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Violet Crown

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Everything posted by Violet Crown

  1. A. Conan Doyle, Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard Wm Thackeray, Vanity Fair Guy de Maupassant, Bel-Ami
  2. Dh teaches post-algebra math, physics, the first semester of Greek, programming/ logic/ linguistics, and driver's ed (my nerves can't take it). All of those (except driving - he bikes to work!) relate closely to his own field and so he has Theories of How To Teach Them. He also makes dinners most nights, pays the mortgage and groceries and cello tuition, and tells me I'm not failing at everything I do. :)
  3. Three children, eighteen years. Used (or soon will be) for all three: Primary years: Reader Rabbit's Reading 1/ Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey Artes Latinae: Level 1 Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? Teaching Great Poetry to Children Miquon/ Key To Scribner School Paperbacks TOPS Science Phonics of Drawing My Path to Heaven A Child's History of the World (Hillyer) Word Wealth Junior Secondary years: Art of Problem Solving* Open University S103 Discovering Science Artes Latinae: Level 2 Sound & Sense (Perrine 1st ed.) Word Wealth So many of these are now out of print, or don't work with modern technology. Sigh. Surely, I think sometimes, if people knew these were the best curricula ever, they would be back in demand...
  4. Golden Press published a lovely book called Tales of India (stories from the Mabharata) that's still available used.
  5. Robin, Thank you for Proust week! I'll try to make some progress, as he counts for my Decadents/Symbolists/Surrealists 10x10 category, but my new teaching job is really eating into my reading time. I hope prep time decreases as we go into the year. This week I failed to make enough headway in my two chunksters, Thackeray's Vanity Fair (category Plucked From the Air) and Romano Amerio's Iota Unum (category Bad Catholic), both of which I'm enjoying but had better pick up the pace with, or I'll be reading them into December. A brief whine: September is when I write checks for All The Things People Are Signed Up For, but also the month our dishwasher and air conditioner decided to die, and we needed to purchase a full-sized cello for Wee not-so-wee Girl. And a hard case. And a cello bow, which thin piece of wood-and-hair cost you don't want to know how much. No problem, we've already had the new car a couple of months, good time to drain the bank account. Maybe I can get into an accident while the cello is in the back.
  6. Get well soon Robin! (Note to self: flu shots pronto...) This week I finished The Complete Works of St. Francis and St. Clare, chosen from my stacks at atmospheric random by Middle Girl (10x10 category "Plucked from the Air"). These two saints worked tirelessly and accomplished much, but didn't write very much, so quite a lot of the book is historical background, explanations, discussions of determination of authenticity, etc. An interesting point is that, while the one Franciscan writing that he definitely didn't write is the famous "Prayer of St. Francis" ("Make me a channel of your peace..."), our most certainly authentic writing of St. Francis is a series of rebukes of sinners, particularly those who don't show adequate reverence to the liturgy and to the holy vessels used at Mass; these are not the aspects of the faith most usually associated with Franciscans. The writings of St. Clare are even fewer, but include her Rule, which has a list of days when the Poor Sisters are to receive Communion which I found personally helpful, as I've been uneasy lately with the "Communion at every Mass" approach usual even among Traditionalists. It feels like Clare herself tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Why fret? Just commune on these days of the year, and let the rest go." Middle Girl picked a new book for me, which is underway: W. M. Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Also have Guillaume Apollinaire's selected poems (thank you Robin! Hey, this is the time to see if Apollinaire makes more sense when you have a fever); and perhaps the time has come to try Proust at last. He started out publishing Symbolist pieces in the journal Le Banquet (sort of a French version of The Yellow Book), so maybe I could count him for my Symbolists/Surrealists category. Anyway the Moncrieff translation of Swann's Way is in my car, just in case.
  7. I don't know what this phrase means. Beautiful canal photos. One of the loveliest of many lovely walks in Scotland was along the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath.
  8. What a timely thread. Our 10+ year-old Whirlpool died yesterday and I'm looking for a bottom-of-the-line replacement. So far Whirlpool, LG, and Bosch ~$500 models are contenders. Anyone have experience with the Bosch 100 series?
  9. Labor Day's greetings: "Eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, eight hours for what we will." (1817) ... if what you will happens to be more work, that is. (2019) I finished Ciaran Carson's translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge, "the cattle raid of Cooley," Ireland's great prose epic of the battle between the Irish, led by Queen Mebh and King Ailinn, and the Ulstermen of the north. The latter are under a periodic divine curse and so incapacitated, and so the Ulster hero Cú Chulainn takes on the Irish warriors singlehanded. 10x10 category "Brexit Special," and appropriately too, as the fighting is all done at the border between Ulster and Ireland.
  10. Everything is quiet in the City of the V. C. Thanks for checking!
  11. Kathy, here's hoping the hurricane leaves you and yours unscathed. Teaching prep, with the need to really firm up my Latin, is eating up my time something fierce - qui, quae, quod; qui, quae, quae - but I finished Raymond Chandler's noir mystery Farewell, My Lovely for the Crime & Punishment 10x10 category. Starting now, in between annoying future tenses that look like present tenses of other conjugations, The Táin Bó Cúailnge.
  12. Thank you for the Apollinaire, Robin! It's a great poem; and I should be getting to Apollinaire soon as part of my non-realists category. I love Océan de terre. If you have any French at all you should read it in a facing edition so you can enjoy the wonderful sound of "Octopus stir all around" in French: "Des poulpes grouillent partout," and the word-play in "Attention on va jeter l'ancre/ Attention à l'encre que l'on jette." This week I finished David Lindsay's 1920 science fiction Voyage to Arcturus, which apparently inspired C. S. Lewis in his decidedly inferior science fiction series. I'm not at all sure I made sense of it all, but it's something like Scottish Calvinism meets Swedenborgian Gnosticism in the Twilight Zone. Now reading the much more comprehensible Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler, which is substantially less philosophical I can tell you. Philip Marlowe doesn't waste any time pondering the nature of the Will.
  13. I don't recognize any fairy tales in particular, and I've never played this game you refer to, but could 'staryk' be related to the Russian word 'stariy,' meaning old/ancient?
  14. He's in a long-abandoned house and finds the tea, but since there's no milk he does the obvious thing and cuts it with whiskey. Right before he goes out for a nighttime coastal walk to peer over the cliffs. Because Scotland! No mention of jaffa cakes or chocolate digestives, both of which, I was recently informed, were shockingly absent this summer.
  15. Late again. I'm heading back into the (part-time) work force, and it's eating up all my time trying to get up to speed, so reading and posting are going to be sparser than usual. I think the 10x10 challenge may have to be a two-year plan. But meanwhile, last week I finished two plays: Ben Jonson's Volpone (1606) and Sophocles' Philoctetes (409 BC), the latter in part because Middle Girl was reading it and in part so I could read Edmund Wilson's famous essay "The Wound and the Bow" and have it make some sort of sense. (But I didn't finish because Wilson started getting all Freudian and I long ago decided I have no time for Freudian literary approaches.) Volpone was chosen at atmospheric random and so goes into the "Plucked From the Air" 10x10 category; Philoctetes is going to give me Greece for the "Brexit Special." Now reading a quick-if-boring YA Landmark history book, The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt; and for my own entertainment, the century-old, awfully strange, oddly compelling Scottish science fiction classic A Voyage to Arcturus. I love how the protagonist prepares for his flight to the distant planet by knocking back a large amount of tea-and-whiskey. (I will try not to get the two confused at crucial teaching moments.) Thanks, Sandy!
  16. We have a copy of Voyage to Arcturus from our last trip. Tell me when you start reading it and I will too.
  17. Mmmm ... This is her first summer in many years with no Jaffa cakes. I'll remember to check for the chocolate-tucked-in kind!
  18. Missed another week -- will catch up -- and meanwhile read two more books in my new 10x10 category, Symbolists, Decadents, and Surrealists: 51. The Symbolist Movement in Literature by Arthur Symons (who wrote The Art of Aubrey Beardsley, which I read/examined last week), and 52. Oscar Wilde's certainly most Decadent work, Salomé (the famous drawings for which play were by Beardsley, above). In Wilde's Salomé, the title character has Jokanaan (John the Baptist) beheaded not because Herodias wants him dead, but because that's the only way she can manage to kiss him. Salomé, having an extremely Decadent prose moment: Followed by one of the most hilarious moments of the 19th-century English stage: I saw Salomé performed once, and steeled myself to keep a straight face at this scene, but failed. Human nature can only take so much. So that's 52 books, if somewhat past the 26-week mark I'd hoped to achieve it at. Currently reading L. P. Hartley's 1953 novel The Go-Between, for the Little Oval on the Spine (aka Published by NYRB) category.
  19. Big State U. is apparently a powerhouse in classics....
  20. Thanks! I was thinking of giving it to Middle Girl, who is interested in the classics -- she's pretty sure that's what she wants to major in -- but if it's very out of date I may just read it and let her get on with current scholarship. Kitto also has something on Greek drama that I'm planning to read for my Gorey cover 10x10 challenge (and because literature is more interesting than history).
  21. Missed a week, but since Sunday-before-last I finished Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent William Perry (ed.), 21 Texas Short Stories Arthur Symons, The Art of Aubrey Beardsley The Secret Agent, unlike most of Conrad's stories and novels, is set in London. You may remember the fog as a SYMBOL!!! in Heart of Darkness; but Conrad uses it pervasively in his works, and the setting gives him plenty of scope for his thick, sickly, and symbolic fogs. It's a detective story, sort of, though not a mystery. The title of 21 Texas Short Stories is pretty self-explanatory, and the stories range in quality from one very good Katherine Anne Porter to a laughably awful howdy-pardner cowboy yarn, with most of them being the sort of solid entertainment published in reputable mid-century magazines. The Art of Aubrey Beardsley is going to be the third entry in a new 10x10 category, Symbolists, Decadents, and Surrealists (until I can find a more entertaining title). I've become interested in the network of influences on what came to be called the Symbolist and Decadent movements in late 19th-century France and Britain. This was a kind of post- or anti-realism, though never a very unified thing. Simplistically: the poet Charles Baudelaire killed off both French Romanticism and the Realism (e.g. Zola) that was supposed to be its destruction. Poets, writers, and artists rejected both Romanticism's fetishized "Nature" and "Reality," either using the apparent and the real to suggest and move beyond appearances (Symbolism), or to reject Nature altogether (Decadence). Baudelaire is considered the father of both movements, with the late Romantics Gerard Nerval and Edgar Allen Poe as unknowing grandfathers. In Britain, the Celtic Revival had evident influence; Arthur Symons, the Cornishman from Wales who brought the French Symbolist poets to the attention of the British in his 1908 book The Symbolist Movement in Literature (this week's reading), was an adoring disciple of the elderly Yeats. (In Edinburgh and Dundee we enjoyed Symbolist art by Scottish Celtic Revivalist John Duncan.) (Riders of the Sidhe, by Duncan) Anyway, Aubrey Beardsley, together with Oscar Wilde and Swinburne, was an English Decadent decorative artist who was part of the famous Yellow Book project (see his cover art at the link). His illustrations for Wilde's Salome are famous, though not possibly to everyone's taste. That Symons calls Beardsley a "Symbolist" throughout this short book (much lengthened by the time needed to examine the copious plates) goes to illustrate how difficult it was, even by the end of the century, to distinguish the two movements that seem so clearly separate now. Future reading in this category: Rimbaud, Verlaine, Poe, Yeats, Huysmans, Lautreamont, Breton, and Wilde. (Baudelaire, though obvious, I think I've re-read enough for now. And I refuse to read Swinburne, sorry Swinburne fans.)
  22. Isn't there a fix for that coming down the road?
  23. ... and that's why I got my degree in literature and stayed far, far away from nasty sciences like biology. If I want that kind of depravity, I can read Jean Genet.
  24. You could go very traditional: strew rushes on the floor, get a meat-roasting spit and a tripod with kettle in that fireplace ... looks like you've already got a hound lounging on the furniture, that's a good start!
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