Malt Whisky Drinking, Single Speed Bike Racing, Poetry Loving, Book-Fiend, & If This Makes Me Seem Cool, It's All In The Edit.
The Ideal Library Symbolizes Everything a Society stands for. A Society Depends On Its Libraries To Know Who it Is, Because Libraries Are Societies Memory (A. Manguel). This Is My Attempt To Construct My Ideal library.
This anthology covers a span fifty years and close to four hundred poems, distilling Simic’s life’s work combining poetry from his earliest writing through to his later work, featuring seventeen new, never before published poems and around thirty revisions. Tracing the path of this writer from a newly arrived immigrant through to the heartlands of America, on the way tracing it’s history through the blues & jazz, it’s folktales and urban myths. Charles Simic’s tale is that of America, not the one defined by the Madison Avenue, but by those individuals hollering on street corners, or praying knelt at the back of an empty church for just one more night, it’s that moment one second away from madness, when the lens focuses, shifts and the light refracts onto a new strange tableaux, before restoring itself to the same sidewalk, on the same street in the same town, USA. This is a collection of poetry by one of America’s most celebrated poets, spanning over thirty collections and offering the reader the opportunity of experiencing the full range of this poets oeuvre and the chance to retrace the career of one of the most prolific and yet unique voices in contemporary literature.
The Man in a Hurry, is also Pushkin press's first hardcover & although it's not essential to the reading of the book, they have created a wonderful looking book that still manages to follow the elegant style of their previous titles
The Embroidered Armour, explores ancient Greek thought through it’s mysteries, mythology and legends demonstrating how these heralded a revolution in thinking between the time of Homer (800 BC -701 BC) and that of Plato 427 BC - 347 BC) which gave birth to the Western cultural tradition. In the introduction Peregalli relates that for the Greeks “seeing is knowing” stating that for this reason they are known as “the people of the eye”. In around a hundred and sixty pages he presents his argument concerning the modernity of “ancient” Greek wisdom, following the timeline set between the two poles of Homer and Plato we travel through the world of the gods and onto the works of Pindar, Heraclitus, Hippocrates, Aeschylus, andAristotle. Combining these with thoughts from the likes ofNietzsche, Auerbach, Rilke, Heidegger & Chantraine , he shows the modernity inherent in “ancient” Greek Thought.
The words “true” (a-lethes) and “invisible” (a-delon) are at the same time mirror images and opposites. But their connection is evident: the negation of hiddenness certifies its existence. If that which is visible is true, it is also true that truth has its origin in that which cannot be seen. In the Greek world it is thus the ambiguous essence of truth which from the outset connects the visible and the invisible.
Nichita Stănescu (niˈkita stəˈnesku) was born Nichita Hristea Stănescu on 31st March 1933 in the city of Ploiesti (ploˈjeʃtʲ ) the county seat of Prahova County in the historical region ofWallachia, Romania, located about 35 miles north of Bucharest. His mother Tatiana Cereaciuchin, fled from Russia and in 1931 married Nicolae H. Stănescu, which was something he commented on several times, stating that he had been given life by a Romanian peasant and a Russian woman. Ploiesti was overrun by Nazi’s during the 2nd world war because of it’s oil refinery, which was eventually put out of commission by United States bombers.Nichita finished high school in Ploiesti, before moving to Bucharest to study Romanian, linguistics, philosophy, and literature. In 1952 he married Magdalena Petrescu, although this was to last only a year and in 1957 he graduated. His literary debut was in the Tribuna literary magazine, followed by his debut poetry collection Sensul iubirii (The Aim/Sense of Love*) in 1960, this was a collection of love poems which explore the meaning of love.Poems from the volume were previously published in the Tribuna, no. 6, 17 March 1957, and Gazeta literară, no. 12, 21 March 1957.
End Of An Air Raid
(April 5, 1944)
You dropped your chalk
and the splintered door beat against the wall
the sky appeared, partly hidden
by the spiders
that fed on murdered children.
Someone had taken away
……….and fruit tree
You hunted after spring
impatiently, like you were expecting
a lunar eclipse.
Towards dawn, they even took away
you had signed with a scratch,
so the storks would not lose their way
when they came
On June 6th 1962, he married for the second time, to Doina Ciurea, the marriage seems to have lasted for only two years although it wasn’t till the around 1981 that they divorced and Stănescu married for the third time in 1982 to Dora (Theodora bran) whom he had met in 1978 when she was a student in Philology, in the Department of French. Throughout this period Stănescu was a contributor to and editor of Gazeta Literară, România Literară and Luceafărul, as well as creating a extensive body of poetry, essays and Romanian translations of poets such Adam Puslojic and Vasko Popa. He also was the recipient of numerous awards for his verse, the most important being theHerder Prize in 1975 and a nomination for the Nobel Prize in 1980.
Beyond the dry as bone nature of the facts, Nichita Stănescu comes across as an outgoing gregarious individual, he seems to dispel the image of the lone writer working at his craft, preferring the company of others. He spent most of his time residing in the homes of his friends, enjoying copious amounts of drink and could regularly be found improvising poems whilst his audience attempted to follow him and transcribe them at the bar. In fact the title of this post is called “ The Ritual Of Writing On Air”because that was how he described his technique, drawing inspiration from his immediate environment, and using that to craft his verse, stating in a Belgrade interview that:
“Gutenberg flattened words out, but words exist in space … Words are spatialized. They are not dead, like a book. They are alive, between me and you, me and you, me and you. They live; they are spoken, spatialized, and received”
And yet, I have seen a bird
lay eggs while it flew --
And yet, I have seen someone cry
while he laughed --
And yet, I have seen a stone
while it was --
In 1983 he died in Fundeni Hospital (Bucharest) after a liver condition he had had for some time worsened. He was posthumously elected a member of the Romanian Academy, although by this point he had a reached an envious position where both the critics and the general public had declared him as one of the most loved and prominent writers in the Romanian language, a language that he had himself declared was “Divinely Beautiful”.Despite living through the second world war and Romania’s fall into an oppressive police state under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu, a regime characterized by an increasingly brutal and repressive apparatus and, by some accounts, the most rigidly Stalinist regime in the Soviet bloc. Stănescu was considered a metaphysical rather than a political poet, using this approach to examine the universe and humanity’s place within it, using various perspectives to voice the fundamental questions of his and our time. Also by walking a line between what could and could not be said, he crafted a new aestheticfor his verse, one that in his own words:
“ while the poems, often lapidary, appear to indicate a sublimation of the senses, a tendency to crystallize into a symbol, an attentive reading unveils the opposite process, that is the symbol’s subtle disaggregation, its incorporation into matter, something like the fissuring into a star of a pane of glass, broken by an invisible stone”
Meaning from the star, we notice the pane and intuit the stone. The pane registers the lines of fissure, which we might take as the lines of the poem, moving through the human language. We move from metaphor – the broken glass as star – toward the material yet abstract world, the stone that cannot be directly described in human language. (Taken from the translator’s afterword)
Those that have followed me for a while or that do so across the various forms of social media, are probably aware that my real? name is not Parrish or Parrish Lantern. Those that have checked out my "about page" will also know how a I came by this pseudonym. Like a lot of individual's over the years I've had a few alter egos that - like "Parrish" - have been what I have described as my Spiderman, Batman, or Silver surfer (choose one) superhero guise, by this I mean they represent a facet of my personality I like to think of as set free from those every day realities that shadow our personas, free from the 9-5 mentality that pays for the Spiderman costume. I raise this issue now because of a book sent to me by the writer and fellow blogger Andrew Blackman.
Jeff Brennan has multiple online personalities and finds switching between them easier than dealing with his mundane offline existence. Jeff, depending on who he is dealing with can be a caring grandson, a bored IT consultant, avid gamer or committed eco warrior, it is this last one that completely changes his life. Whilst on a protest with a friend he meets the gorgeous Marie, a young American woman who works with the homeless. After the protest Jeff and Marie are introduced to each other and she, who on hearing his name, mistakes him for a famous, yet reclusive political blogger of the same name. Jeff decides to go along with this as a ruse to get a date with Marie, but as they fall in love and develop a relation, he has to come up with increasingly more desperate measures to keep the illusion alive. This all comes to a head when the reclusive blogger decides to attend a protest and introduces himself to Marie. I won’t divulge any more of the story, I will just leave you with some questions.
Will Jeff & Marie’s relationship survive this?
Will Jeff survive this?
How will famous Jeff deal with the other Jeff?
How will Andrew Blackman tie all the ends together ?
All this and much more make up the final section of this book and how Andrew brings it all together is as much fun as the book itself. A Virtual Love is an old, old tale told in new way, it is a tale of love and deception, but spun from new cloth, spun from Nano technology. In the modern world, where a great part of an individual’s life is played out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Librarything, booklikes or Goodreads etc. Where people whose interaction is more online whether this is purchase or play, what needs to be remembered - is how we relate to others and how we perceive those relations. In a world where one can form authentic relationships without physically meeting, one needs to occasionally remember that like all relationships - how you would like to be treated is how you should treat others. A Virtual Love is a great fun read that makes you smile whilst leaving you with a lot of questions.
A woman arrives from the Netherlands and sets up home in a remote farm she rents from a local. She says her name is Emilie and that she is a lecturer researching the life on Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886). On arrival she inherits the responsibility for ten geese, but slowly one by one they disappear with the chief suspect being a fox. We learn that the reason she has left her homeland and come to this remote farm is that her life back home had become unbearable after she confessed to an affair with one of her students, which resulted in her loosing her post after it became common knowledge.
Back in the Netherlands her husband, who after a jealous outburst which involved accidently setting fire to her office, has formed a strange partnership with the police officer sent to arrest him and now they are both on her tail. Unaware of any of this Emilie meets a young man who appears to have injured himself whilst out walking his dog, he initially stays the night, but ends up staying a lot longer forming a strange relationship with Emilie.
It is very hard to describe what is happening in this book, for one thing very little does happen, meaning what you do reveal would need to be covered in spoiler alerts. More important is the realisation that what happens, very little of it is on the surface, it is as though you arrived in a mystery with only part of the facts and that for all your attempts to dig deeper – your only reward is hints, innuendo, and sly suggestion. Making this a book full of strange undercurrents of what ifs and whys, that like some dissonant background music constantly raises your awareness to this tales ambiguities, bringing with it a realisation that isn’t a tale or rural Wales with the protagonist living the good life in some primrose embroidered cottage.
Although this may be an escape to the country but from what and why? It also makes you conscious that despite what you are reading, there is so much left unsaid, so much that you are not being told. Making this a book that happens more within your head, than it does on the page, leaving you with nothing but those hints and innuendos as your means to interpret what happens on the page.
This is a strange quirky little book that skirts around issues of isolation and inner turmoil, that demurely screams it’s angst at life's tribulations. This is a quiet tragedy shot through with a dry humour that pierces all the angsts and obfuscation like the sun through the clouds on a welsh hillside.
Since reading this book which was on the International Foreign Fiction Prize longlist, it made the cut and is now shortlisted which is wonderful, as it definitely deserves to be there, not just for the tale but also for David Colmer’s translation which made this book a beautiful and seamless read.