“Mondnacht” — Joseph Freiherr Von Eichendorff

“Mondnacht” — Joseph Freiherr Von Eichendorff

I definitely go through phases of poetic imagery. It may or may not be forcibly imprinted on your very consciousness I had quite a prolonged ‘water’ phase, my ‘spiritual vs. physical love’ phase is pretty much unabating, but ATTENTION. New phavourite phase (geddit?) is that of ‘moon’. It’s feminine. It’s mysterious. It looks decent from a distance but is grotesquely pockmarked and deformed if you look too closely. Yes, I like to think that the Moon and I have a few things in common.

P.S. “Mondnacht” under no circumstances means ‘Monday night’, apparently. Which means that there is still a gap in the market for a gloomy piece of unparalleled despondence about that all-too-familiar anxiety as Sunday evening draws to a close and the first morning of the working week becomes a dreary reality. In German, natürlich.

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“Imperium” – Robert Harris

“Imperium” – Robert Harris

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

The Classics geek in me reared its ugly head and snarled in gratified delight when I picked up Imperium, and I’ll be honest, I was ready to do some snarling here too. A book about CICERO??! Not only had I been so unfortunate as to study the longwinded rhetoric of this fine man during my unforgettable (for all the wrong reasons) Latin AS-level, but his letters to anyone and everyone pop up CONSTANTLY in every sphere of life, to greatly exaggerated eye-rolling on my part. This man had a lot of opinions. However, Robert Harris is a fabulous author and I was looking for some excitement –i.e. a new topic for my whining and raging– so I took a deep breath, dove in…and was converted to the cause. Isn’t it boring when I actually enjoy these books?

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“A Room With a View” — EM Forster

“A Room With a View” — EM Forster

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

I’m going to indulge in one of my favourite sweeping generalisations and state that sometimes we read books in which we zone out for a few frankly overrated chapters pages and so quite understandably have very little idea what the actual actuality has gone down. This unfortunate state of affairs was COMPLETELY AVOIDED with this little tome, as guess what? I’m living where’s it’s set (*cue small dance of happiness*) and therefore know EXACTLY where vaguely-ridiculous-sounding places like the “Uffizi Arcade” (may or may not have had to look up the spelling but let’s not be pernickety) and just-plain-reminiscent-of-pizza places like “Piazza Signoria” are and what their deal is. If you’re anything like me, Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus” —not to mention Michelangelo’s “David”— are all very well and good, but it’s not until you actually see them with your own unblinking eyes that you begin to think everyone might be onto something here. Plus, apparently, some party poopers seem to think that being overrun by aprons and dishcloths on which is lovingly printed David’s glorious lower-half don’t count as seeing it in the flesh (the stone?).

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“I, Claudius” — Robert Graves

“I, Claudius” — Robert Graves

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

Goodness me, it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and written a post; almost as long as the list of people who became Emperor before Claudius finally did, you might say (and indeed I do say); I know that all the SORRY SORRY AND MANY MORE SORRIES in the world cannot redeem me in your eyes for this disgusting lack of literary appreciation in not writing more often, and so I won’t even attempt to sway you, dear and most majestic reader. I do, however, humbly ask permission to apologise for my prolonged absence with a book so meaty, so bloody, that your protein intake will quadruple in a matter of moments, resulting in a involuntary conversion to vegetarianism. Welcome to the Roman Imperial Family.

(And I am really sorry.)

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“Tess of the D’Urbervilles” — Thomas Hardy

“Tess of the D’Urbervilles” — Thomas Hardy

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

There is one scientific principle which has somehow managed both to penetrate my impermeable-to-all-forms-of-science mind and stay there for a considerable amount of time: that of air/water resistance. Behold, a similar literary epiphany of the most ingenious kind! However hard the author attempts to push his reader towards some realisation, the stubborn side of of me will make an equally pronounced effort to resist such an effect being achieved! Naming the saintlike husband “Angel” is not particularly subtle, Hardy. I still don’t like him.

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“Jane Eyre” — Charlotte Brontё

“Jane Eyre” — Charlotte Brontё

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

The big guns are coming out now, and they’re not pretty. The inspiration for this very blog originally came from an article by Edan Lepucki at The Millions (see below for the link*), and so I thought it might be appropriate to soothe the pain caused by my current sporadic posts and unpredictable absences with a fat and meaty one that will last us through exam season. As might be expected, the reason for the high-protein content of this post lies in its diet of the pure loathing and revulsion with which I am inspired by Mr. Rochester whenever I re-read Jane Eyre.

In my view, you can only be truly besotted with either Jane Eyre, or Pride and Prejudice; you may like both, but only one will inspire eternal love and awe within your very soul. Mr. Rochester, in particular, is a ‘marmite’ character, and personally I’m not a fan (to put it mildly). Are you nodding in electrified agreement? Or are you spitting with rage and/or fuming with the heat of a thousand burning Pride and Prejudice texts?

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“The Name of the Rose” — Umberto Eco

“The Name of the Rose” — Umberto Eco

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

*sigh* I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how I came across this book. But I’m going to tell you anyway, because what’s fun about a post without a lavish dose of humiliation and shame? A few years ago, when I read Northanger Abbey for the first time and immediately fell in love with Henry Tilney and watched the film obsessively over and over again and reacted in a emphatically normal, non-fangirl way, I was intrigued by the descriptions of the novel Catherine was described as reading, a certain Udolpho. One very Italian male name beginning-with-U and ending-in-O sounds much the same as any other, am I right?

I could not be more wrong. It seems I cannot read–which in itself makes this blog almost miraculous, you’re welcome– and so when I came to read this masterpiece that I thought had so inspired Austen (“Ooh, isn’t it interesting that it’s a murder mystery! How cultured and generally genius-esque that woman was!”), I instead painstakingly sourced Umberto Eco –who is, by the way, the AUTHOR. Not the TITLE. Just on the offchance that anyone is as thick as I obviously am– and duly began. Even the fact that it was written in 1980 still didn’t ring any bells. If you’re starting to doubt whether I’m qualified to even exist, I wouldn’t blame you.

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