With this post I emulate (in some respects) the protagonist from my recently posted poems and execute a partial disappearance from the blogosphere. I shall not push the analogy too far! I hope to continue to post, but fear I shall not be able to get around to you all as I would like. We have a busy, busy week or so on the horizon, with things not too pleasant to contemplate, and (hopefully) a few that are. So not all bad. See you all soon.
Some Greek orthodox monks who have lived an ascetic life on the remote Mt Athos peninsula since Byzantine times, who are noted for having banned women completely (and even female animals), and for having chosen (some of them) to live solitary lives in caves, have made a giant leap into the twenty-first century by providing themselves with broadband internet access. I assume that the ban does not extend to images of women.
Maureen Lipman related the following anecdote in The Oldie magazine recently:
A white-haired ladiy leaving a performance of Chekov's Cherry Orchard (in which Lipman was playing Charlotte, the governess), was heard to remark yo her companion: Well, I thought it was very enjoyable, didn't you, Mary? But why on earth they had to set it in Russia, is beyond me
A survey has found the following books to be unreadable - i.e. unfinishable
1. Vernon Little God - DBC Pierre
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
3. Ulysses - James Joyce
4. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
5. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
6. The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
7. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
8. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
9. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
10.Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Each of the above had recently been included in a must read or not-to-be-missed list.
This from The Independent on Sunday:
A sculpture of a crucified frog was threatened with eviction from Bolzano’s new modern art museum after being condemned by the pope, but the minister of culture and local right-wing politicians insist it is staying where it is.
Today the museum's governing committee decided "by a clear majority" to keep it on display.
The work by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger shows a lurid green frog, warty and bug-eyed, nailed to a cross with its tongue hanging out - but holding a foaming tankard of beer in one hand and an egg in the other.
Exhibited in the inaugural exhibition of the new Museion in the centre of this German-speaking city in Italy's far north, it was said by the museum curators to be a self-portrait of the artist "in a state of profound crisis." But attacks on the work, which began locally, culminated in a letter to a local critic from the pope and a condemnation by the minister of culture.
Quote from Sir David Hare, playwright:
The principal question you can ask of any artistist is: what difference would it have made if they'd never existed?
I am pushing my luck perhaps, but at the risk of becoming an absolute bore, a few further words on my recent three poems, my trilogy, as I have called them. For those of you who have been good enough to show an interest - even to suggesting that I should try to bring the three parts together - this, as they say on News 24, is breaking news to the effect that I am pruning the third poem, Going Back (posted under the title The thing a poem has to be), cutting out redundant words etc, and have reinstated the original ending, which I did not post. Here, if you are still with me, it is:-
To him it must have felt
the dream would never end: the stress;
continuing uncertainty - all this
releasing memories... somatic some
and only later of the mind:
a smack returning to the face...
from what: a hand?
a wave? The churning gut...
and still the strain, the
ambiguities that fed
the fantasies; the slow
And even as he plied
the iron, to smooth
the creases in that tale,
a coast guard on the promontory
abseiled down to rocks
and tiny spits of sand,
where boys trapped by the tide
had been reported seen, and found
there, two of those who'd thrown the knives
and taunted him, and further round
the headland, washed-up on the sand,
the body of the boy who'd disappeared.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
It all depends, you see, how you go about it. And that I cannot tell you, for that will be dictated by you and by you knowing your friends...
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extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...