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Showing posts from January, 2016

Alphabet of Wit by Voltaire

This was a hit. I have earned a reputation in my family that I pick up the most ancient and abstruse work available (Dante’s Inferno for instance, or Silas Marner). Unsurprisingly for me – and surprisingly for those who haven’t read anything about or by Voltaire or Dante – their work is far more liberating than most present day writings. And they managed in far fewer pages too. Alphabet of Wit is 62 pages long – blank pages included. It is a collection of very short essays by Voltaire on various topics ranging from Adam to Zeal, and oh, the topics are listed alphabetically. Voltaire’s outlook is refreshingly practical, considering his generation. Even considering our own, actually.
Also, his sense of wry humour – at first a bit stodgy – is very appealing, once you get used to it. Since the essays are short, it is easy to stick it out for pages and get acquainted to his style of writing. Though admittedly, it is a short book and it is hard to say if the style could have survived an e…

Dream Star Cast

Being nearly as interested in movies as I am in books, I tend to allocate actors to certain characters in my head. With Harry Potter and his universe, I was naturally in a fix, because I didn't really know that many kids on screen at that time. But I guess the movie franchise's biggest victory lies in its perfect casting, right down from Albus Dumbledore to Dudley Dursley. 
While browsing through my bookshelf, I glance at each title and visualise the key characters and/or incidents. The cinematic nature of this activity (cinematic only in my head; nothing cinematic about me gaping at my books) is entertainment enough. I figured I may actually be making life that much easier for future movie productions, if I shared my insights into this aspect... 
Holden Caulfield: Johnny Depp. Hands down. If not him, then Matthew McConaughey. I'm thinking of soft, observant eyes and a drawling voice in the head.
Alistair MacLean's men: Daniel Craig fits the bill perfectly as suave yet …

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

"There was a time, long ago, when the only peaceful moments of her existence were those from the time she opened her eyes in the morning until she attained full consciousness, a matter of seconds until when finally roused she entered the day's wakeful nightmare."
The 'she' is Scout, of course. The argument she presents above is a reflection of what Go Set A Watchman is all about. This Harper Lee work - which was penned even before To Kill A Mockingbird - bears only a vague resemblance to the book that won her the Pulitzer. It holds its own ground, story-wise; though the knowledge of the chronology of its creation adds to the understanding of Mockingbird
Jean Louise Finch is now 26, living it up in New York, with a heart full of ideals and steadfastness, sown over her childhood spent in the mundane town of Maycomb, Alabama. The town hasn't really changed much, maintaining its volatile balance between appropriateness and crudeness. Not that it matters to Scou…