by tosca on Tuesday, March 30, 2010
by tosca on Friday, March 26, 2010
...and determines what we can think about.'
- Benjamin Lee Whorf
If language shapes the way we think...what happens when anything appoximating a language is removed? I recently read (4 times in one sitting, and each time seeing something new) Shaun Tan's wordless graphic novel 'The arrival' and was blown away by its message and its impact. The beauty of this book is that it is everybody's story. It also nobody's story. Sounds implausible? You obviously haven't read the book, then :-)
Shaun Tan is, in short, a genius - he uses this wordless graphic novel to convey how it must be for a family to be temporarily torn apart. In a possibly-Asian country (the dragon tail shadow that wraps around the buildings) that looks rather European (think World War II) a father must leave his wife and daughter to take a ship to a strange country to ready the way for his family. The fear and oppression and political suppression come through so clearly when the family leave home to see the father off on his trip. Tan manages, through the use of symbols and fascinatingly multi-layered pictures, to depict not just the father's journey to start anew, but the journey of those he comes into contact with as well. I enjoyed this book so much. It really did blow my mind. There are no names, no recognisable landmarks, no identifiable cultures, no particular class or caste system - in short, nothing is anything you would recognise except the journey of the characters. The start of the book sees the family (mum and daughter) helping the father to pack a case of belongings in preparation for his journey to a new land, where he will set himself up with a job and accommodation before sending for them. His experiences - the isolation, the loneliness, the struggle to find a home, a job and friends - are very cleverly depicted in Tan's artwork. I'm absolutely stunned that all of his emotions and thoughts can be expressed without words. 'The arrival' is heartbreaking, eye-opening and oh so very clever.
by tosca on Monday, March 15, 2010
by tosca on Saturday, March 13, 2010
- but that is the satisfaction of writing - one can impersonate so many people.'
- Letter from Katherine Mansfield to Sylvia Payne, APril 1906
Quick fly-by post, much like a one night stand, only slightly more classy because it involves Katherine Mansfield. Any ardent Mansfield fan will know that 25 Tinakori Road is historically significant - and if you haven't yet got it, the pic (check left) should be a dead giveaway as to why. And cheers to the guy tooting his horn while I was trying to take the shot - almost scared the crap outta me :-)
My parents left Wellington when I was about 8 or 9, and I hadn't yet discovered Mansfield's writing. I can't say I love her work, but I did enjoy it quite a bit when I finally did get around to reading her stories in intermediate/high school. Each time I come back to Thorndon I tell myself I'll visit her birthplace but I never do. Today, I finally did. And it's a beautiful day for it - such a huge difference from the freak storm of yesterday. When Wellington turns it on it really turns it on.
25 Tinakori Road is almost miss-able, if you're not looking. And I wasn't. I was plugged into the iPod and almost walked straight past on the opposite side of the road (in spite of the ornate signage and huge OPEN sign eek). Took some snapshots of the outside (we're not allowed to take pics of the inside) and spent ages mooching around inside, generally haunting the residence, and thinking how very much I would like to have lived there (although from some of her writing it wasn't a place that she liked all that much). Take away the dainty furniture and the chamberpots and I'd like it fine.
What a fascinating woman, and what a life she lived. One of the upstairs rooms is filled with photos of her with various people (family, husband, friends) and they're accompanied by text from her stories and her letters (such as the post title). One particular piece of text caught my eye, if only because it seemed to have an echo of so much of everything else I'd seen in the house. It was in reference to her very English husband who was so proper and how she lamented that he would never be a quick and carefree kind of person, and she loved him anyway. It seemed...sad. And quite poignant, and I ended up leaving then in a reflective mood. Am I going to read her stuff again? Very probably not, although I greatly enjoyed my time in her childhood home. I think, perhaps, she was a woman ahead of her time. I also think she did try to live all sorts of lives in the one she was given. I will be extremely happy if I am capable of saying the same thing many years from now.
by tosca on Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm headed back for a long weekend break to see Amanda Palmer perform at the Bodega Bar, Neil Gaiman at the Town Hall and The Arrival at the Opera House. I also plan to visit Katherine Mansfield's birthplace (which is a stroll from my gran's place where I will be staying). I also plan to take a nosey at the Writers Walk to see the text sculptures. My sister (who's meeting me down there) has suggested we visit the Taita Lawn Cemetery as well to pay our respects to my paternal grandparents, my maternal gramps and my dad's youngest brother. My uncle Tim was my childhood idol. He would babysit me and bake cakes. For years I thought all cakes came out of little boxes from the shop and you'd just add milk :-) He will be forever young in my mind. Our song was Nina Pretty Ballerina by ABBA.
by tosca on Wednesday, March 10, 2010
other people's Facebook friends are always somewhat of a revelation. well, sometimes. other times they're just about what you'd expect #fb
RT @WendyWings: Good morning Tuesday, no parties, excitement or events today, hurray for a quiet day at home eating grapes ;)
@WendyWings sounds like an ideal way to start the morning
@GreerMcDonald ditto! you start the movement and I'll follow...
@Wossy I have. Wedding cake!
wrestling with dratted Facebook and trying to add photos. it won't let me. pfft
idea: branches submit photos of staff working around the libraries for our Facebook page. might make staff less remote...? and might not O_o
bottled ghosts. seriously? people. really?
@MagLib good point! oh hah that would definitely be stated
I don't like Good Morning. watching it now. just remembered. ugh. ok off to work for a meeting & then home again. annual leave rocks #fb
Took to my biological clock with hammer (figuratively speaking) yet the sight of 11 daycare chn on bus made me go, 'AWWW.' Warm fuzzies #fb
my warm fuzzies AWW moment was killed by Mr 6 walking home from school. 10 mins from home and he loudly yells, 'I need to pee!' #fb
E matakitaki ana ahau I te Te Karere. E korero ana a Ururoa Flavell e pa ana ki nga take putea mo te - mo te aha? I missed the first bit grr
mahi patu tohora - whaling oohh
one too many 'te' doh
whakatuwhera I te kuaha umanga - nice! never heard it put like that before ;) #fb
@WendyWings has you changed your pic? when? i like! please dont tell me its been there for ages and i'm so not observant O_o
@WendyWings looks good!
@WendyWings argh! you dressed up for the Oscars! that's fantastic 8D
I think i'm getting old. had a 'nap' earlier. now i think i'll be awake for ages. doh. #fb
isn't it funny how some ppl improve by remote?
updating work Facebook page before finding something - anything - else to do to kill time
I guess Logan was here earlier today. His hotmail is still signed in. Doh. Lucky I'm not the type to read his emails - ooh err #fb
@WendyWings g'nite, Mary Ellen :-)
i am convinced that ppl i didn't like so much at 21 have definitely improved 13 yrs later. or else i have. geez. sobering.
Tweets copied by twittinesis.com
by tosca on Tuesday, March 2, 2010
...one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.' So sayeth Bertrand Russell. Meh. I'm not sure if my book motives are less than pure with this post. Am I bragging? Am I sharing? Am I wasting my own time? Am I wasting yours? This post is my public to-be-read list for March 2010. In any one month I will read anywhere from 20-30 books. About a half are set as challenges for my GoodReads online book club, and the rest are ones that catch my interest/eye/fancy. I should probably point out that as I edit our library Romance newsletter these are mostly all romance titles. Some of them are silly, some of them are good, some of them are great - all of them are another way for me to turn on, tune in and drop out (adios, real world). In some ways, publishing my TBR list keeps me on track.
Monthly Challenge - 10 romance titles:
1. Book titles starts with M - Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind by Heidi Ashworth
2. Birthday celebrant: Danielle from NZ - The Arrival by Shaun Tan
3. Geography: France - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery OR The Brooding Frenchman's Proposal by Rebecca Winters
4. St. Patrick's Day - Bride Of The Emerald Isle by Trish Wylie OR Wedding at King's Convenience by Maureen Child
5. Military/war - Dark Stranger by Susan Sizemore
6. International Women's Month - Lessons From a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes
7. Romance genre: historical - The Duke's Cinderella Bride by Carole Mortimer
8. Middle Name Pride Day - No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher
9. Of shelves and lists: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
10. Reader's choice - TBC
Read the Month of March:
M - The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
A - Accidentally Demonic by Dakota Cassidy OR The Accidental Countess by Michelle Willingham
R - Runaway Miss by Mary Nichols
C - Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange
H - How Do I Love Thee; Stories to Stir the Heart edited by Valarie Parv
Boonie author (personal challenge)
An Italian Engagement by Catherine George. I read a title of hers a week or two ago and got lost in the plot and ended up more confused than happy at the happy-ever-after ending *frowns* I don't have hard and fast rules about books - I don't have hard and fast rules about anything much, so if I come across a book that I don't like, I don't automatically think everything else she/he writes is crap. I'll try to find one they've written that I do enjoy - no author can be total kaka, right? Right.
Happy to say that all of the books listed in my Feb list were finished by 9:35pm Sunday 28th February 2010. Who's the (wo)man?! My rational side has just pointed out that I also edit the Maori, Pasefika, Science & Nature newsletters also and none of the above titles match those subject areas. Piss off, rational side, I say :)