Paper Memories

Very interesting perceptions raised here and philisophical ideas about contingency and social aspects of knowledge etc.


No surprises – the peak of freshness revealing itself only in virtual unreality.
The gritty everyday mere variations on a theme grown grey.
A card in the post injects tales of different lives, all struggling within similar scenes,
but with different characters and different dreams.
Outdoors we become more distant; not only in physicality but in personality, venting inner frustrations in public confrontations as we queue for packaged food in stiff winding formation.
One thing – nature remains the same, takes no heed of gradual change; the conclusion of casual encounters or the fearful flinching or the braving of traffic and thorns in homage to our new motto ‘social distancing.’
I fill my time with paper cuttings, shaping paper realities and marvelling how paper nothings become paper somethings, distinct from my static surroundings.
I cling to paper memories, remnants of unwelcome worlds – tickets sacred in their very materiality –…

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Oh joy! Oh rapture! The Library in Penzance!

Thank you for that- normal service will return at the Morrab as soon as possible!


Image Courtesy of the Morrab Library Image Courtesy of the Morrab Library

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but surely Gilbert & Sullivan would have had their pirates sing about the Morrab , an independent library situated in Penzance’s Morrab Gardens if they could have fit it in.

Image Courtesy of the Morrab Library Image Courtesy of the Morrab Library

The Morrab sounds like an ideal location for a Victorian operetta penned by the famous duo. Even the name seems apt. Morrab is derived from the Cornish words “mor,” meaning sea, and “app” meaning shore or coastal land.

Image Courtesy of Morrab Library Image Courtesy of Morrab Library

Set amidst beautiful gardens overlooking the sea, The Morrab is the sixth largest independent library in the United Kingdom.

Image Courtesy of Morrab Library Image Courtesy of Morrab Library

It is remarkable because it houses a marvelous series of collections which have gradually been acquired since the library was founded in 1818. The Morrab houses more than 55,000 volumes and is strong in literature…

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Classics Poetry Uncategorized

Martial 10.85 – Paradoxical use for a sunken old boat in retirement

Image may contain: outdoor

§ 10.85  ON LADON:
Ladon, a boatman on the Tiber,

bought himself when grown old,

a bit of land on the banks of his beloved stream,

.But as the overflowing Tiber often invaded it with raging floods,

breaking into his ploughed fields,

converting them in winter into a lake,

he filled his worn-out boat,

which was drawn up on the beach, with stones,

making it a barrier against the floods.

By this means he repelled the inundation. who would have believed it?

An unseaworthy boat became the protector of the boatman!

Harbour and River Boats of Ancient Rome

Iam senior Ladon Tiberinae nauta carinae

 Proxima dilectis rura paravit aquis.

Quae cum saepe vagus premeret torrentibus undis

 Thybris et hiberno rumperet arva lacu, 

Emeritam puppem, ripa quae stabat in alta,

 Inplevit saxis obposuitque vadis.

 Sic nimias avertit aquas. Quis credere posset? 

Auxilium domino mersa carina tulit.

Moving on from ancient boats protecting retired boatmen, I was intriged by the article in the New Scientist telling how an unmanned ship has just made it’s way with very little remote steerage through the Panama Canal.


Hollywood vs. Fascism | Silver Screenings

If only it was just in the 1940s. Fascism is capable of a kind of plasticity so that in various forms it lingers today. There are areas where the gruesome original lurks about today.

Rogues & Vagabonds

Conrad Veidt & Claude Rains in Casablanca Conrad Veidt & Claude Rains in Casablanca

Stories about fighting fascists always make for fascinating movies.Look at the legendary Casablanca (1942), for instance, or the low-key but surprisingly tense The Mortal Storm (1940). Like many Hollywood war films of the early 1940s, these productions have…

Source: Hollywood vs. Fascism | Silver Screenings

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National Native American Heritage Month~ November 16

Really love this pot!!

The Misty Miss Christy

Olla by Lucy M. Lewis

1968 / Earthenware / Dimensions not available
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

[There are three embedded links above]

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Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1946

I think Steppenwolf is a truly fascinating book. Amongst other things it is a portrait of the intellectual as an outsider. It is also a picture of the loneliness of ageing. There are very imaginative pieces of writing rather a forerunner of magical realism. The final passages achieve a kind of dramatic resolution. It is true to say that it is not a comfortable read. It is possible you will enjoy Siddartha more- thanks for posting.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Reviews From the Archive

An occasional series, cross-posting my reviews from Read the Nobels.

To see my progress with completing the Read the Nobels Challenge, see here.

Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1946

Translated by Basil Creighton, revised by Walter Sorrell, Penguin, 1965, 1979 reprint.

I am almost too embarrassed to share the excruciating naïveté of this review, but there it is at Blogspot for all to see anyway, and those who’ve read the book may enjoy an opportunity to chat about it set me straight.  To redress my sins, I’ve added excerpts from its citation in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die which, (obviously) I didn’t own when I wrote this review.  I apologise too, for the use of the term ‘schizophrenic’… these days I would use ‘bipolar disorder’.

30th November, 2006

Hesse says in his introduction that this is the…

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‘Grieshuus’ by Theodor Storm (GLM X)

The novella seems to be a German form which you see in Schnitzler and Hesse too.

Intermittencies of the Mind

Image from publisher’s website Grieshuus: The Chronicle of a Family was originally published in 1884 as Zur Chronik von Grieshuus. This translation, by Denis Jackson, who sadly died earlier this year, was published by Angel Classics in 2017. The events in Storm’s novella take place in a northen Schleswig town and covers four generations of an aristocratic Junker family, roughly covering the period of the mid-seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century.

The novella begins with the narrator recalling an incident in his youth when he went out walking on the heathland and discovered a few remains and foundation stones of what he was convinced was once Grieshuus manor; after discovering a book abou the manor the narrator had tried to find out more about the manor and its inhabitants. The first book mainly concerns the twin sons of the current Junker, Hinrich and Detlev. Although quite similar…

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Thoughts on “The Angels” by Rainer Maria Rilke

That reminds me so much of the famous Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire”. Walter Benjamin too writes fascinatingly about the “Angel of History”.

Stuff Jeff Reads

Gustave Dore – artist

They all have weary mouths,
bright souls without a seam.
And a yearning (as for sin)
often haunts their dream.

They wander, each and each alike,
in God’s garden silently,
as many, many intervals
in his might and melody.

Only when they spread their wings
they awaken a great wind through the land:
as though with his broad sculptor-hands
God was turning
the leaves of the dark book of the Beginning.

(translation by C. F. MacIntyre)

I read this poem a couple times and struggled with it. There is a tension here that is tangible but not easy to identify. I did a little research online about Rilke’s ideas concerning angels, and he would go into deeper exploration of the topic in his Duino Elegies.

Throughout the Duino Elegies, Rilke explores themes of “the limitations and insufficiency of the human condition and fractured human…

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Kim by Rudyard Kipling, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1907

I had to study this book for O-levels donkey’s years ago. Without doubt it is imperialist through and through. However, I feel it was powerfully written and gave a magnificent insight to Indian cultures and the Great Game. I feel it was educative and in recent years I enjoy Kipling’s poetry.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Reviews From the Archive

An occasional series, cross-posting my reviews from Read the Nobels.

To see my progress with completing the Read the Nobels Challenge, see here.

Kim by Rudyard Kipling, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1907

1st November, 2003

I enjoyed this.  It’s one of those classic books I always meant to read, one that’s part of my British heritage which is known around the world because of Kipling’s influence on the scouting movement.

Kim is a boy enlisted by chance to work for the British Secret Service in India. He is orphaned by a sick mother and a feckless Irish father in service in India, and he lives in the streets.  One day he is captured by the British, who find his ID papers in a scapula around his neck – and they send him off to school.  A certain Commander recognises his potential as an…

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The Eloquent Silence of Leon Spilliaert

A couple of summers ago I read a very moving and interesting novel based on the lives of writers in exile in Ostend fleeing from the Nazis. This book which I started in German is called Ostende. 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft came out quite recently and is another example of a novel based on historical research which some critics call faction. It is written by the erudite and clever Volker Weidermann who has since written this equally brilliant book on the Munich Republic, Dreamers: When the Writers Took Power, Germany 1918 I recall from the opening chapter of Ostende,1936 an initial impression of Stefan Zweig looking seawards which I have retained almost as though it were a magical memory of my own visit. This together with the descriptions of the paintings and studio of James Ensor had engaged my interest in this town, which must have changed considerably since the 1930s. Having been sensitised in this manner, I was delighted to come across the lyrical, magical and perhaps a little ominous. Perhaps capturing the ambience of this latest lockdown in November.

Ontmoet kunstenaar Léon Spilliaert | museumPASSmusées

The Guardian has an excellent review of a recent exhibition at the R.A. earlier this year.

If your French is up to it -or your translation engine there is also this blog