cyclops cinderella

Month: November, 2016

books read november 2016

This has been such a tragic month for reading! I’ve been so busy, that’s all.  I got some poetry and graphic novels out the library because that’s what I tend to find easiest when I’m busy, but even for those I’ve had next to no time.  I’m so looking forward to Christmas and being able to catch up on reading and most of all allowing myself to be unhurried.

Zami: A New Spelling Of My Name – Audre Lorde

Russian Thinkers – Isaiah Berlin

Red Cavalry – Isaac Babel

Three Sisters – Anton Chekhov

The Three Incestuous Sisters – Audrey Niffenegger

Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City – Guy Delisle

Living Quarters – Brian Friel

 

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Is there any writer more tiring than Ezra Pound?

campaign against akhmatova begins (1922)

She ran from lamppost to lamppost, the wind slammed.
Trotsky reviewed her in Pravda: One reads with dismay…
and an unofficial Communist Party resolution banned her poetry (1925).
She didn’t notice, didn’t know what a Communist Party was in those days.
Fog choked the city.
Russia’s great poets were all about 35 years old
Scraggly trees wandered by the canal in dim sun.

Anne Carson 

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winter term #mood 2k16: the chekhov daughter, probably a spinster and probably wearing black, complaining quietly yet constantly about her lot in life

My favourite part of Zami: A New Spelling of My Name was right at the beginning.  I read most of the book in one afternoon, which was an intense way to do things – just because there’s so much.  So much to think about, so many questions to ask yourself, so much that we follow Audre Lorde through – so many years.

It speaks for itself, so there’s nothing to say.  I was discussing it with someone the other day and trying to articulate why it had stayed with me but I found I couldn’t.

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средь шумного бала (at the ball)

My favourite Russian poem.

Средь шумного бала

Средь шумного бала, случайно,
В тревоге мирской суеты,
Тебя я увидел, но тайна
Твои покрывала черты.

Лишь очи печально глядели,
А голос так дивно звучал,
Как звон отдалённой свирели,
Как моря играющий вал.

Мне стан твой понравился тонкий
И весь твой задумчивый вид,
А смех твой, и грустный и звонкий,
С тех пор в моём сердце звучит.

В часы одинокие ночи
Люблю я, усталый, прилечь —
Я вижу печальные очи,
Я слышу весёлую речь;

И грустно я так засыпаю,
И в грёзах неведомых сплю…
Люблю ли тебя — я не знаю,
Но кажется мне, что люблю!

at the ball

I chanced to see you. Music played,
Vain chatter filled the place.
It seemed as though a veil were laid
Across your secret face.

Your eyes alone were sad; your way
Of speaking ravished me,
As though I heard a far pipe play,
And on the shores the sea.

How welcome was your look of thought,
Your figure tall and slight;
And that clear laugh with sadness fraught
Is in my heart to-night.

And when the noise of day is stilled
Once more they come to me,
Those eyes with so much sadness filled,
That voice, with gaiety.

Down to the depths of sleep I go,
Where dreams uncaptured move.
But do I love you? Who can know?
Yet this, I think, is love.

Alexei Tolstoy (trans. F. Conford and E. P. Salaman)