing! As a matter of fact, Grasia Deledda was a pretty decent author, I think that in Italian her work must have real merit, however, the transalot made the language seem rather primitive. Also, the plot wasn't actually boring, but it wasn't capable of interesting me in the story.

So, no more Grasia Deledda for me.


Friday, October 14, 2011

The One on Forbidden Reading

Out of Print Clothing's blog posted yesterday the following:

Book Club – Banned or Challenged Classics

Banned Books Week
October 4, 2011
(photo via AP Photo/The Gadsden Times, Marc Golden)
This month’s book club theme is “Banned or Challenged Classics” because even though Banned Books Week is over, that doesn’t mean the discussion ends.
The American Library Association website states that, “According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.” We listed those 46 classics below and you’ll use that list to nominate our next book.
The first step is we need to narrow the list down to your Top 3 choices.
To do that on Facebook or Twitter, please:
-on Facebook: comment your 1 book choice only under the posted status about this book club
-on Twitter: reply with your 1 book choice and the hashtag #oopbookclub
On Wednesday at 12 noon EST, we will post your Top 3 nominated books in a poll. Voting will remain open till Thursday at 12 noon EST. At that time, we will announce the book club winner.
Good luck to all books!
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

Apparently, I'm a pretty decent forbidden reader. Hopefully some day I will have read all of these!

The One on Exodus by Leon Uris Part 3 (Israel Land of Milk and Honey)

I already discussed my point of view on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Today, I want to give a briefing of why I think Israel is the land of most beauty on Earth.

Most people scratch their head at the fact that people murder each other for what seems like a scrap of land that is "desert at the south, swamp in the north, and eroded in the middle." First of all, this statement is no longer true for the Jewish immigrants were overwhelmed by a passion for liberty that enabled them to redeem an otherwise dead piece of land. But it goes beyond that. It is, broadly speaking, a land of historical and religious value like no other. It is hard to explain, but for me personally, it is the land of my dreams. I think that the time that I visited Israel has been the only time that I have felt completely at peace with my identity.

Nowadays, when I'm feeling too uninspired to study or to get up in the morning, I think: "By doing this, you will someday be contributing to the world... and then you could possibly be contributing to Israel."

It is the land of milk and honey, the land of my people.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The One on Exodus by Leon Uris Part 2 (Middle East Conflict)


To follow my review on the book Exodus by Leon Uris, I want to comment on the Arab-Israeli conflict and what I feel is the truth behind it.

Also, the following excerpt from the book Exodus:

"The most publicized afterevent of the War of LIberation has been the Palestine Arab refugee problem. It has become the most potent political weapon in the Arab arsenal.

The Arabs have gone to great lengths to describe the plight of these war victims and to keep the refugee camps as working models to demonstrate to the world Jewish cruelty. Indeed, those who visit these wrethced souls are certain to be touched by their plight.

The Arabs would have the wolrd believe hat the Palestine Arab refugee is unique. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every war man has waged has created refugeed, homeless and displaced people. Today, in Europe and Asia, five years after the end of World War II, displaced people number in the tens of millions. This is the very nature of war.

Had the Arab leaders obeyed the decision of the highest international tribunal and adhered to the law, there would have been no Arab refugee problem. The refugees came as a direct result of a war of agression waged by the Arabs to destroy the people of Israel.

The Arabs created the Palestine refugee problem themselves. After the November 1947 partition vote the Yishuv of Palestine begged the Palestine Arabs to remain calm, friendly, and to respect the unassailably legal rights of the Jewish people.

Despite wanton agression the State of Israel, in its Declaration of Independance, held out its hand in friendship to its Arab neighbors, even at the moment her borders were being violated.

The avowed intention of murdering the Jewish people and completely destroying the State of Israel was the Arab answer to law and friendship.

Strangely, most of the Palestine Arabs fled even before the invasion. Jaffa, Haifa, and the Galilee created most of the refugees while the fighting was comparatively light.

The first reason for this was that the Palestine Arabs were filled with fear. For decades racist leaders had implanted the idea of mass murder in their minds. These leaders played on the illiteracy, superstition, and fanatical religious devotion of the fellaheen. These leaders never cared for the fellaheen but only for their own personal ambitions. They completely betrayed the people. Blind fear and ignorance caused the first flight of the Arabs. Was this fear founded upon fact? No! At one place, Neve Sadij, there was an unforgivable massacre of innocent people. Otherwise, the Arabs who remained in Palestine were completely unmolested. No Arab village which remained at peace was harmed in any way by the Israelis.

In regard to Neve Sadij we might add that this one example of Jewish excess-in the heat of war, one must remember- pales beside the record of scored of Arab-led massacres in over a three decade period of nominal peace.

The second major cause of the refugee situation comes from the absolutely documented fact that the Arab leaders wanted the civilian population to leave Palestine as a political issue and a military weapon.

The Arab generals planned an annihilation of the Jewish people. They did not want a large Arab civilian population present to clutter their operational freedom.

The politicians wanted to prove Jewish inhumanity by pointing to the Arab refugees "forced" from their homes. Lastly, the actual fighting helped create part of the refugee situation. Those few Arab villages which fought against the State of Israel were attacked and the Arabs driven from them. No apologies have to be made for this.

Documented proof exists that the Arabs were promised they could reutrn to their homes on the heels of Arab victories to loot the destroyed State of Israel. No one can question the Arab hostility toward Israel since the war. They have blockaded the Suez Canal in violation of international agreement, they have boycotted business, blackmailed foreign firms, raided border settlements, and constantly threatened to come back for a second attempt to destroy Israel. In the light of this it is incoveivable that Israel could even consider resettlement of a hostile minority, pledged to destroy the State. We can come now to the most horrible of all the facts concerning the Arab refugees. The Arab nations do now want these people. They are kept caged like animals in suffering as a deliberate political weapon. In Gaza, to cite one example the roads are mined and patrolled so that these refugees cannot reach Egypt.

The United Nations has established a fund of two hundred million dollars for resettlement of the Palestine refugees. There is much lush, fertile, and empty land in the seven million square miles of the Arab world. The Tigris-Euphrates Valley, one example, has some of the riches unused land in the world. It is inhabited by a handful of Bedouins. This section alone could take not only the half million but ten million others as well.

Not one penny of the resettlement money has been used.

On the other hand, Israel, an unfertile land whose seven thousand square miles are half desert, has taken in more than a half million Jewish refugees from Arab countries and stands ready to take in that number again.

The Arabs argue that the Palestine refugees themselves do not want to be resettled but want their farms in Palestine back. This is sheer nonsense. The Arabs have cried crocodile tears over the great love these poor fellaheen have for their lost homes.

The fact is, the Palestine fellaheen were victimized by men who used them as a tool, deserted them, and are victimizing them again. Kept penned up, fed with hatred, they are being used to keep Arab hatred of Israel at the boiling point.

If the Arabs of Palestine loved their land, they could not have been forced from it -much less run from it without real cause. The Arabs had little to live for, much less to fight for. This is not the reaction of a man who loves his land.

A man who loves his land, as the Arabs prfoess, will stand and die for it. 

The Arabs tell the world that the State of Israel has ezpansionist ideas. Exactly how a nation of less than a million people can expand against fifty million is an interesting question.

The Arab people need a century of peace.

The Arab people need leadership, not of desert sheiks who own thousands of slaves, not of hate-filled religious fanatics, not of military cliques, not of men whose entire thinking is in the Dark Ages. The Arab people need leaders who will bring them civil liberties, education, medicine, land reforms, equality.

They need leaders with the courage to face the real problems of ignorance, illiteracy, and disease instead of waving a ranting banner of ultranationalism and promoting the evil idea that the destruction of Israel will be the cure for all their problems.

Unfortunately, whever an enlightened Arab leader arises he is generally murdered. The Arabs want neither resettlement of the refugeed, alleviation of their plight, nor do they want peace. 

Israel today stands as the greatest single instrument for bringing the Arab people out of the Dark Ages.

Only when the Arab people get leadership willing to graps the hand extended in friendship will they begin to solve the problems which have kept them in moral and physical destitution."

Even though this excerpt is 50 years old and somewhat discriminatory, I stand for the fact that many of its arguments are applicable today and its ideas true. I believe that Arabs and Jews are minorities in Christian countries and should stand together as brothers and sisters. I believe that Israel believes in democracy and self-defense, and will help autocratic nations in the Middle East to obtain this. I believe that Israel is a beautiful land that is deserving of the help that the Jewish people have brought upon it.

Finally, I want to bring up something that irritates me quite a bit, and it is the Gaza problem with the steamboat about a year and half ago. I'm sorry that I'm not quite fluent in the vocabulary of the subject, for I live in a hispanic country, but I am indeed in the facts. I know that this ship had arms in it. I know that the people in it harmed and killed Israeli soldiers, whilst nobody who was traveling on the ship was harmed dangerously or killed. I know that the ship was crossing waters that it wasn't supposed to be crossing, that when it was told (twice) to turn back so as to follow routine checkup by the Israeli government, they did not heed the instructions, making what the boat had on it extremely suspicious. And after the several terrorist attacks that Israel has suffered through the course of its history, the army couldn't help but react defensively. And with what? With paintballs. Yet the people on the boat reacted with stones and knives, killing nine soldiers.

A video of the event:

I am of the opinion that there was never such thing as a Palestinian nation, yet the Kingdom of Israel once occupied a territory very similar to what is now the State of Israel. I am of the opinion that the Jewish people have redeemed the land in a way that only an incredibly inspired people could. I am of the  opinion that Israel has all the right to live, and that those who don't see it are simply not informed enough. I am of the opinion that Zionism is an enlightened political thinking.

Please don't harass me in the comments. :)
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