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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

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Saturday
Jan162010

The Lovely Man  

Hi Adria, 

You can tell what our weeks are like since we seem to email only on weekends now, even though we see each other on Mondays. But, I guess there is always so much to talk about and so little time before and after class and No talking during class! We know that rule, don’t we? 

Before I forget (as if I ever would), guess who (whom??) I saw yesterday? I was coming out of Manulife after seeing the LB (more about that later), and Little Mark spotted me first and greeted me like an old (don’t like that word) friend and introduced me to his father. Well now I know where the kid gets that face. Daddy is a cross between George Cloony and Cary Grant. I have to admit that Mark immediately disappeared into the background, as did my students. We chatted for a few minutes. Lovely man. He offered his apartment for a meeting if we ever need a large space. Hope springs eternal ...
 
By candlelight, you say! Very touching, Adria. So why look at younger men? Do you think they are into poetry by candlelight?

I will bring Amy Hempel for you tomorrow. Her writing is very clever, too clever, and full of every catchy phrase from previous generations. The collection is dated, and I can’t find one sentence that takes my breath away. But that’s my mistake actually, because one should not read Hempel with this in mind. She is a minimalist and there is no place for any sentimentality in her writing. In some ways, I learned to write like that, as Creative Writing Courses in the 80’s taught this compressed, very precise writing style. But a whole collection? No thanks. I’ll also lend you two other books (more Gardam short stories). I still can’t find The Man in the Wooden Hat. May I borrow your library copy when you get it?

I also started reading, Every Man Dies Alone /Jeder stirbt für sich allein - also titled Alone in Berlin (British Title) by Hans Fallada. He wrote the book in less than a month and I read, It is an astonishing achievement with or without that knowledge. But sometimes his haste shows – tenses change mid-scene with alarming frequency – and too often his thumb is on the scales, with melodramatic chapter endings and authorial intervention. … Curiously, the rough edges seem to enhance rather `than detract.”  

 So much for following all the rules. 

 Here are a few facts taken from an excerpt of a review by "Dalya Alberge

Written in 1947, the novel is a chilling portrayal of extreme fear under dictatorship. It is about an ordinary Berlin couple, Otto and Anna Quangel, who in a small way stage a protest against the Nazis after their only son is killed in action in 1940 by denouncing Hitler in postcards which they leave across the city. It is also an exciting thriller about the Gestapo detective pursuing them.

The story is inspired by the real-life heroics of a working-class couple, Otto and Elise Hampel, who were eventually caught and beheaded in 1943.

Fallada died of a morphine overdose aged 53, shortly before Alone in Berlin was published. It was a tragic end to a tragic life. The son of a judge, he was plagued by mental illness, drugs and alcohol, spending years in psychiatric hospitals and prisons, and was denounced as an anti-Nazi conspirator.

I guess, you have to be in the right mood to read it. 

Regarding the movie, The Lovely Bones, I did not enjoy it, but the kids did. As one of my ‘brainers’ said, it was made for a general audience and not only for academics! I thought that was a brilliant comment on her part. Such unabashed new found confidence! Too much CGI for me. I like real drama. And I thought the actors were not well cast. Anyway we can discuss it more when I see you on Monday. 

I seem to be taking a long time to do everything today and I still have to vet department exams and start my own (it’s that time again), plus I have to work on tomorrow’s assignment. 

Take care,

Sarah

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