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Everything posted by Claire

  1. A very respectable 74. A couple are about books that I don't remember even having heard of, never mind reading - which was a tad disconcerting. (I did remember them, when I reread the thread, fortunately) I love starting threads, though - much more interesting than replying to someone elses! Perhaps I just like feeling in charge of the conversation - and the thrill of fear, wondering if anyone will reply or not..... (Mmmm, maybe I should get out more!)
  2. Me neither - that's what made me guess that he was talking about Ulysses!
  3. Is that a clue, David? Does that mean it's about the end of the world as we know it?? (Sorry, RR, but that's somehow the type of book I associate you with!!)
  4. 10/12 as well - more by taking educated guesses, that happened to turn out right, than by having much actual knowledge.
  5. Ooh yes - that's the chappy! I'm guessing that the film in question isn't Twelth Night, though. Hmmmmm
  6. From picture 3, I want it to be that Shakespeare play where one of the characters keeps going on about his stripy leggings.....though I think they were black and yellow. (Does anyone know which one I'm talking about, from that deep, meaningful description!?!?) But I'm pretty sure that it didn't have any water melons in. In fact, I can't think of any films at all that have a water melon connection!
  7. Highly recommended! There's an interesting thread about it in the Poetry and Drama section, if you want to whet your appetite a little more.
  8. I can't give you any sort of studenty, academic answer, only a personal one. For me, it's something to do with looking for patterns in the poem and asking questions about them. So: are there any patterns to be found in the use of rhyme, or the line lengths? Are the patterns in the sounds of the words, or in the choice of words? Are there common themes or contrasts making patterns in the imagery used? If you do find patterns, (and I reckon it wouldn't really be poetry if there was none of that), then are they consistent through the poem, or are they interupted or do they evolve? Then ask yourself "why". How do the patterns of language and thought and sound add to or change or underline the surface meaning of the poem? Why did the poet make those choices? It was only when I had to study poetry for an A-level course that I first realised, "Hey, this isn't boring, this is AMAZING" - so I hope you have the same experience!!
  9. Twelve Monkeys. I've not seen it before and it kept me guessing right up till the end, which is always satisfying. The predictable can be very boring . I remain mystified about the voice Bruce Willis heard a couple of times in the future, who seemed to be the same as the old tramp with teeth removed who he met in 1996. Was that ever explained? Did I miss something?
  10. Nightmare! REALLY glad you got it sorted, after all the work of doing that last course.
  11. I wanted to like this, and I was interested by the premise of it and I agree with the "moral" of the story, that everyone's life is valuable and worthwhile, even if it appears very ordinary at first glance......but, I was left a little unsatisfied by the whole thing. It was a little too sweet and too easy and too obvious for my tastes. It felt a little as if every detail was chosen with a focus on underlining and reinforcing the "teaching point". (Sounds a bit like a school lesson plan!) To me, that made it seem rather one-dimensional and lacking in depth. I guess my reaction to this was very, very similar to my reaction to, "It's a Wonderful Life", which it resembles very much. What about those people who've been damaged and battered by life and end up hurting others, in turn. Maybe not every life has heart-warming anecdotes about how they've been a blessing to others, because their awkwardness and scars got in the way. What about those people? Not everyone is an 'easy to love' George Bailey or Eddie. Having ranted on about all that - for those of you who've read this and found it healing, when someone close to you has died....I'm really glad, and the book goes up in my estimation because of it.
  12. The Ode Less Travelled, by Stephen Fry. It's taking a while as I'm doing all the poetry exercises. (Currently on no. 14 out of 20, which is much further than I've got before) Also, Trainspotting, by Irvine Welsh. I hope there's already a thread on it, as I'd love to read other people's comments, once I'm done.
  13. Errrrr......It's a quote with a good ring to it, so I want to agree with it. (Easily swayed?? Me???) But on reflection, I'm not at all sure what it means. How would you tell the difference between truth about the hero and truth about the author? Especially if you know nothing at all about the author? If something has a ring of truth about it, in fictional form, doesn't it also have some sort of real world truth? (...thinking of truth as something more abstract than just the factual) I don't think I understand the quote enough to have an opinion. Have I missed something? I enjoy Chesterton, both in the Father Brown stories and elsewhere and I've found him to be thought-provoking and insightful so I'd like to know more. What is the context of the quote? What provoked it?
  14. It's a lovely feeling though, when you're loving the world that a novel has taken you into, and you realise that you're only a quarter of the way into a very big, fat book, and you can stay with those characters for ages longer. (Or you know that there are 6 sequels - assuming that they're hopefully just as good) What books have left you feeling like that, little_melon? Titles would be interesting. I'm like Flingo. I tend to read poetry or lighter non-fiction until I get back in the mood for another novel.
  15. Thank you both - I must have not been reading carefully enough I know my mum and sister have read books by Vera Brittain and have loved them and talked about them a lot, but I've somehow never got round to borrowing them and reading them myself. I must do, though. ============== I went back to check Wikipedia - the information is only in about the first sentence of her biography (as you might expect it to be). I really wasn't reading very well, was I
  16. Try here, Adrian!! Not quite a graphic novel, but it has got pictures. (And although I'm being a bit facetious, I genuinely enjoyed them too.)
  17. "Artistry through language" is a great definition of poetry, David, by the way. I like it.
  18. I'm glad to be provoked by this thread to look at e.e. cummings a bit closer. I've always been a bit mystified, but I come across the occaisional fragment that really sticks in my head. A general thought provoked partly kelby_lake's comment.... It looked at first glance like something that had been texted on a mobile. Will this sort of playing around with strings of letters and sounds and punctuation become more common as those who send text messages and use 'smilies' regularly grow to be famous poets, in their 30's and 40's?? The grasshopper poem would suddenly look a lot less unusual! (I always feel tempted to write the poet's name as E. E. CUMMINGS. What's with that 'no capital letters' thing?)
  19. Who was her mother? Wikipedia drew a blank on that one
  20. They're not dead - just sleeping . The big advantage of keeping all the older threads around is that if someone else reads the book referred to, 18 months after the thread was last posted on, they can just wake up the existing thread, read the ongoing discussion and add to it, rather than having to start the discussion from scratch each time. If you see a thread you want to add to, just go for it, don't worry about how long ago the last posting was. Chances are other people will come along and join you.
  21. Given I'm the firstborn....I'd be Elizabeth, and you would have to be Maureen
  22. My married name is three times more common in the UK than anywhere else. There's a few of us in Canada, and the small number of us in the USA aren't enough to turn it any shade of blue at all - and none of us, anywhere else. Not well travelled at all. Within the UK, the highest concentrations of us are across parts of Yorkshire, which makes sense as the surname is the name of a Yorkshire village. Obviously a home loving bunch who don't want to venture too far from their roots. I should be a David or a Margaret. By my maiden name, like Hilary, I would be Elizabeth from Australia.
  23. I want to recomend this book of poetry very warmly indeed. It's an anthology of 20th and 21st century poems. (It goes back to Emily Dickinson - is she 19th century? I don't know). There's a broad selection of poets represented, from the well known to the much more obscure. (ie - some I'd heard of, and lots that I hadn't! Many different nationalities and cultures seem to be represented) The subtitle is "Nourishing Poems for Starved Minds", which makes it sound as if the collection might be a little twee or "heart warming" in a cloying way, but that's far from true. The poems are all fairly accessible and not difficult or obscure, but they all have enough depth to reward many re-readings. I guess the unifying theme is they are poems that attempt to offer some wisdom about life, or a fresh way of looking at it - but from a broad diversity of opinions. If you want a not too daunting way in to modern poetry, this would be fab. I love it because it's a thin book and goes in my bag easily, so if I arrive somewhere 10 minutes early, I can sit in the car and enjoy a poem for a few minutes. I love the wide pages with plenty of white space on them too. The layout is inviting. It's just lovely - go out and buy it immediately, if you have any interest in poetry at all. (Maybe I'll buy it for all my relatives for Christmas!) I'd post a poem from it, but I temporarily can't find it. That's the downside of carrying it around all over the place in your bag, I guess.
  24. I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" this weekend, for the first time. I've had warm and enthusiastic reviews from all sorts of friends about what a life-enhancing experience it would be.... If I didn't enjoy it that much, does that mean I must be a bad and deeply cynical person????
  25. Is No. 1 The Old Man and the Sea?? (I'm intrigued by 7. if MinnieMinx is right. I don't remember there being a bear in The Cider House Rules, and it's not that long since I read it)
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