Friday, 5 April 2019

Canterbury Tales, General Prologue



       Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages…

Geoffrey Chaucer

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Monday, 4 February 2019

BONNARD AT TATE MODERN

One of my top guys.  Astounding how he manages to make pictures that are both pleasing and true.  Hockney owes a lot to him.  I think especially that purple shadow colour. Hitchens too, I think.

Many of my favourite pictures are painted from above - as from a step ladder.  The dining tables, Marthe in the bath etc.. 

And all those nudes of Marthe, his lifelong companion, how intimate they are, and they give a clue as to the trick Bonnard performs: His world is tremendously used, imperfect, and wholly familiar.  It is, in a sense, comic (not haha - indeed occasionally boohoo).  Wittering now, so here are some pics.




Sunday, 3 February 2019

OSCAR NOM MOVIES

“Black Panther” - was told it was fairly ordinary.  Had enough of suerhero movies anyway.
“BlacKkKlansman” - Kevin Allen said it was pants, so not going.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” - can't stand Queen
“The Favourite” - must see list
“Green Book” - absolutely wonderful
“Roma” - moving, beautiful, lots of dog-poo.
“A Star Is Born” - cracking stuff.  Good chemistry
“Vice” - meh, may watch one day.

Remarks, recommendations, disagreements welcomed.  Is 'The Favourite' as good as 'Green Book' is the only question I need answering otherwise. 

Friday, 1 February 2019

POEM


IN HAMPSTEAD CEMETERY

Egan, Brennan, O'Carroll and Kelly.
Four Londoners from County Kerry.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

BOOKS 2019

DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens
TZILI by Aharon Appelfeld
A WEEKEND IN NEW YORK by Benjamin Markovits
A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD by Mario Vargas Llosa
TO THROW AWAY UNOPENED by Viv Albertine (unfinished)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Heidelberg pics

Flying visit to Heidelberg in depths of winter.  Zoo and cinnamon snails.  And Gawain and the Green Knight (Cal) and David Copperfield (self).  Thomas, Nora, Johanna best hosts evs.












Monday, 7 January 2019

David Copperfield's Women

Can there be another book so highly populated with female characters?  It is a book, featuring Mr Micawber and Uriah Heep, no less, dominated by women.  I had never really noticed this before.  I read it first when i was 16, when I suppose I must have identified strongly with DC.  A second reading, I think in my thirties or forties, I simply luxuriated in.  Now these women strike me powerfully, as though Dickens is giving something away about himself.  And just as women are - despite all those godawful homogenising identity politics fascists we're hectored at by - just as people are - they are all quite tremendously different and themselves.

Clara Copperfield
Peggotty
Miss Murdstone
Betsey Trotwood
Mrs Gummidge
Little Em'ly
Martha
Mrs Gummidge
Agnes
Dora
Miss Mowcher
Mrs Steerforth
Rosa Dartle
Mrs Crupp
Mrs Micawber
and more, I'm sure, whose names for the moment escape me.