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About Ade

  • Birthday 09/04/1963


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    Reading, writing, cycling, music
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  1. Alabama, you got the weight on your shoulders That's breaking your back. Your Cadillac has got a wheel in the ditch And a wheel on the track. Alabama - Neil Young.
  2. A seasonal offering: One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun. The Snow Man - Wallace Stevens
  3. Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush
  4. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook, That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream. Therewith fantastic garlands did she make Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them. There on the pendant boughs her crownet weeds Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke, When down her weedy trophies and herself Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide, And mermaid-like a while they bore her up; Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds, As one incapable of her own distress, Or like a creature native and indued Unto that element. But long it could not be Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay To muddy death. Sorry to give such a long reply, but I didn't have the heart to cut any of this fantastic speech. From Shakespeare's Hamlet, of course.
  5. Because I breathe not love to every one, Nor do not use set colours for to wear, Nor nourish special locks of vowed hair, Nor give each speech a full point of a groan, The courtly nymphs, acquainted with the moan Of them who in their lips Love's standard bear, "What, he!" say they of me, "now I dare swear He cannot love. No, no, let him alone." Sir Philip Sidney - Astrophel and Stella Sonnet LIV
  6. Another from one of our discussion poets - Seamus Heaney: Docker: That fist would drop a hammer on a Catholic - Oh yes, that kind of thing could start again; The only Roman collar he tolerates Smiles all round his sleek pint of porter.
  7. Yes, I do. By choosing a first person narrative, I think the reader is much more directly involved in events and is invited to consider their own vanity, consumerism, shallowness etc. And the fact that the novel gives no overt moral closure - Bateman is left to continue his murderous activities - leaves a disturbing message about the way this materialistic and amoral society effectively protects people like him. Behind this, of course, I think Ellis is making a profoundly moral point, but the way he chooses to make it is disturbing and chillingly effective. Has anyone read 'Lunar Park' yet? Should be an interesting development of Ellis's ideas, I think.
  8. Retrospectively - you are, of course, correct. On with the show.
  9. Well, I'm disappointed. Such a classic line from a classic film! I thought everyone would know this!
  10. I think it depends on our definition of 'true'. In our postmodern world, it's accepted that even history books only give different versions and readings of events rather than 'truth' as such. How do we know when we've reached the 'true' version of something when witness statements show time and time again that there is never a single viewpoint? I think MacDonald was looking for a spiritual, mythic truth that was ultimately more true for him than merely a retelling of events - and we can accept that myths have a much more tenuous basis in 'fact' than history yet perhaps access deeper 'truths'?
  11. I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay Ain't it sad And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me That's too bad In my dreams I have a plan If I got me a wealthy man I wouldn't have to work at all, I'd fool around and have a ball. Money Money Money - Abba
  12. I dropped out of a PhD I was doing many years ago on Victorian writers (I might go back and finish it one day) and read some George MacDonald as part of that. I think he is a strange and much under-rated writer and he is certainly one of my favourites. Phantastes and Lillith are brilliant and odd - I find a weird affinity with them as some of the images he uses relate to dreams I used to have as a child about things living in trees (a more rational explanation could be that I read them as a child and that's why the images seem so familiar!). However, my favourite is his adult book David Elginbrod. It's a soul-lifting tale and trees are again a central image. Unfortunately, his work is very hard to come by now although if you scour second hand bookshops you can often find something. I have a biography of him and he was a deeply spiritual man, which I think comes over in his works. As an addition, another much under-rated and strange Victorian writer is Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Not as spiritual a writer as MacDonald, but another good escape from the modern world into the odder reaches of the Victorian imagination.
  13. More from me, I'm afraid, with some questions too. I do know Digging very well, but, although I have encountered Bogland before, it's much less familiar to me. I like the opening connection between landscape and identity - just as the prairies reflect something about American identity, so the bogs encapsulate Irishness. And it's interesting that Heaney focuses on the preservative qualities of the bog: the butter and the Elk are still there - just like the bog bodies in some of the other poems. It's as if Irish history is inescapable and, as he concludes, 'bottomless'. It's also totally unromantic, which I like: the vision is not of lush, rolling pastures, but dampness, melting yet also 'kind'. I'm not quite sure about the comment about 'coal' (oh, if only I'd paid more attention in Geography lessons!) Presumably, the bogs are too wet to provide the kind of compression that's needed to produce coal? So, Heaney's focus is on preservation and water rather than the more 'useful' coal? It just feels as if Ireland is somehow more pagan and antique - it hasn't produced the tools for industrial development like coal and, although peat was used as fuel, it's not remotely modern. And nothing is awaiting discovery - the 'pioneers' only find places where people have 'camped' before (another nomadic sense - not a fixed settlement). I love the layers of this poem - literally and metaphorically. The reader has to excavate Heaney's meaning in both poems through layers of accumulated symbolism and allusion. Powerful stuff!
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