Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Pursuit of Life

 Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life” – sounds like nothing so much as an invitation to pry.

‘We float – we’re not based in one place – we’re floating Islanders. I always come back to theatre, theatre is my first home.’ 
– Makerita Urale

A large part of acting is just pretending. You get to work with these other great make-believers, all making believe as hard as they can.

The Great Stephen King Reread Analysis: Here's how all 38 novels, 15 novellas, 111 short stories, and 5 poems by the horror master break down by the numbers.

Writing is Activism: George Saunders: The author of ‘Lincoln the Bardo’ and winner of the Man Booker prize discusses his relationship with writing

How Australia’s PM went swimming 50 years ago and vanished forever CNN

First there is this from Emily Dickinson:

          There is no Frigate like a Book
          To take us Lands away
          Nor any Coursers like a Page
          Of prancing Poetry --

          This Traverse may the poorest take
          Without oppress of Toll -- 
          How frugal is the Chariot
 That bears the Human soul.

The Best Book Covers of 2017: People say you shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but Bookish didn't get the memo and rounded up a number of the year's best.

MI5 Kept Tabs on Kingsley Amis: British secret service agents kept watch on the author after an intercepted letter called him as a “very promising” member of the Communist Party.

Winter Is Coming (1828)

Wildly the autumn-blast howls round the mountain,
    Dark clouds are gathering o'er forest and field,
Chill grow the waters of river and fountain,
    The frost-god is shrieking, "Yield, Summer, yield!"
The strong winds of heaven the red rose have shatter'd,
    Gone are the glories of woodland and dell,
And the leaves of the forest by myriads are scatter'd;
    WINTER IS COMING — bright Summer, farewell!

So pass we  and down, on our bright hopes of morrow,
    Comes rushing and reckless a dark shade of gloom,
It tells of disaster, declension and sorrow,
    Of a doom that awaits us — it speaks of the tomb.

According to Thursday's New York Times, some Italian schools will teaching their students to identify fake news, beginning on October 31. It's well to be prepared, of course. But is the need new? In Luigi Barzini's The Italians, chapter "The Pursuit of Life", I find
Very few then are the rules which can help an Italian plot his course and steer a safe line in a country which has never really accepted the moral teaching of feudalism, and in which society, the law and State have feeble powers. He must defend himself. He begins early by being his own school-teacher (most schools are inadequate) and professor (universities are poor, backward, and badly run). Later he must be his own journalist (published new of internal affairs can be so biased that to rely on them is to court disaster), his own literary, film, art, and drama critic (reviews rarely reflect the worth of the film, book, or drama, but a number of factors, the personal relation between author and critic, their respective political parties, relative ages, philosophical bias, and so forth), his own strategic expert in times of war (nobody will tell him who is winning and when to run until too late), and his own fiscal expert (to distinguish which are the taxes to be paid fully, which only in part, and which to be ignored altogether). He must at times be his own lawyer, policeman, and judge. In short, his security depends not on the combined exertions of his countrymen to which he should add his own but mostly on his individual capacities and native shrewdness.
(My italics.) The Italians was published in 1964; the edition I have was printed in 1996.