Thursday, 31 May 2007
This post reminds me that I have to add Becoming Jane and Sense & Sensibility OST reviews, all of which I love as well!
Now, where's my Emma and English Country Dance? I hope it arrives before I go to Melbourne next week...
Monday, 28 May 2007
From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it.
Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for.
Poetry by Jalaluddin Rumi, 13th century
Today I have found you
and those that laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did.
I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you with a hundred eyes.
My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold.
I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine.
Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow.
My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you
has lit a fire in my heart
and you have made radiant
the earth and sky.
My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer.
Love's nationality is separate from all other religions
The lover's religion and nationality is the Beloved (God)
The lover's cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries
I have a Sufi painting at home in Bali, by the way. One day, I will post the beautiful painting here. It's one of my precious treasures, and is actually the first painting I've ever bought!
By and by, the year 2007 is the 'International Rumi Year'. Go, Rumi! And this is the text from Wikipedia:
International Rumi Year
Upon a proposal by Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkey, the year 2007 was declared as the "International Rumi Year" by UNESCO in March 2006. This is intended for the commemoration of Rumi's 800th birthday anniversary and will be celebrated all over the world. On this occasion Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri was awarded Légion d'honneur and Iran's House of Music Award for his renowned works on Rumi masterpieces. 2006 was declared as the "International Mozart Year" by UNESCO.
In honour of Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi, one of the great humanists, philosophers and poets who belong to humanity in its entirety, UNESCO issued a UNESCO Medal in his name in association with the 800th anniversary of his birth in 2007 in the hope that this medal will prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in a deep and scholarly dissemination of his ideas and ideals, which in turn would in fact enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO.
Sunday, 27 May 2007
And I love it. I love the colour, the light... the compositions... everything. Colin Firth was amazing there as Vermeer... (Firth is good in playing cool, seemingly heartless, characters), and Scarlett Johanson who played Griet, the fictional model for Girl with a Pearl Earring. Cillian Murphy, who played as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins was also there, as Griet's boyfriend. Poor boy, he did not know that Griet loved master Vermeer more than him... Or did he?
Pic: Girl with a pearl earring, Jan Vermeer van Delft, circa 1665
Friday, 25 May 2007
‘Oh! Dear, how beautiful these are! Well! How delightful! Do but look, mama, how sweet! I declare they are quite charming; I could look at them for ever.’ And then sitting down again, she very soon forgot that there were any such things in the room. (p. 105)
‘Oh! My love,’ cried Mrs. Palmer to her husband, who just then entered the room – ‘You must help me persuade the Miss Dashwoods to go to town this winter.’
Her love made no answer; and after slightly bowing to the ladies, began complaining of the weather. (p. 107)
By and by, what about these
PS: I know admirers of Pride & Prejudice will not consent to my opinion here, but I find that SS is a more amusing book than PP. Perhaps the premise of two rather poor Dashwood sisters (well, three – but Margaret was still a teenage, so she did not count) with near zilch romantic prospect has more appeal to me than the plight of five rather rich Bennet girls. Elizabeth Bennet was an interesting, sensible character though. A mixture of Marianne and Elinor.
So, welcome to Becoming Jane Fansite and roll on, Jane!
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Hitherto, Boswell's Treasury of Children's Stories is still my favourite children book - beating up Cinderella and Snow White (well, she did illustrated an edition of Snow White...). Boswell did not write her stories; she picked them from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, C.J. Lewis' Chronicle of Narnia and Mary de Morgan's 'Through the Fire'. Boswell hoped that the readers would not forget the stories easily, and you know what?
She was right. Treasury of Children's Stories is my utmost beloved children book. Ever. Period.
It is a great dismay that Boswell's books are out of print now (can you imagine such a hideous crime?!), and thus I enlist myself in the fans of Hilda Boswell who begs the re-print of her books. Collins? Oxford? Anyone? Gramedia, even, because my first copy (of which I lost now...) was printed and published by Gramedia Indonesia, in Indonesian language, naturally.
Pic 1: Lucy in Narnia
Pic 2: Cover to 'Treasury of Children's Stories'
Monday, 21 May 2007
To me, Jane Austen was not only the woman responsible for my JA reading spree these two months. She was the woman who was in love with a man, so in love, that, despite the failure of the romance, picked up her quill and wrote the greatest novels of her time. She was the woman who still preserved her wittiness, even in the eye of Death. And though she might not be as gorgeous in appearance as Anne Hathaway, I do not doubt that she was as witty - perhaps even more - than Anne (no offense to my dear AH). And that she was a strong woman, able to live a spinster life in the age where a married woman is treated more appropriately than unmarried ones - except if the said lady was reasonably wealthy.
Having said that, I just want to close the short note with the fact that I've added three biographical, non-fiction Austenian books in my library (by Le Faye, Halperin and Chapman). I have this other JA Wikipedia project with Rachel, and I have to find certain information that would do the paper good. A pity that Jon Spence's book (revised edition) is not available yet!
Review of the 'JA Book Club' will come as soon as I've finished the book.
Friday, 18 May 2007
Anyway, back to the date. Ahem. McAvoy was, as usual, amazing. I mean, anyone who knows Shakespeare and Macbeth would know that Macbeth is such a depressing story, full of people being massacred and stabbed and chopped… (well, Macbeth IS one of the bloodiest of Shakespeare dramas) and SR: Macbeth was also like that. But somehow, McAvoy managed not to disgust me with lots of blood. Yes, there was blood. But what mesmerised me was his acting. It was apparent that he was a product of drama school. His expressions etc conveyed that he understood the character and completely turned into the horrible, stupid Macbeth. Only this time, McAvoy portrayed a scared Macbeth instead of a tyrant one. After all, Joe Macbeth was a head chef who listened too much to his wife’s greed instead of his own heart. Somehow, I think I like this version better than the gruesome real Macbeth of Shakespeare. I also have to add that Keeley Hawes was amazing as Ella Macbeth. Can’t imagine the Shakespeare Lady Macbeth… must be even more horrid than her!
And of course, something that any fans of James McAvoy should not miss: James singing! And oh my… he sang well! He also laughed a bit, only a few scenes, but the laugh reminded me of Tom Lefroy’s laughing. So handsome…
I think James was very good with dramatic and tragic characters. But I also think that his laughter and singing voice are awesome! By and by… I still think that Becoming Jane gives the fans a comprehensive chance to see James at many facets of emotions. I mean, as Thomas Lefroy, James experienced and displayed playfulness, sexiness, wittiness, love, admiration and also angst and despair. It was complete, all in one movie.
Gosh, I want to see BJ again!!!
PS: I have signed the petition of Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare. After reading the articles in Wikipedia, I began to doubt that the gentleman from Stratford was indeed the famous Elizabethan writer. Not that I do not admire Shakespeare; I think his works (whoever he was) were fantastic. Yet, is it not interesting that Mr. Shakespeare of Stratford did not mention his books, writings, or play whatsoever in his will? Plus, no surviving letters of his indicated that he ever was interested in literature, let alone explorations of foreign countries and a wide array of subjects (from astronomy to zoology). Why, Ms. Austen left a huge amount of letters and correspondences for us to learn more of her (including her famous possible romance with
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
But there are major things that made me winch upon GWTW: slavery and racism issue. I understand where Mitchell, a Southerner, came from, and when the novel was written; 1936 (won Pulitzer in 1937) – where racism against black – or, to be politically correct here, Afro-Americans – was still very much apparent in the
Monday, 14 May 2007
Did you not hear My Lady
Go down the garden singing
Blackbird and thrush were silent
To hear the alleys ringing...
Oh saw you not My Lady
Out in the garden there
Shaming the rose and lily
For she is twice as fair.
Though I am nothing to her
Though she must rarely look at me
And though I could never woo her
I love her till I die.
But surely you see My Lady
Out in the garden there
Rivaling the glittering sunshine
With a glory of golden hair
Song: 'Silent Worship', Emma (1996). 'Silent Worship' is an adaptation by Arthur Somervell on an aria from Händel opera 'Tolomeo'. Emma finally became one of my favourite movies after three times viewing! Blame the lack of English subtitle (I am, after all, not a native speaker). Yet, it is such a witty movie that I desire to read the novel now!
Pics: Eliza de Feullide (Lucy Cohu) and Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow)
Thursday, 10 May 2007
Vieni ove amore per goder t'appella
Finche non splende in ciel notturna face
Finche l'aria e ancor bruna,
(Oh, come, don't be late, my beautiful joy
Come where love calls you to enjoyment
Until night's torches no longer shine in the sky
As long as the air is still dark
And the world quiet)
(Here the river murmurs and the light plays
That restores the heart with sweet ripples
Here, little flowers laugh and the grass is fresh
Here, everything entices one to love's pleasures
Come, my dear, among these hidden plants
I want to crown you with roses)
Aria: 'Deh vieni, non tardar!' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Text provided by Lorenzo da Ponte, translated by Naomi Gurt Lind
Scene: Becoming Jane, last scene, twenty years later
Monday, 7 May 2007
BUT. I failed to get the free ticket for Geelong speech! Whhhaaaahhh!!! My fault, I forgot to obtain it last April - actually, I looked in the wrong page, that was why... That leaves me with the Melbourne non-ticketed speech on June 9, and I have to wake up early to get the best seat! No problem at all!
Your Holiness... I'm coming to you!
Sunday, 6 May 2007
Another dance that has captured me was the part where Jo March and Theodore 'Laurie' Lawrence danced animatedly behind the curtain in Little Women. It wasn't a romantic dance - dare I say that there were never romantic scenes between them per se, unlike Tom and Jane. BUT. But it still counted as a lovely dance for me, especially with the very charming friendship between the two teenagers. The best friendship in period drama, I should say.
Too bad though, that Marianne and Col. Brandon did not dance together in Sense and Sensibility (1995). I like Lizzy and Darcy's dance in Pride and Prejudice (1995, 2005), but they were pretty much awkward to each other (Pride, everyone?), so it didn't really got into me. The banters were cool, though. Very Austenian funny, actually.
Hey... the pictures above seem to show that the curious Jo and Laurie took a sneak peek over Tom and Jane dancing. Come to think of that... perhaps a Jo/Laurie and Tom/Jane cross-over fanfic would be in order...
I should also say that Little Women reminded me of my fandom towards Winona Ryder (despite her dark past) and Christian 'Bruce Wayne' Bale. I am looking forward for a producer and a director creative enough to pair Christian Bale and James McAvoy in the same movie. I will definitely strive to watch the premiere! I don't mind Hathaway and Ryder as well in that movie... (and don't switch the pairing! Let it be Ryder-Bale and Hathaway-McAvoy still.)
Pic 1: Jane & Tom (Becoming Jane, 2007)
Pic 2: Jo & Laurie (Little Women, 1994)
Pic 3: Marianne & Brandon (Sense & Sensibility, 1995)