almaviva90: (wellington2)
The awaited second volume of Stephen Fry's memoirs has finally hit the shelves (well, at least the shelves of ONE bookshop in HK as far as I know) and yeah, though I haven't read it all yet (I'm currently on page 70 or other), SF is still in top form with regard to writing with characteristic Stephen Fry-ish (is that even a word? I guess it is now) aplomb, sincerity and hilarity. Just reached the part where he's just arrived at Cambridge. His hilarious representation of how the ordinary person views Oxbridge was hysterically funny...basically he says that most people think the majority of the people studying there are just toffee-nosed, pompous gits [which is not quite what he said but that is the general gist] and that most people would dearly love to 'mow those f***ers down' [that last phrase had me giggling insanely]. All of which is true in a way but as he says these Oxbridge people ARE people with the same feelings and fears as the ordinary person.

And I'll be able to continue reading the book (probably finish it too) since now it's Reading Week and therefore no lectures for an entire week...hurrah! But yeah, I should continually remind myself that I do have a lot of other stuff to do...like important things like assignments and research for my dissertation...
almaviva90: (the merry widow)
Whoa...it's looks like it's really been a while since I last posted here...been busy with a myriad of things this past week. I know that I have to change that poem of the month thing in the sidebar but I really am stumped as to what poem suits this month. I thought about putting up a Christmas poem but decided that was waaaay too sentimental (and vomit-inducing XD) to do so. Anyone have any ideas?

Anyways...moving on. I've been listening to a lot of the band Queen recently for some reason. I once heard their very famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody and didn't like it at the time. Now I've listened to it again (after seeing the hilarious Muppet version recently) and really am fond of it. The weird Scaramouche bit in the middle is just made more funny (and makes more sense) now since I kind of know the basics of opera (which is what Freddie Mercury was trying to imitate/mock). Oh and yeah, Brian May is simply a god on the guitar. It's amazing that he also has a PhD in astrophysics though. Simply awe-inspiring. Is it just me or do the 80s seem like golden age for music, not only for rock and pop but also for classical and opera? Queen, ABBA, Air Supply, Elton John, etc, etc...the list goes on plus it was a great time to see opera greats at their prime onstage with the likes of Domingo, Te Kanawa and last but not least, of course, Thomas Allen. What an experience to have lived in the 80s, I think.

Hmm....what else? Oh yes...finally got to reading books again (it seems ages since I read a book properly and to the end) and bought a copy of a book I've been keeping an eye on: Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess - The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde. A fascinating read and a wonderful insight into how Wilde acted and talked in real life. It also gave me an idea on how damning the evidence against Wilde was in his libel suit against Bosie's father. Had I been in his shoes, I really would have escaped abroad and avoided suing the Marquess...but Wilde was defiant...and sadly very foolish in stating his innocence since the amount of witnesses testifying against him was quite shocking. They might of course have been a whole pack of liars but seriously when you get more than 10 guys testifying against you, you're in a bit of hot water, I think. There was an amusing exchange between Wilde and the overbearing barrister, Edward Carson QC, showing Wilde's wit and eccentricity. They were talking about a letter which Wilde had sent to Bosie in which the language was a little overly intimate, shall we say, not to mention suggestive. Wilde kept on talking about how his letters and words were meant as poetry above all else and was marvelling at how beautiful they were while the barrister must have been rolling his eyes sarcastically. Carson was reading them to both him and the court and the following exchange followed (I'm reciting this from memory but the main gist of it should be more or less right):

CARSON: [having read a line from the letter] And was that a beautiful line, Mr Wilde?
WILDE: Not when you read it, Mr Carson. When I wrote it, it was a beautiful line. You read it very badly.

If you didn't know who was talking or what the situation was, I think you could have sworn that this exchange cropped up in The Importance of Being Earnest or something, lol. I must admit that Wilde had guts to say that in court.

Also got a hold of a nice copy of E.M. Forster's Howards End (a favourite book and film of mine)...I think I'll be well prepared for the holidays to brush up on my reading.

Oh, and yeah...it's definitely been decided that I won't be continuing my internship after this month. That gives me time to focus on my history courses next term, hurrah!
almaviva90: (thoughtful TA)
Finally getting round to reading stuff that I should have read before...but then again, it's TA and opera I'll have to be thanking for actually getting me to read them. Currently making my way though a very readable translation of Homer's 'The Odyssey' and though the various Greek names, places and people are sort of confusing, it's so far been enjoyable (and yes, I'm reading this after I saw some clips of TA singing Odysseus in Monteverdi's opera, 'Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria'. *head slam*

And due to a change of schedule, it seems that I am free at least until the beginning of August when the internship kicks in again. *sigh* The ever-changing cycle of life...

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almaviva90

January 2012

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