“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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“The Remains of the Day” — Kazuo Ishiguro

“The Remains of the Day” — Kazuo Ishiguro

*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*

It is almost ridiculously laughable a tad on the silly side that I had to think for a long moment about whether to class this book as a work of Japanese or English literature in the “Categories and Tags” section –if Wikipedia is not your friend, I can share with you that Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki but moved to London at the age of 5– but thankfully realisation thwacked me metaphorically on the head not too long afterwards: how could I pop this one in any other category than that of the most thoroughly English of natures? For one, it’s about a butler, so unless the Queen decides to pen an autobiography (Majesty, I would consider it an honour if the idea appeals. Big love to all the fam.) I’m not sure how much more ‘English’ one can get.

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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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“Alone” — E. J. Scovell

“Alone” — E. J. Scovell

Fancy a short and snappy poem about the frailty of the human condition and our ultimate loneliness? Me neither. So why this poem? I’m a big one for poetry purity. Don’t get me wrong, I love the complexities of imagery and language and all combinations of the two, but there’s something about a simple statement sans adornment that just goes straight to the heartstrings. And when it gets there, it doesn’t so much pluck at them but tear them out one by one while jumping up and down on what’s left of your heart. Bit like a literary version of the Titanic film, and without Leonardo to provide some light relief. But fun at the same time (maybe). I’m not selling this very well.

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