Saturday, 30 March 2013

This Side of Paradise: Teenager's Philosophy?

This is the first time I read anything from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I won it in a spin, haha. And it has also been a long long time since I read anything like this. I read modern novels every once in a while, but most of them are detective/crime stories, and not “normal” slice of life stuff as This Side of Paradise happens to be.

I dragged myself through the first part of it. I must say that, it's kind of cool for me, like a cloudy day. No, I don't know what I'm talking about. I mean the story is monotonous, and I must say I don't care a bit for Amory Blaine. Perhaps the first part lacks thrill in it. But I kept going, because (1) I have to finish the book anyway, (2) there are many references to poetry, and I love poetry.

The second part, however, is more interesting. Actually I love to see how the character tries hard to find himself, to be, as the book say, a “personage” rather than “personality.” His philosophy flaws here and there, and he knows well of that, exclaiming now and then that he doesn't really know what he's talking about. It's a good way to describe the way young people think.

The ending is not a conclusion. Call me a child, but I love stories which end well. It doesn't necessarily mean happy, but at least well. A chaotic series of events ending with a conclusion. But although This Side of Paradise gives a conclusion philosophically, the plot doesn't satisfy me.

Being fond of adventurous stories, I must say that I don't enjoy the book as much as I enjoy Dumas of even Robin Hood Ballad. It doesn't mean I give up on Fitzgerald. I will still read the Great Gatsby sometime before May, and I do enjoy a change in my reading habits. Talking about modern writers, I still have Wilde and Thoreau (if it's counted as 'modern'), and I hope I will enjoy their works.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Robinson Crusoe: The Power of Gratitude

This book is a great relief. I'm so grateful that I have to read this book this month, when I feel a bit depressed by so many tasks that seem endless. Moreover, I read and watch books and films that give the idea how “weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world.” Well, yes, Hamlet is one of them. And then, there's Lupin. And also Euripides' The Trojan Women. Those books make me gloomy and sad, and give my heart so much pain just by thinking about them. Hamlet more than the others. That's why I'm so happy to read how cheerful Robinson Crusoe is. The book kindles again in me the idea of goodness in men and the grace and mercy of God, instead of despair and hatred.

Robinson Crusoe is the name of the main character in the story. When he was young, he was hungry for adventures and despite his father's advice, he set out for the sea. But he was not destined to be a sailor. He went from bad to worse every time he sailed to sea. Once, he set himself in Brazil, and owned a plantation. But the adventurous soul still rages inside him that he set out again to the sea, and this time, the sea was not so merciful to him.

He was shipwrecked and landed in an uninhabited island. There he had to strive to live. But for me personally, it's the best adventure that he had in all his life. He hunted, tamed goats, sew, made candles, canoes, and potteries. He even became a farmer, and learned all trades he needed to stay alive and make the best of his condition. But the most important thing is, in that island, he learned to be content with what he had and not to overly focus on his miserable condition. Instead, he learned to be grateful for what he had and to get closer to God. Reading about his thoughts and anxieties during his life on the island brings me into deep contemplation. His life there makes me think about the things most important in my life.

After his solitary life, he found out that the island is frequently visited by savages, who used it as a ceremony place of some kind, where they would take their prisoners and eat them up there. Euh. It made Crusoe so frightened, but in time, he could get one of their prisoners to his side. His name was Friday. This man later became his most trustworthy servant and friend, most loyal and faithful to him. Not long after he saved two other prisoners, a Spanish and another native. Then more came. This time some Englishmen who at last brought him back to his homeland – not without much trouble.

At last, quoting the book, “I might well say now, indeed, that the latter end of Job better than the beginning.” Crusoe found out that his friends and business partners had been loyal and honest to him. He ended up being rich and happy, grateful with all that he had – except perhaps still a thirst for adventures somewhere in the corner of his heart.

This book is a lesson of gratitude, of contentment, and of positive thinking. This book shows us what we really need compared to what we think we need, what really precious compared to what people think precious. The book also teaches us to believe in people, to believe that even the most strange people and different from us are the same deep inside. That people keep goodness inside them. I love it.

I will put and analyse some quotes from the book in later weeks. The book is most incredible in its imagination, its thrill and excitement, and its moral lesson. Again, I'm so happy to finish the book. It will stand high in my regards, always.  

Weekend Quote #38

“Who loveth once, must love alway.”
Still Euripides' Trojan Women. It also surprises me how many quotes touched my heart from such a short play. Hecuba tells Menelaus not to bring Helen on the same ship as he, because then he won't have the heart to kill the lady. Well, we know well enough from Odysseus that Helen regains her position as Menelaus' beloved wife instead of being killed as Menelaus promised to Hecuba.

I feel so touched by what she said, how love is hard to forget. So many other writers wrote the same idea. Shakespeare says “Love is not love which alters when alteration finds.” Mercedes also said to Monte Cristo that one can only love once. Even Pushkin's brave and resolute “I loved you” is succeeded by a weaker phrase, “and perhaps I love you still.”

It's a good thing and a bad thing, to love so hard and so long. When requited, eternal love will make eternal bliss and happiness. When not, eternal torment. Haha. Happily, we can always move on. I think love is not like a star that fixes its place in the universe, but like a plant in the garden that can blossom and die when we see most fit to make it so. Still, love will leave a mark, somewhere in the corner of our hearts, when we loved somebody.

That's the quote I want to share with you this weekend. I invite you to share yours. :D

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

It's All Greek to Me

For this month's meme for Let's Read Plays, I'd like to share some things that I learned from mythology class on Coursera last year. That is, the special things about Greek plays, and the way they are, or rather, were, performed.

In Greek plays, the time they are performed on stage represents the real time in the story as well. So in Greek plays, only critical short time of the story is chosen to be acted on stage. The background story is told in short time either by the chorus or the players, but not acted.

In Greek theatre, the performers use masks to emphasize the facial expression and the gravity and density of the play itself. All the actors are male, including the players for ladies. Aha. The theatres, as we can still see today, at least the remaining of them, are located in the open air, but in semi-circular shape that gives great acoustic and good sound quality – which is important, since there was no microphone back then.

On the stage, there is a backdrop, or a wall, creating a backstage where players can change costumes. In the middle of it, there's a door. This door is like a window to the dramatic things that are not to be performed on stage, for example killing. Those parts are done behind the door.

And there's the chorus. Chorus is a bunch of people somewhere between the players and the audience whose role is to connect the audience with the players. So sometimes the chorus addresses the players, and sometimes the audience. I think it's very interesting to have something like that. It's perhaps like a commentator in football match.

That's all I would like to share with you. I got all this material when I took the Mythology class in So if you're interested in Greek and Roman myth, just enroll to that class. See you next month.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Event: Once Upon A Time VII

I know I'm kind of late for this event. I found it on my blog roll yesterday and thought that it would be a great idea to read fairy tales and fantasies.

So, despite my tight reading schedule, I commit myself into this challenge and hope I will be able to finish at least a book fitting the genre.

Please visit Stainless Steel Droppings to find more about this challenge and to join yourself.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Weekend Quote #37

I have not so much as hope, the last resource of every human heart, nor do I beguile myself with dreams of future bliss, the very thought whereof is sweet.”

Another sad quote from Andromache in The Trojan Women. She compared herself with Polyxena, whom she thought had better fate than she because Polyxena had died, and therefore, felt no pain anymore while she had to live without hope.

But I love how she mentioned hope as 'the last resource of every human heart', because, yes, it is. Hope is so precious, something that we can still have even when we have lost all other things. When somebody loses his/her hope, the effect is paralytic. Therefore never, ever, lose your hope. It's a resource that will help you go through many sufferings and disasters in this world.

That's all from me. Please share yours below or through the linky.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Five on A Treasure Island: Nostalgia

Blimey! It has been such a long, long time since the last time I read any of the Famous Five Series. I read that (translated into Bahasa Indonesia) long before Sherlock Holmes. My mother recommended it to me. I found one in a book rental and read it eagerly. Perhaps Enid Blyton's Famous Five was the thing that made me such a lover of adventures and mysteries tales, rather than romance, for example.

Enough of that. Now to the book itself. Five on a Treasure Island is the first novel of the series. It tells us about the adventure of the siblings Julian, Dick, and Anne, together with their cousin George and her dog Tim on an island called Kirrin – an ordinary island with rabbits and ruins. That was before they found the map to a treasure somewhere underground.

I admire Enid Blyton for her grand imagination, her ideas of countless tales and adventures and her ability of putting those into simple words – so simple that even children could understand it. As you go from page to page, you find yourself stolen into the book itself. The pace of the events doesn't give room to any boredom and you can finish the book in just one go.

I read this book for the first time before I was 10 (I'm not quite sure, but when I was 12 or 13 I started Sherlock Holmes so it must be some years before that). I think kids from 8 y.o or 9 y.o may read it for fun. It's easy, and the story brings new, exciting, and good experience to young minds. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Happy Prince and Other Tales: For Children or Not For Children

This book consists of five short stories intended for children (sort of), though whether they are or not for children is exactly what I'm going to write about today. But I will write about only three of them. I cannot find it in my heart to read The Devoted Friend again and not interested to read Remarkable Rocket. So, here are three of the five.

The Happy Prince
This story is about a statue of a prince that was sad because he couldn't help the people in the city. As the winter approached, he met a swallow who agreed to help him day after day. The prince sacrificed himself for people's sake, losing his eyes and the gold that covered his body to help the poor. The swallow had so great affection for the prince that he wouldn't leave him alone. Unfortunately, the people show little gratitude for what the prince had done for them.

I would recommend this story for kids above 12 y.o. The nature of the story might be less appropriate for younger readers.

Nightingale and the Rose
The story is about a young scholar who was in love with a girl – his professor's daughter – and wanted to ask her to be his dancing partner. But she said she would dance with him only if he could get her a red rose. A nightingale overheard this and was resolved to get a rose for him. The nightingale tried to find the rose but couldn't. Then she learned that the only way to get a red rose Is by sacrificing her life. She did that, claiming that “love is better than life”. In the morning, the scholar got his red rose and presented it to his lady. But she refused it, saying that another guy had given her a jewel, therefore she would dance with him instead. The scholar threw the rose away and was determined not to love again.

Almost like the Happy Prince, this story is far from happy ending story, and also only appripriage for older children, I'd say 12 y.o.

The Selfish Giant
The story is about a giant living in a castle. At first he didn't want to let the children play in his garden, but he got all year long winter and the other seasons didn't want to visit his garden. One day, he saw children playing in his garden and thought it was beautiful. He realised what a selfish person he had been all along. He saw a child trying to climb a tree but couldn't, so he helped him, and the child thanked him and kissed him. Although from that day onwards he let the children play, he never saw again the kid who had kissed him. Before he died, the kid returned, and asked him to join him in Paradise.

I truly love this story. Perhaps it is the most suitable for children of youngest age. I'd say kids from 5 y.o onwards can read the story without any damage done to their mind or heart.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Weekend Quote #36

“'Tis all one, I say, ne'er to have been born and to be dead, and better far is death than life with misery. For the dead feel no sorrow any more and know no grief; but he who has known prosperity and has fallen on evil days feels his spirit straying from the scene of former joys.”

I don't know why this quote sits so in my heart. Perhaps I watch too much of Hamlet that I'm somehow infected with his melancholy.

I love Andromache. She's a fine woman. When she weeps about her misery and wishes for death, I cannot bear it. I read truth in her words, that in respect of pain, death is so much more painless than life. I cannot help thinking about what Hamlet says in one of his great monologues:

“And by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.”

When we are sad, it's so easy for us to think that death is far better. “To die; to sleep.” And about not being born, doesn't the book of Ecclesiates from the Bible say as much, 'it's better the dead than the living, but better still the ones that not yet born'?

And yet, when we are happy, and in sober mind, is there anything we want better than to stay so – happily alive?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Hollow Needle: Much Reason to be Mad over It

I don't always hate an author. I seldom hate any author. Really. Not even Shakespeare, who made such  sad tragedies where youngsters and lovers die. No, not even Oscar Wilde who wrote Nightingale and the Rose and the Devoted Friend, enough nightmare for the children who read them. Not even Conan Doyle who murdered the most brilliant detective in human history just because he's tired of him. But I really am mad about Leblanc.

The Hollow Needle tells one of Lupin's adventures, starting from the theft of Rubens, to a bigger matter, even to the headquarters of Lupin himself. Lupin didn't even guess that he would find a match in a young curious schoolboy. But even though Isidore, the young adversary, might thought that he could beat Lupin and claim the victory, he must bear in mind that people don't mess with Arsene Lupin – the gentlemen thief.

This is the second Arsene Lupin book I read. I must admit that is is far, far better than the one I read last – Eight Strokes of the Clock – which is ultimately boring and uninteresting. This one is more vigorous and adventurous. And I love how Leblanc keep us in safe distant from Arsene Lupin. If Sherlock puzzles us with his silence, Lupin puzzles us because we simply don't know where he is or what's he doing.

Now to the things I hate.

First, Holmlock Shears from London. Guess who he is. I just cannot stand how Leblanc puts such a conspicuous clone of Sherlock Holmes and alters everything about him. He doesn't even resemble Sherlock, apart from his name. He just feels like a dumb detective, proving to the world than Lupin is the greatest criminal in the world.

Second, no. It would be a spoiler. But I just hate the ending. It feels almost like Dorian Grey. But what makes it even more obnoxious is the fact than Holmlock Shears plays a grand part in it. There. That's enough saying.

I know I start to sound like a whining fangirl right now, but I'm terribly annoyed by Leblanc this time. Good news, I start to like Arsene. I really do. He is charming, and smart, with a little bit of annoying attitude every now and then. Also, I love his taste of women and art. Nevertheless, I say it again, me and Leblanc are definitely on war against each other. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bad Translation: Much Ado About Nothing, Final Scene

Ini gara-gara video yang aku sertakan di sini. Sebenernya ga pake translasi juga udah kocak banget. Cuma karena iseng saya bikin translasinya juga. Silakan dinikmati.

Benedick: David Tennant
Beatrice: Catherine Tate

Which is Beatrice?
Mana Beatrice?
[Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?
[lepas topeng/veil/atau apa pun prop-nya deh] Aku. Kamu mau apa?
Do not you love me?
Kamu ga cinta aku?
Why, no; no more than reason.
Nggak. Biasa aja.
Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
Have been deceived; they swore you did.
Berarti pamanmu, si pangeran, dan Claudio udah ketipu dong. Mereka sumpah kamu cinta aku.
Do not you love me?
Lho, bukannya kamu yang cinta aku?
Troth, no; no more than reason.
Nggak lah; biasa aja.
Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.
Berarti sepupuku, Margaret, dan Ursula juga ketipu dong, mereka sumpah kamu cinta aku.
They swore that you were almost sick for me.
Mereka bilang kamu setengah mati sayang sama aku.
They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
Mereka bilang kamu cinta mati sama aku.
'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
Yang bener aja. Jadi kamu ga cinta aku?
No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
Nggak, cuma temen aja.
Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
Udah deh, aku tahu kamu cinta cowok ini.
And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
Dan aku sumpah dia juga suka kamu. Ini ada tulisan tangannya. Puisi-puisian yang dia karang sendiri buat Beatrice.
And here's another
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.
Ini ada lagi, tulisannya Beatrice, aku curi dari sakunya, berisi rasa sayangnya buat Benedick.
A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
Ajaib bener ya! Tangan kita bisa nulis sendiri.
Udahlah sini, aku nikahin kamu. Tapi cuma gara-gara kasihan aja.
I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield
upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.
Aku ga nolak. Tapi aku nyerah cuma biar kamu ga mati patah hati aja.
Peace! I will stop your mouth.
(Kissing her)

Hush! Jangan berisik.
(cium Beatrice)

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Trojan Women: Mother and Daughters

The Trojan Women by Euripides opens with a meeting between Poseidon and Athena, two deities that agree to bring calamities upon Troy conquerors, who are so sure about themselves. The story then moves to the Trojan women, namely, Hecuba the queen and her daughters and daughter-in-law.

Hecuba mourned the death of her husband and sons, then inquired what would happen to her and her daughters. Talthybius, the messenger, informed her that Cassandra would be Agamemnon's wife, Andromache would be Neoptolemus' (also known as Phyrrus) wife, Polyxena would serve at Achiles' tomb, and she would be Odysseus' slave.

Then Cassandra came, bearing a prophecy of Agamemnon's death and riot in his family, she also prophesied that Odyssus would face so many troubles on his way home and that Hecuba herself would die in Troy (but due to her curse, of course no one believed her).

Next Andromache came, with her son Astyanax. She told Hecuba that Polyxena was dead. She wailed her fate of becoming Phyrrus' wife, fearing that by becoming another's she betrayed the memory of her husband, Hector. Hecuba encouraged her to continue her life. Talthybis came back, telling them that Astyanax should be put to death. Andromache complied with a heavy heart.

After that, Menelaus came, taking Helen back with him to Sparta. He promised Hecuba that he would kill her, but we know better.

Overall, this is perhaps the most touching Greek play I've ever laid my hands on. The emotion expressed, especially by Hecuba and Andromache, touches me deeply. It might be because I myself am a woman, I can relate more to these ladies than to the heroes (fond as I am of them). Perhpas my favourite part is Andromache's words when she bewails her fate and weeps for Hector, whilst remembering that she would soon be Phyrrus' wife.

And if I set aside my love for Hector, and ope my heart to this new lord, I shall appear a traitress to the dead, while, if I hate him, I shall incur my master's displeasure. And yet they say a single night removes a woman's dislike for her husband; nay, I do hate the woman who, when she hath lost her former lord, transfers her love by marrying another. Not e'en the horse, if from his fellow torn, will cheerfully draw the yoke; and yet the brutes have neither speech nor sense to help them, and are by nature man's inferiors. O Hector mine! in thee I found a husband amply dowered with wisdom, noble birth and fortune, a brave man and a mighty; whilst thou didst take me from my father's house a spotless bride, thyself the first to make this maiden wife. But now death hath claimed thee, and I to Hellas am soon to sail, a captive doomed to wear the yoke of slavery.

I'd give this play a great applause, could I watch it on stage.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Les Miserables: Grantaire and Enjolras - More than Friends?

I saw this discussion on Goodreads, and I was actually going to answer it right away there, but I realised that my answer has become too long. This is indeed an interesting issue, especially if you watch what the fans are doing in Tumblr. Somehow Enjolras/Grantaire has become increasingly popular. Is it true, though, that they are more than friends? Here's my opinion.

I seriously disagree with those who think that they are homosexuals. No! But their relationship is of course special, from a point that their beliefs are as far as the north to the south.

Honestly, what is more important and interesting from the Friends of the ABC aside from their differences in opinions and ideologies and still, they fight together for the things they believe in. Combeferre believes in education, Courfeyrac in human being, and so on. Without that aspect, the Friends would be no more than a bunch of kids hanging out in a cafe, chatting and having fun. But the fact that they believe and fight for what they believe in, makes them special.

Enjolras is one side of the extreme. His whole life revolves around the Republic. His mother is the Republic, his mistress is Patria. What could be clearer than that? Leave alone love, he doesn't even care about his life when it comes to the nation.

Enjolras' brightness and radiance attract Grantaire. He's a nihilist. He doesn't want to believe in ANYTHING – except Enjolras. Enjolras is capable of being a leader and of inspiring people that all his friends – even Grantaire – see him as a great person. Rather than 'love', it's more like idolatry, or even 'fanboying' of some sort. Enjolras, on the other hand, despises Grantaire's lack of belief, and hates his comments about others'.

That's it.

What makes it sounds so "romantic" is of course the fact that this admiration is not mutual. The story now becomes, "Grantaire loves Enjolras deeply but he doesn't seem to care, whilst deep inside Enjolras loves him all the same." It's not canon, and not likely to happen, even in alternate universe, if both Enjolras and Grantaire stay true to their characters.

Another thing that support the 'theory' that there might be something between them is the musical. On stage, some Enjolras become extremely friendly with Grantaire. It's not Hugo-supported, and it is done so on stage to express the weird friendship between the two, just like Grantaire's lines "will the world remember you when you fall/can it be your death means nothing at all/is your life just one more lie" are put there to make it clear that Grantaire doesn't believe in any of those.

Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser as Enjolras and Grantaire
in Les Miserables musical
“But they died holding hands,” some might say. Isn't it touching? Very. I'd proudly say that I cried reading it. For once, and the last time, Enjolras views Grantaire as a worthy friend. Is it “romantic”? Read the passage in 16th century view point. It's not even close.

I seriously think people should re-consider what they think about those best-friendships in literature. I've seen people talking about Sherlock and Watson, using ACD's 19th century vocabulary as a proof ('intimate relationship' and so on). At this point, we only need another film played by good-looking actors to make Caesar/Antony or Hamlet/Horatio relationship romantic.  

Friday, 8 March 2013

Book Blogger Hop: March 8th -14th

What is your favourite book set in a different country than the one that you live in?

I mostly read books from other countries anyway, so it's kind of difficult. But if I really have to choose, right now it's

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This is my first time participating. Hope I'll be able to participate in later weeks. (Click the picture for info.)  

Weekend Quote #35

“I may turn out an intellectual, but I'll never write anything but mediocre poetry.”

Still from This Side of Paradise by Fitzgerald. This is a quote by Amory Blaine, which is himself a pretty good poet, and better reader.

This quote has nothing to do with except for the fact that I also feel that I won't be able to write anything beyond mediocre – be it poetry or prose. The more I read, the more I feel worthless. Those great people – Shakespeare, Pushkin, Dumas, Hugo, and other great writers – make me feel like a dwarf among giants.

Okay. Something too much of this. That's the quote I want to share with you, and please share yours with me. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Character Thursday: Amory Blaine

It has been a long time since my last Character Thursday, hasn't it? I choose Amory as my victim of character examination today. Why Amory? Well, I have quite scrutinized Richard III the other day, and I don't find anyone else as interesting as Amory for the thing.

Amory is the main character of Fitzgerald's novel, This Side of Paradise (which I have just finished several days ago). Because the novel talks mainly about the development of Amory's thoughts and character, it gives us the experience of looking into somebody's mind.

Amory is a charming, good-looking fellow, raised in a not-so-harmonious family. His mother, however, loves him dearly and they had the most charming mother-son relationship, even as Amory grew older. Also another adult with close relationship with Amory is Monsignor Darcy. He again and again convinced Amory that he was doing fine and that he was capable of good things.

Amory claims himself to be a romantic. He says that being romantic means having 'desperate confidence that things won't last.' At the end of the novel, he also claims to be an egotist and a socialist. But for me, personally, all his philosophy seems to be immature and insecure. He's not really sure about is anyway.

Amory's social life is also interesting. He has good friends, those who share his thoughts, or share his room. These friends of him influenced him sometimes in grand capacity, but sometimes only in minor matter. I especially love Tom and Burne. Tom displays intelligence and shares Amory's love for literature while Burne shows determination and strongly believes in his ideology, no matter how weird or different it is from others.

Now to his romantic life. Amory is good with women (sort of) but not good with relationship. There are girls such as Isabelle and Rosalind, but none of them sees Amory as a proper husband. Good for a boyfriend, but not for family life. Amory's life was practically over when Rosalind dumped him. He's still a young man after all.

Perhaps the things I love most about Amory are these: (1) he's an omnivorous reader, (2) he reads, recites and writes poems, and good ones too, (3) immature as they may, he builds his convictions and beliefs upon what he has read/know.

That's all I want to share with you guys. Have a nice week.

Character Thursday
Adalah book blog hop di mana setiap blog memposting tokoh pilihan dalam buku yang sedang atau telah dibaca selama seminggu terakhir (judul atau genre buku bebas).
- Kalian bisa menjelaskan mengapa kalian suka/benci tokoh itu, sekilas kepribadian si tokoh, atau peranannya dalam keseluruhan kisah.
- Jangan lupa mencantumkan juga cover buku yang tokohnya kalian ambil.
- Kalau buku itu sudah difilmkan, kalian juga bisa mencantumkan foto si tokoh dalam film, atau foto aktor/aktris yang kalian anggap cocok dengan kepribadian si tokoh.
Syarat Mengikuti :
1. Follow blog Fanda Classiclit sebagai host, bisa lewat Google Friend Connect (GFC) atau sign up via e-mail (ada di sidebar paling kanan). Dengan follow blog ini, kalian akan selalu tahu setiap kali blog ini mengadakan Character Thursday Blog Hop.
2. Letakkan button Character Thursday Blog Hop di posting kalian atau di sidebar blog, supaya follower kalian juga bisa menemukan blog hop ini. Kodenya bisa diambil di kotak di button.
3. Buat posting dengan menyertakan copy-paste “Character Thursday” dan “Syarat Mengikuti” ke dalam postingmu.
3. Isikan link (URL) posting kalian ke Linky di bawah ini. Cantumkan nama dengan format: Nama blogger @ nama blog, misalnya: Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit.
4. Jangan lupa kunjungi blog-blog peserta lain, dan temukan tokoh-tokoh pilihan mereka. Dengan begini, wawasan kita akan bertambah juga dengan buku-buku baru yang menarik

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Keats and Shakespeare Expressing Disappointment in Love

This thing just came to me this morning. I was scrolling down the 'Shakespeare' tag on my tumblr, trying my best to be patient with quotes wrongly attributed to Shakespeare. Then Keats' poem ran through my brain. Alright, just the first line of it, but I'll put all of them here anyway. It's very beautiful.

You say you love; but with a voice
Chaster than a nun's, who singeth
The soft Vespers to herself
While the chime-bell ringeth -
O love me truly! 
You say you love; but with a smile
Cold as sunrise in September,
As you were Saint Cupid's nun,
And kept his weeks of Ember.
O love me truly! 
You say you love - but then your lips
Coral tinted teach no blisses.
More than coral in the sea -
They never pout for kisses -
O love me truly! 
You say you love; but then your hand
No soft squeeze for squeeze returneth,
It is like a statue's dead -
While mine to passion burneth -
O love me truly!
O breathe a word or two of fire!
Smile, as if those words should burn be,
Squeeze as lovers should - O kiss
And in thy heart inurn me!
O love me truly!

The first, second, and fifth stanzas are my favourite, personally. But then I felt that I have read something of a similar tone, but more bitter, somewhere in my huge Shakespeare Complete Works. Then I remembered.

Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask dye to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she joined,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coined,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She framed the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bade love last, and yet she fell a-turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.

It's from The Passionate Pilgrim, widely attributed to Shakespeare, although many people also contributed to the work. I have personal experience with this poem. One of my loved ones once experienced the poet's feeling exactly, and I wrote this over and over again, just to release the disappointment I felt as well. It's one of my way to express empathy.

Well, sometimes it's fun, reading something with broken-hearted tone in it. Or perhaps I read and watch too much tragedy.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Weekend Quote #34

"I'm not sentimental – I'm as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last – the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won't.”

Taken from Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, the idea of this sentence occurs at least two times, although in different words. It's cute, I think, the way Amory describes his philosophy. He doesn't have so much time thinking about it, yet he believe that it's true.

For me, personally, it's so sceptical to think that things won't last – no, not romantic. But true, it's not very wise to believe that all the good things will last forever. We need a balance between both. It reminds me of the quote I chose last week, about how despair and hope can both make us mad.

That's the thing from me this week. Anything to share?

LRP March Meme: What's so Greek about It?

“But for mine own part, it was Greek to me” - Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

Another relief from Shakespeare. With so many Shakespeares we read in this event, maybe we will start speaking Shakespeare at the end of October. Well, at least the insults come in handy. The quote above is just one example.

Now, plays have been one form of entertainment since long before Shakespeare. So this month we will go backwards, far before the Bard, long before Richard III and Julius Caesar. We will read the Greek plays and have fun with them.

One problem with Greek plays: they are not Shakespeare. That's the point. What's the point of reading Greek if it still smells Shakespeare? Yet their being Greek makes quite a lot of differences. That's what this month's meme is all about. We will discuss the differences of Greek plays with the ones we have been reading these last few months.

As usual, here are some helping questions:
  • What do you think is so exclusive to Greek plays which we don't find in other kinds of plays?
  • What do you like (or hate) from them?
  • How did they do it long ago? What's the most interesting in its culture?
There. Please leave a link to your post below. I'd be happy to read what you think about Greek plays. Have fun.