Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Shameless Plug: The Blurb

Hello! I've recently become involved with a new radio show on my University radio station. It's called "The Blurb" and at the moment it's very much a seedling born out of love.

Our pilot episode is being broadcast Sunday 28th October, at 3pm GMT, but will also be available as a podcast shortly afterwards.  You can listen to the podcast HERE if you're interested.

Today's show:

A review of Miranda Hart's new book Is It Just Me?

A panel discussion (featuring meeee) where we discuss the impact of blogging on literature

and explore the world of fan fiction

It would mean so so much if you could have a listen and let us know what you like / didn't like about the show. Or better still - if you have any ideas about panel discussions or even if you have a book you'd like featured / you're an author and would love to be interviewed on the show! We're open to so many suggestions - as I said before this is very much a baby radio show at the moment!

If you're interested in the show, and would like to know more about future productions, please 'like' our facebook page, which can be found HERE.   (If you're not interested in the show, don't worry, I'll just add a little 'facebook' link to the page, and this will probably be the last post about it. :) )

happy reading!
// bloglovin' :: goodreads

Friday, October 26, 2012

I was trying to describe you to someone


From a collection of short stories
Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan.

I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.

I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”

I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.

I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… “

I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….

And that’s how you look to me. 
// bloglovin' :: goodreads

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Grace Notes

For an excerpt from the memoirs of Grace Coddington, click here.

You may remember Grace from the film "The September Issue" she is a former model and the creative editor of the US Vogue, and has been since September 1988. If you haven't seen the film I do wholeheartedly recommend it - even if you're not a massive Vogue fan it's still a fascinating insight into the production of the world's most famous fashion magazine! Her creative personality is perfectly contrasted with Anna Wintour's often harsh criticism. It's a weirdly interesting film, trust me. Grace is the star - so talented, an amazing eye for detail and intricacies which others miss. She's led a fascinating life, and I'm so excited for her memoirs to be released!   


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ted Hughes: Dreamers

A rare insight into the relationship Hughes had with Assia Wevil.  The fascination he developed which forced his marriage to Plath to end and for both women to end their lives in similar fashions.  Their lives have almost become a soap opera through poetry.    I remember English lessons full of poetry analysis.  No one knowing or caring who the poet was but analyzing the words they had written. Then a collection of words with 'Hughes' or 'Plath' at the top and suddenly it was like reading a page from their personal journal as the analysis is replaced by affairs, dates, names, and blame.  Something which I believe Plath, who longed for a rural life, separate from the literary 'in crowd' in London would never have wanted. 

B Y  T E D  H U G H E S

We didn’t find her - she found us.
She sniffed us out. The Fate she carried
Sniffed us out
And assembled us, inert ingredients
For its experiment. The Fable she carried
Requisitioned you and me and her,
Puppets for its performance.

She fascinated you. Her eyes caressed you,
Melted a weeping glitter at you.
Her German the dark undercurrent
In her Kensington jeweller’s elocution
Was your ancestral Black Forest whisper -
Edged with a greasy, death-camp, soot-softness.
When she suddenly rounded her eyeballs,
Popped them, strangled, she shocked you.
lt was her mock surprise.
But you saw hanged women choke, dumb, through her,
And when she listened, watching you, through smoke,
Her black-ringed grey iris, slightly unnatural,
Was Black Forest wolf, a witch’s daughter
out of Grimm.
Warily you cultivated her,
Her jewishness, ser many-blooded beauty,
As if your dream of your dream-self stood there,
A glittering blackness, Europe’s mystical jewel.
A creature from beyond the fringe of your desk-lamp.
Who was this Lilith of abortions
Touching the hair of your children
With tiger-painted nails?
Her speech Harrods, Hitlers mutilations
Kept you company, weeding the onions.
An ex-Nazi Youth Sabra. Her father
Doctor to the Bolshoi Ballet.
She was helpless too.
None of us could wake up.
Nightmare looked out at the poppies.
She sat there, in her soot-wet mascara,
In flame-orange silks, in gold bracelets,
Slightly filthy with erotic mystery -
A German
Russian Israeli with the gaze of a demon
Between curtains of black Mongolian hair.
After a single night under our roof
She told her dream. A giant fish, a pike
Had a globed, golden eye, and in that eye
A throbbing suman foetus -
You were astonished, maybe envious.

I refused to interpret. I saw
The dreamer in her
Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it.
That moment the dreamer in me
Fell in love with her, and I knew it.
// bloglovin' :: goodreads


Friday, October 12, 2012

Ode To Autumn

 There's a sharp chill in the air, the leaves are falling off of trees in a yellowy-green hue, summer is definitely over, and I couldn't not post this poem! It is, afterall, a 'classic'. I read somewhere that it's quite nice to document the gradual colour changes of the trees by taking a photograph of a tree near your house or something each morning.  It's so easy to become so involved with your own life and business that you miss the fantastic show nature's putting on for us!

O D E  T O  A U T U M N
J O H N  K E A T S
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

// bloglovin' :: goodreads
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