ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Time to rekindle my participation in milae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge [1500words]

I’m way overdue for continuing this (and plenty of other previously planned blogging intentions). Never mind.

I’m still not managing linear reading well and struggle to retain what I’m reading as I journey longform, so dip in and out of stories rather than read from front to end. I’ve probably not finished reading any of the books I mentioned in any previous posts for this and definitely haven’t got as far as any writing on any of them.

The challenge host, milae has reviewed the book read during February and made an excellent post.

I’m beginning to think that writing book reviews is just way out of my league and so I’ll continue admiring in awe those more able and take part slightly differently. My efforts have always received warm welcome and I’ve missed doing this during absences.

Anyway, as I’m a scatty and sporadic reader, this month I hope to focus on four books pictured below).

arrangement of four books

Four books I hope to focus on this month

I’ll definitely be able to cope with starting and finishing the first book: ‘Our plane’ written by Beatrice Phillpotts and illustrated by Margaret Souza. It was first published in 1987 © Templar Publishing Ltd and first published in Great Britain by Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd (also 1987).

This edition I bought in a bargain bookstore – for new surplus stock and cut-price books with plenty of print errors in some of them – so I probably bought this for my eldest child by about 1993 or thereabouts and it probably cost about 99p or £2 or less at the time. I’d guess for this kind of product in that type of shop (still trading today) the retail prices have probably remained quite similar even after all these years, but I haven’t been to town to recently to check that fact before writing this post.

back cover of the young children's book, 'Our plane' showing a boy and girl looking out of the window at a white bird, maybe a dove.

from the back cover of the young children’s book, ‘Our plane’

This edition (copyright 1987, as detailed in previous paragraph) was published in 1990 by Award Publications Ltd (London) and printed in Singapore. So boy did that book travel a long way and have a large carbon footprint. I don’t recall sight of any errors in the text though. I did however ponder upon how many times in the story I would feel a need to adjust my reading of the tale these days, if I were reading it to any of my grand-children. There seemed to be many sticking points along the way where I felt things needed rephrasing and were somehow less appropriate than i might have noticed as a young parent. It remains however a beautifully illustrated and well-told tale even if the characters are stereotypically: one boy, one girl, mum and dad, white family.

I have already re-read this story recently and have read it many, many times in the past with my children when they were young. I expect I must have added conversation about home safety with the reading of the story as two children play at making a plane by balancing a surf board across an ironing board to pretend it’s a plane and make an imaginary journey. Surf boards aren’t common household and leisure items owned by British families usually, so my guess is it’s an American story and I assume I realised that at the time I bought it. I can imagine myself leafing through to check the text for appropriate English spelling before buying. It has only universal English words where there would be no difference. What I didn’t notice at the time was the potential (small) racism contained in the story, in portraying desert people as ‘desert bandits’. I expect we talked about that while reading it too.

That’s not to say I won’t happily buy from American authors when I know it’s probably gonna be American English cos they can’t be bothered translating to proper English for their audience (or don’t know how and can’t afford translation costs) and as a reader I can just take a red pen and correct all the translation issues needed, explore meanings and make notes when I simply don’t understand what looks like the same language but sometimes isn’t. I suppose that’s what Americans do with our English, when they’re not trying to claim English as theirs (so ours is Anglisch is it? Well, if we’re descended from Angls, it could be…

As a paragraph previously track-pad-glitched to the-system, and I’m getting exhausted, I’m drawing a close here quite soon. Is what I was telling myself at that point.

Book number two, so far, is a fantastic book for children and an interesting easy-read for adults like me who just wanted to check for myself if it’s suitable reading before maybe passing it on or keeping it to read with grandchildren. First published in 1989, it’s cover price of £2.99 seems fair and it’s about what I’d expect to pay for a book of it’s small size (approx 130 pages, quite large print), even nowadays, although I sourced this from the fund-raising charity book sale quite a many moon ago now and I’d be happy if I paid £3.99 for it, as it seems very good quality writing. This is ‘Hippo Ghost’ by Lance Salway, ISBN: 0-590-13599-6 (I took the photo below of the front cover of the book and this shows my shadow over it. I like how that shadow fits with the subject matter of the story so far – I hope to manage reading this book through to the end during this month! – I also hope the author and publisher don’t object to my use of appropriative method, but my photo being low-resolution, illustrative, in context, and I assume Fair Use, as per all the images I’m using in this post. (As a personal, hobbyist blogger).

front cover of Lance Salway's Hippo Ghost, a book for younger readers - cover design overcast by my shadow as I took the photo

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The third book, Oliver Twist is from a collection of about eight retold classics, bought for my eldest, never read by him, nor my youngest nor any between. As I found when I unpacked them from their stuff from their childhoods being kept at my house, these books still appear mostly untouched. But even for me, trying to read and understand ‘Oliver Twist’, again it’s probably the same issue: American language. And it’s uncomfortable when the authentic English voice of the story is lost, although it’s ok in most parts, but it causes stumbling blocks and confusion. I’d seen these sets of books in the same bookstore as the first book, at knockdown price of £4.99, previous RRP £9.99, maybe during the mid-1990s; my eldest received these as a gift about twenty years ago. This adaptation is ©1969 and this edition quoting a 1988 copyright act; it states it was ‘Printed in India. Reproduced in the UK.’ I’m not quite sure what that means. Really? As there is a ‘no unauthorised act in relation to this publication or…’ stipulation and as I do not recommend this text for British children and have no due regard nor respect for this product whatsoever I am not giving any detail at all. Not for fear of that ridiculously unprofessional clause, but so as not to inflict those particular books upon any other British English reader. Does the Trade Descriptions Act not apply to publishing industries when generating such misleading sales to consumers in the UK?

I’ll be making  a separate post (elsewhere) sometime in the future, exploring the irony of this issue. If you are a Charles Dickens fan, you’re probably already aware of plenty of things I am yet finding to be interested in. The Gutenberg Project has many files pertaining to Charles Dickens and I assume most of them to be authentic texts but have already found one there that is so unlikely to be by THE Charles Dickens and has to simply be by an American author of the same name, so that was disappointing, but has to be expected really.

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Finally, an old favourite, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Until I picked it up again recently I’d have swore the first chapter was ‘Shopping’ and had completely forgotten the gymnasium scene. I read this several times but want to delve into the detail of the story again, particularly the ‘PRAYVAGANZA’ scenes, as I don’t remember those featuring in the film, but could be wrong. I aim to check it against the film eventually as I should still have the VHS in a box here somewhere. Another thing for the evergrowing endless toDo list.

I thought I first read this book during A-level class as a teenager back in the mid-1980s, but my copy here is from 1993 when I tried A-level Literature evening class (completed the book, not the class – the teacher objected to teaching non-English authors in English literature class and wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved, rushing through and deriding it. At the time I thought that was daft as the exam title was ‘Literature’ and not ‘English Literature’. I wasn’t incentivised to resolve childcare and transport issues to continue the class and obtain my exam. Anyway, the language used is British English style in the main and I never had any stumbling over variant English differences with this text.

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6 with a quote from Conor Cruise O'Brien stating 'moving, vivid nd terrifying. I only hope it is not prophetic.'

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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silly text to input, forgetting the point


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Not in my wildest imagination…

Not in my wildest imagination would I ever have guessed that drinking less coffee for a few days trying to make the last jar last longer, then being deprived of coffee for three days until I could obtain groceries, would immediately result in my first insomniac phase of this last few weeks (while thoroughly physically exhausted and fairly incapable). Being ‘atypical’ / typically ME again…

a slightly abstract pencil drawing by Colette Bates in her 1995 art studies sketchbook, composed with angular lines depicting a hexagonal shaped head and upper body; the face has closed, eyes and a strange, weary expression.

drawing (mine) circa. 1995 – a page in my half-filled A6 sketchbook from art school days.

Not in my wildest imagination, back in 1995, would I ever have pictured my life as it is here and now, all these 23 years later! However, that is not the point of my making this post…

NB: potential trigger warning – if you are sensitive or in distress, you might not want to read some of my reflections and rants about the traumas of the world and persons. Nothing worse than you might see or hear in the news, perhaps – no image triggers but the text might remain highly-strung /over-wraught while i’m not well-practised editing my own writing yet and lacking somewhat in the field of objectivity, versus subjectivity that is. I have objects enough.

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Smiles (Shutterbug Showcase)

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SAM_1310cr

Family photos circa 1975-1990, selected and framed by my mother (pictured twice, above right)

Whilst deeply saddened for the recent loss of my mother (back in April), and the long ago loss of my father, they smile in my memories and their love still remains.

Smiles is the prompt for this week’s ‘Shutterbug Showcase’ event over at Blogger’s World (participation  criteria here). Featured this week is a post by blogger surbhisachdeva89  reflecting on time together as a family. Her photo is a fab take on the prompt, please do visit her post and maybe take part yourself too (- post on your own blog with a pingback to this week’s feature – responses can be photo(s)/writing…) You might also like to check out surbhisachdev89’s personal blog, Writing Belly.

(I snapped the photo for this post this morning, finding it almost impossible to obtain a clear, reflection-free image. An alternative version of this photo/post might appear at a later time on my other blog, The Wishing Well, where I might catch up with some of the previous prompts I’ve yet to post for – if ever I can get my blogging brain back up to former snail~speed!)

 

 


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Saturday’s special…with Lunar Tides

kurtquote200216~

Today would have been Kurt Cobain’s 49th birthday. It’s a time to rejoice in his ever having lived at all and for the gift he was to the world. He also apparently said:

“If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on.”

I found the quotes used for this post during today’s research at brainyquote.com, (toward my guestpost here, but not using this quote) then happened across the images used for his post, including to make the picture-quote, during research at pixabay.com (toward my Leap into…pix day 5 post, again, not using these particular images).

rainbow-67902_1920

I almost applied the ‘light’ quote to this image instead, but thought the moon version more appropriate – what do you think?

Anyway, back to the point of ever making this post… another of the quotes (from Brainyquote.com), attributed to Kurt Cobain is: “If there was a Rock Star 101, I would have liked to take it. It might have helped me.”

WordPress / DailyPost / BloggingU team, will you ever be offering a RockStar101? I don’t expect so – and I’m still waiting for further news of Websites101 and Blogging301 (CSS)…

Wouldn’t it have been great if there’d been things like online streaming in the early days of Nirvana? Maybe there was, in smaller circles, and I’ve just been a dinosaur for too long…

Anyway, I’m very grateful for Blogging101 and other 101classes for meeting fantastic peope around the world, like Lydia – many of you might have bumped into her in class and know her as aidyl93.

Lydia’s having a blogging hiatus at the moment, but there’s lots to browse at her blog in the meantime. Last Saturday was #InternetFriendsDay, and I caught up with Lydia at Twitter, just in time for the live streaming announcement for the band she plays with, Lunar Tides.

Sadly, it was the last live gig the band were broadcasting at TwitchTV for a while – but the good news is that they’re busy recording their first CD – I hope I’m near the front of the queue to get mine and that overseas shipping will be do-able.

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping up-to-date with news from Lunar Tides, looking out for vlog announcements and crossing my fingers for that CD heading my way one fine summer’s day 🙂

I’m a glutton for souvenirs, and as I enjoyed being part of the livestream audience, I snapped a couple of screenshots of the gig. Many thanks to Lunar Tides for making music and making their live gigs accessible – and thanks again for permission to use these screenshots in my post.

luntides140216f

luntides140216g

That’s Lucas at the back on drums and vocals (says he’s really a guitarist, but makes a fine vocalist, drummer and front-man from the back of the set), Lydia playing bass guitar and at front-right Randy on guitar and vocals. Lunar Tides write and perform their own music and the couple of times I’ve managed to catch their live stream show I really enjoyed it. It just happened to be their evening time but my early hours of the morning, or I might have turned up every week.

Thanks again Lunar Tides, I may be missing your live-stream, but yet again you just helped make my Saturday special 🙂

[I have to return and update links later!]


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Authors Who Made History: Jean Genet

Bit carried away making a longread for my first guest post at Blogger’s World for today’s weekly #authorstory feature…

I realised after posting that 2011 marked 25 years since Jean Genet died and that will probably be why his life and work became the subject of a contemporary art exhibition. I then of course also realised that in April this year is 30 years since Genet’s death…

I am aware that most readers who catch sight of my post are not going to be rushing over to read 2k more words! So, I bring here to the top my top pick of the links I shared in my essay…

Even if you have limited or no understanding of the French language, if you have 25 minutes and 16seconds to spare, this reading of Genet’s poem ‘Le condamné a mort’ with music is superb.

Or, you might prefer a four minute listen to the Dire Straits song, ‘Les Boys’, a post-humous-tribute to Genet…

Before I go too much further increasing the combined word-count even more…

giacometti-genet~

Giacometti’s 1954 sketch of Genet

… if I were forced to limit to just one more top-pick-link to share something of Genet with you, then it would just have to be Nottingham Contemporary’s Genet exhibition guide (pdf) from summer 2011 – oh, and this webpage from the gallery too, because it shows extra pics from the exhibition… mostly not of Genet, but of contemporary artists’ works inspired by Genet.

If you prefer a standard chronological type biography and list of works, then I think you should find one by clicking the hyperlinked ‘Genet’ in the title of my post below. Cheers for reading 🙂

P.S. If my tags seem inappropriate it’s because they apply to the essay as a whole, not just the reblog portion….

Blogger's World!

A personal essay – An Introduction to Genet

“To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance.” Jean Genet, from The Thief’s Journal, 1949.

JeanGenet-HansKoechler1983-cropped French writer Jean Genet, born in Paris, December 19, 1910 and returned to Paris shortly before his death. He was found dead aged 75 years, on 15th April, 1986, in his room at Hotel Jacks, not far from the clinic where he had been born.

Although Genet had been ill with throat cancer for many years, it is believed he died after falling in his hotel room and hitting his head.

“… Genet’s own death, intimately anticipated, still caught him violently by surprise. And that surprise of death struck Genet’s readers too, since almost all had assumed him already dead after a silence of many years: Genet’s death contrarily recussitated him.”

(biographer, Stephen Barber, from Chapter 1, page 11 of his book ‘Jean Genet’ *screenshot…

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