All the world’s a stage

There is a reason why  23 April is The International Book Day.

April 23,1654. Shakespeare’s birthday. He makes us laugh and cry and think. Let’s homage his birthday in a slightly less serious fashion starting with  “As you like it” Act II,scene 7 in – plasticine!

Then, Blackadder bumps into Shakespeare  and “revenges” in the name of  all future school boys and girls. Hilarious!

How about trimming Hamlet and making it snappy? Listen to this curious agreement.

23 April, 1616. Miguel  de Cervantes died. Surely, Blackadder would have punched him in the face as well! I managed to find a cartoon  about Don Quixote in English, as most of the video clips are in Spanish.

And for the lovers of musicals, the great Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren,  Man of La Mancha, 1972.

Unfortunately, this month we also witnessed the passing away of another great author and great man, Gabriel Garcia Marques. We cannot finish this post without paying our modest tribute to this great writer.

From The Guardian blog, readers explain how his work, namely One hundred years of Solitude, influenced them.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/guardianwitness-blog/2014/apr/23/gabriel-garcia-marquez-readers-tributes

Rest in peace, dear Gabo. We hope you have found the eighth stage of man.

 

 

 

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“Can’t repeat the past?….”

Wouldn’t you just love to meet your literary or other heroes in person? Woody Allen made this dream come true in his movie “Midnight in Paris”. One of the writers “poor” Gill meets is F Scott Fitzgerald, which leaves him quite flabbergasted, as you may imagine!

So, let’s be reminded of one of America’s beloved writers.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled “Lost Generation,” Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfinished, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth, despair, and age. He was married to Zelda Fitzgerald.

By far his most popular novel is “The Great Gatsby”. When this novel got its new film version last, I just had to see it.  However,constantly comparing Leonardo DiCaprio with Robert Redford  while watching was painstaking! I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as:

“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

And the new version of the same scene:

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Sorry about starting from the end.Now, let’s just check out how it all begins.

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

…and goes on:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

If you’ve got hooked, as many have before you, you might want to find out a bit more about the man behind the book. Here is a link to an article in The Esquire written by Andrew O’Hagan:

http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/film-tv/3891/the-great-gatsby/

 

 

 

 

 

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”

Keats was right. Beauty is a joy but it is also frail. It is in the eye of the beholder. Remembering that expression, not to say truth, made me look for the old twilight zone episode of the same name. Here it is again:

However, most of us recognise beauty when we see it.There is a universal feeling of pleasure when we are reading a beautiful poem, watching  a good movie or just sharing a smile with young children.It is also the reason why visual arts are ever so popular. I found a presentation made by a National Geographic photographer on Ted talks. Enjoy his talk and his wonderful photos!

https://www.ted.com/playlists/30/natural_wonder

And back to poetry. Lord Byron, a romantic poet, a true admirer of nature, his country and of course, beautiful women. Here is one of his most famous poems.

She Walks in Beauty
By Lord Byron (George Gordon)
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

In the following article from The Guardian you can read an opinion of a father of four beautiful  daughters. Controversial? Sincere?

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/04/importance-beauty-daughters-good-looking?CMP=fb_gu

And after this serious reading, watch this light- hearted video on the famous beauty school drop out from Grease. The moral is clear”Beauty’s sweet, but beauty’s frail.