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Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Austen began writing Pride and Prejudice under the title First Impressions in 1796, at the age of twenty-one. She probably wrote the first draft as an epistolary novel, meaning the plot unfolded through an exchange of letters. In 1797, Austen’s father offered his daughter’s manuscript to a publishing company, but they refused to even consider it.

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Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

I’m sure Jane Austen would twist in her lovely grave if she read this book. I’ve picked the audiobook up in an airport and since it’s Spook season, I wanted to see if I can get some zombies action in and see if they’ve managed to combine one of the greatest novels of the 21st century successfully with a hoarde.

They didn’t. The book was a massive fail.

Categories
Poetry

Let’s Live Suddenly Without Thinking

let’s live suddenly without thinking

under honest trees,
a stream
does.the brain of cleverly-crinkling
-water pursues the angry dream
of the shore. By midnight,
a moon
scratches the skin of the organised hills

Categories
Poetry

Edgar Guest’s poem from “The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, [1926]”

You can do as much as you think you can,
But you’ll never accomplish more;
If you’re afraid of yourself, young man,
There’s little for you in store.
For failure comes from the inside first,
It’s there, if we only knew it,
And you can win, though you face the worst,
If you feel that you’re going to do it.

Edgar Guest – From “A Heap o’ Livin’.”

Categories
Poetry

Apparently with no surprise * Emily Dickinson Poetry

Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play—
In accidental power —
The blonde Assassin passes on—
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God.

maxresdefaultWith “Apparently with no surprise” Emily picks up one of her favorite themes: death. Yeah, kind of dark, but some biographers say that she had particularly good reason to be writing about the D-word when she wrote this poem. Some say that this one popped out of her brilliant mind in the 1880’s not long after she’d gone through a string of deaths in her life.

There was her mom, her dad, her cute little nephew, several close friends, and Otis Phillips Lord (the closest thing to a BF she ever had). Yup, seems like she had good reason to dwell on death a bit. In fact, this poem was written not long before her own death in 1886.

Categories
Book Reviews

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

After having read some really bad books recently, I decided to pick up a classic. Ken Kesey. The book which inspired so many movies and my favourite play in Cluj-Napoca (sorry Shakespeare).

“But like always when I try to place my thoughts in the past and hide there, the fear close at hand seeps in through the memory.” 

Having re-read it, I noticed loads and loads of racist terms (especially about the three black attendants) and some misogynistic undertones which escaped me on my first read (about 10 years ago). I must say I still like it. It’s a product of its time and if it means it has to be racist, so be it.

“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”

50f66698d703f38e4347241ca50dec13“Cuckoo’s Nest” tells the same story as the most popular novels of the last century,” it focuses on the modern paradox of trying to be human in the well-oiled machine of a capitalist democracy, where you must be either a savior or a slave. There is also a third option:

“You can create and live in a new system…not rebelling against or carving into your culture, but creating a vision of your own and working to make that option real.” (Chuck Palahniuk)

Categories
Poetry

The Human Seasons BY JOHN KEATS

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
     There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
     Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
     He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
     Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

KeatsJohn Keats (1795-1821) was an English Romantic poet who contributed several great works to the canon of English-language poetry. Though Keats trained formally as a surgeon, his literary pursuits distinguished him as a tactful writer even in his own time. He often employed picturesque imagery that reflects his upbringing at a stable, as in this poem where the bucolic suggestions conjure images of the countryside.

Categories
Poetry

Elegiac Stanzas by William Wordsworth

Elegiac Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle in a Storm, Painted by Sir George Beaumont

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile!
Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee:
I saw thee every day; and all the while
Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea.
So pure the sky, so quiet was the air!
So like, so very like, was day to day!
Whene’er I looked, thy Image still was there;
It trembled, but it never passed away.
Categories
Book Reviews

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley Book review

It’s been a while since I’ve read this gorgeus book – poetry in the form of a monstrous story. Man trying to be God by creating life – in his own form and shape – and then having to deal with the birth of identity, free will and intelligence. Does it sound familiar to you? A creature, after receiving the gift of thought, starts doubting the purpose of his existence and hating his maker? A mis-understood lost soul only looking for affection and upon receiving none going out to destroy?

“I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst”

images.pngFrankenstein is a literature classic as it deals with concepts of Man vs God, Man vs Man and inner doubt about the ethics of creation. It’s still valid today as it was nearly two hundred years ago as it poses the question: If man is able to create life, should he?

Categories
Poetry

A poem for those who were left behind

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder

A. E. Housman1859 – 1936

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
And went with half my life about my ways.