Monday, 30 January 2017

Poetry Revisited: Luz e Sombra – Light and Shadow by Auta de Sousa

Luz e Sombra

(de Poemas: 1932)

Vamos seguindo pela mesma estrada,
Em busca das paragens da ilusão;
A alma tranqüila para o Céu voltada,
Suspensa a lira sobre o coração.

Ris e eu soluço... (Loucas peregrinas!)
E em toda parte, enfim, onde passamos,
Deixo chorando os olhos das meninas,
Deixas cantando os pássaros nos ramos.

Porque elas amam tua voz canora,
Ó delicado sabiá da mata!
E eu lembro triste a juriti que chora
E a voz dorida em lágrimas desata.

Gostam de ver-te o rosto de criança
Limpo das névoas de um martírio vago,
O lábio em riso, desmanchada a trança,
No olhar sereno a candidez do lago.

Até perguntam quando sobre a areia
Em que tu pisas vão nascendo rosas:
“Bela criança, tímida sereia,
Irmã dos sonhos das manhãs radiosas.

Por que trilhando a terra dos caminhos,
Onde o teu passo faz brotar mil flores,
Esta velhinha vai deixando espinhos
E um longo rastro de saudade e dores?”

Não lhes respondas... Pela mesma estrada
Sigamos sempre em busca da Ilusão;
A alma tranqüila para o céu voltada,
Suspensa a lira sobre o coração.

Vamos; desprende a doce voz canora,
Que ela afugenta da tristeza o açoite;
E, enquanto elevas o teu hino à aurora,
Eu vou rezando as orações da noite...

Auta de Sousa (1876-1901)
poetisa brasileira

Light and Shadow

(from Poems: 1932)

We are walking along the same road,
In search of the stops of illusion;
The quiet soul to Heaven turned,
Suspended the lyre over the heart.

You laugh and I sob ... (Crazy pilgrims!)
And in the end, everywhere we pass,
I leave crying the girls’ eyes,
You leave singing the birds on the branches.

Because they love your harmonious voice,
Oh delicate thrush of the woods!
And I remember sad the dove singing
And the pained voice breaks out in tears.

They like to see your child's face
Clean of the mists of vague martyrdom,
The lips laughing, unraveled the braid,
In the serene look the candor of the lake.

Until they ask when on the sand
Where you tread will be born roses:
“Beautiful child, shy Siren,
Sister of dreams of radiant mornings.

Why treading the earth of the roads,
Where your step makes bud a thousand flowers,
This old lady is leaving thorns
And a long trail of longing and pain?”

Do not answer them... Along the same road
We keep walking in search of illusion;
The quiet soul to Heaven turned,
Suspended the lyre over the heart.

Let's go; loosen the sweet harmonious voice,
May it chase from the sadness the scourge;
And, while you raise your hymn to dawn,
I'm saying the prayers of the night...

Auta de Sousa (1876-1901)
Brazilian poet

Literal translation: Edith LaGraziana 2017

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Back to the Classics 2017 – My List

https://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.de/2016/12/back-to-classics-2017.html
click on the image to go to the
challenge on Books and Chocolate

 My Dozen of Classics

- completed and forthcoming reviews -
(subject to change)
    1. 19th-century classic:
      Jens Peter Jacobsen: Marie Grubbe. A Lady of the Seventeenth Century (1876), original Danish title: Fru Marie Grubbe
      »»» on Lagraziana’s Kalliopeion
    2. 20th-century classic:
      Ana María Matute: Celebration in the Northwest (1952), original Spanish title: Fiesta al noroeste
    3. Classic by a woman author:
      Paula Grogger: The Door in the Grimming (1926), original German title: Das Grimmingtor
    4. Classic in translation:
      Bánffy Miklós: They Were Counted (1934), original Hungarian title: Megszámláltattál
    5. Classic published before 1800:
      Aphra Behn: The Adventure of the Black Lady (1684) »»» on Lagraziana’s Kalliopeion
    6. Romance classic:
      Mary McNeil Fenollosa: The Dragon Painter (1906)
    7. Gothic or horror classic:
      Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)
    8. Classic with a number in the title:
      Heinrich Böll: Billiards at Half Past Nine (1959), original German title: Billard um halb zehn
    9. Classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title:
      Natsume Sōseki: I am a Cat (1905), original Japanese title: 吾輩は猫である
    10. Classic set in a place you'd like to visit: Rome - Florence - Naples - London
      Anna Banti: Artemisia (1947), original Italian title: Artemisia
    11. Award-winning classic: Prix Goncourt 1956
      Romain Gary: The Roots of Heaven (1956), original French title: Les racines du ciel 
    12. Russian Classic:
      Maxim Gorky: The Artamonov Business (1925), original Russian title: Дело Артамоновых

        Friday, 27 January 2017

        Book Review: Billiards at Half Past Nine by Heinrich Böll

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9296323-billiards-at-half-past-nine
        Without any doubt, the first half of the twentieth century counts among the most unstable and most violent times in European history. For survivors and Spätgeborene (“late-born”, i.e. the post-war generation) it was difficult to come to terms with the horrors of holocaust and war and to build a pluralistic and truly democratic society on the rubbles that the totalitarian Nazi regime left behind. As shows the much-acclaimed novel Billiards at Half Past Nine by Heinrich Böll, the German recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature of 1972, in the years or even decades immediately following World War II, most Germans preferred to push the memory of the Third Reich and their role in it into the background. With survival being the first priority, it was rather natural after all to focus on the present. But to forget the lessons of the past means to give those charismatic populists who wish to turn back time a chance to rise.

        Wednesday, 25 January 2017

        Japanese Literature Challenge X – The Summary

        Click on the image to go to
        Dolce Bellezza's challenge post
        with a list of all entries

        June 2016 - January 2017

        All good things come in threes! And so I participated also in the Japanese Literature Challenge X (2016/17) hosted by Dolce Bellezza - for literary and translated fiction presenting literature from Japan here on Edith’s Miscellany. Now it’s the end of January and the challenge closes which means that it’s time to take stock.

        My choice of books followed my self-imposed rule of alternating female and male writers as well as classic and contemporary works. In addition, I fitted them into the Double Alphabet of Writers that I was filling up (male) and down (female) in 2016 (»»» see my challenge summary for Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks). The latter wasn’t always easy and in fact accounts for an unusually light read – The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ogawa Ito – an three instead of two male classics in my list.

        None of the books that I picked disappointed me and there was no need to exchange any of them for another that I liked better. Admittedly, The Face of Another by Abe Kōbō turned out to be a rather difficult and confusing read, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. If urged to name my favourite Japanese reads of the past eight months, I waver between Silence by Endō Shūsaku and Black Rain by Ibuse Masuji although the school novels of Sumii Sué and Tsuboi Sakae have been rather enticing too and also Yoshimoto Banana’s and Nakamura Fuminori’s modern novels gave me great pleasure. In a nutshell: I loved what I read for this challenge!

        And here’s now my summary list of the eight books that I read with links to my reviews:
        »»» please read also my post for the Japanese Literature Challenge 9 (2015/16).
        »»» please read also my (brief) post for the Japanese Literature Challenge 8 (2014/15) for which I signed up shortly before it was over, so I could contribute no more than two books to it.

        Monday, 23 January 2017

        Poetry Revisited: After-Glow by Ivor Gurney

        After-Glow

        (from Severn & Somme: 1917)

        (To F. W. Harvey)

        Out of the smoke and dust of the little room
        With tea-talk loud and laughter of happy boys,
        I passed into the dusk. Suddenly the noise
        Ceased with a shock, left me alone in the gloom,
        To wonder at the miracle hanging high
        Tangled in twigs, the silver crescent clear.
        Time passed from mind. Time died; and then we were
        Once more at home together, you and I.

        The elms with arms of love wrapped us in shade
        Who watched the ecstatic west with one desire,
        One soul uprapt; and still another fire
        Consumed us, and our joy yet greater made:
        That Bach should sing for us, mix us in one
        The joy of firelight and the sunken sun.

        Ivor Gurney (1890-1937)
        English poet and composer

        Friday, 20 January 2017

        Book Review: The River With No Bridge by Sumii Sué

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2652411-the-river-with-no-bridge
        It seems to be deeply rooted in human nature to put the strong and powerful on a pedestal for unconditional adoration and to push the weak and helpless down into the gutter to trample on just as unreservedly. Social history is full of examples of organised discrimination like slavery, the Indian caste system or less strict class structures. Japanese society is no exception. For centuries, the country knew different classes and religion justified their inequality with karma. Only in 1871 – after Japan was forced into dealing with Western civilisation – the lowest class called eta was renamed and given equal rights as commoners, but society didn’t change overnight. More than three decades later, the boy whose school years the first volume of The River With No Bridge by Sumii Sué relates has to learn that no matter how much he excels in his studies and in virtue, for people he’ll remain the filthy eta who should be avoided.

        Wednesday, 18 January 2017

        Back Reviews Reel: January 2014

        Three years ago I started into the blogging year with the last five of altogether 32 reviews for the European Reading Challenge 2013 hosted by Rose City Reader that closed on 31 January 2014 (»»» see my summary including a complete list of books reviewed or just read for it). My final effort to pay a reading visit to at least half of Europe’s fifty countries, took me first to Switzerland on the pages of the satirical classic Once a Greek by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Then it was the turn of the en-NOBEL-ed writers of 1909 and 2006 to show me their countries: I moved northwards to Sweden in the late nineteenth century with The Emperor of Portugallia by Selma Lagerlöf, before heading south to modern-day Turkey via Germany and sinking into the slippery world of Anatolian Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Afterwards I travelled to the Netherlands in the fierce grip of The Storm by Margriet de Moor from 1953 to the present. And my final destination was in the east of the continent, more precisely in Azerbaijan between 1914 and 1920, where I accompanied the lovers Ali and Nino by Kurban Said through the maze of religious, cultural and national traditions trying to keep them apart.

        Monday, 16 January 2017

        Poetry Revisited: Snow by Adelaide Crapsey

        Snow

        (from Verse: 1915)

        Look up…
        From bleakening hills
        Blows down the light, first breath
        Of wintry wind…look up, and scent
        The snow!

        Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914)
        American poet

        Friday, 13 January 2017

        Book Review: The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/950711.The_Flanders_PanelMany believe that until the break-through of photography painters did little more than depict what they, saw in reality or in imagination. In fact, even naturalistic pictures like portraits are the product of an idea that can include mysteries. Some are obvious and easily revealed knowing the code, i.e. the meaning of symbols, colours, composition, etc. in a given period, while others are hidden or inexplicable because their codes are lost and too subtle or time-bound to be cracked. Occasionally, the restauration of a painting exposes a secret that sheds new light on time, methods and mind of the artist like in the novel The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Nearly five hundred years after its creation the art restorer Julia discovers a hidden inscription in the painting of a chess game that turns it into an encrypted testimonial of a murder... and the reason for more crimes in Julia’s immediate surroundings.

        Wednesday, 11 January 2017

        New on Lagraziana's Kalliopeion: The Professor by Charlotte Brontë

        http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/902436.The_ProfessorTo read the first work of a much adored writer can be either a revelation or more likely a deception, sometimes even a big one because not many succeed in producing outstanding literature already in the very first try. Writing like any other occupation needs practice. And experience of life usually isn’t a disadvantage, either. Quite a lot of the great men and women of literature that we know today saw their first novels (poems, short stories,…) rejected by publishers, often by more than just one, as show their biographies. In the Victorian age this wasn’t any different from today. Charlotte Brontë, for instance, never saw her first novel in print. The Professor was first published under her pen name Currer Bell in 1857, i.e. only two years after her premature death, and to this date it’s less widely read than her masterpieces Jane Eyre and Villette or even Shirley.

        Read more » (external link to Lagraziana's Kalliopeion)

        Monday, 9 January 2017

        Poetry Revisited: A Copse In Winter by John Clare

        A Copse In Winter

        (from The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems: 1821)

        Shades though you're leafless, save the bramble-spear
        Whose weather-beaten leaves, of purple stain,
        In hardy stubbornness cling all the year
        To their old thorns, till Spring buds new again;
        Shades, still I love you better than the plain,
        For here I find the earliest flowers that blow,
        While on the bare blea bank do yet remain
        Old winter's traces, little heaps of snow.
        Beneath your ashen roots, primroses grow
        From dead grass tufts and matted moss, once more;
        Sweet beds of violets dare again be seen
        In their deep purple pride; and, gay display'd,
        The crow-flowers, creeping from the naked green,
        Add early beauties to your sheltering shade.

        John Clare (1793-1864)
        English poet

        Sunday, 8 January 2017

        Women Challenge #5: My List



        http://www.peekabook.it/2017/01/2017-women-challenge.html
        click on the image to go to the
        challenge on peek-a-booK!

          Books Written By Women

        - completed and forthcoming reviews in alphabetical order -
        1. Ilse Aichinger: The Greater Hope (1948; previously translated into English as Herod's Children), original German title: Die größere Hoffnung
        2. Ariyoshi Sawako: The River Ki (1959), original Japanese title: 紀ノ川
        3. Mariama : So Long a Letter (1980), original French title: Une si longue lettre
        4. Ingeborg Bachmann: Letters to Felician (1946/1991), original German title: Briefe an Felician
        5. Anna Banti: Artemisia (1947), original Italian title: Artemisia
        6. Agatha Christie: Star Over Bethlehem (1965)
        7. Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate (1989), original Spanish title: Como agua para chocolate
        8. Mary McNeil Fenollosa: The Dragon Painter (1906)
        9. Katie Flynn: No Silver Spoon (1999)
        10. Jay Griffiths: A Love Letter from a Stray Moon (2011) 
        11. Paula Grogger: The Door in the Grimming (1926), original German title: Das Grimmingtor
        12. Sabine Gruber: Roman Elegy (2011), original German title Stillbach oder Die Sehnsucht
        13. Maja Haderlap: Angel of Oblvion (2011), original German title: Engel des Vergessens
        14. Elisabeth Hickey: The Painted Kiss (2005) 
        15. Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in  the Castle (1962)
        16. Kakuta Mitsuyo: Woman on the Other Shore (2004), original Japanese title: 対岸の彼女
        17. Else Lasker-Schüler: My Heart (1912), original German title: Mein Herz
        18. Clarice Lispector: Água Viva (1973; also translated into English as The Stream of Life), original Brazilian Portuguese title: Água viva
        19. Ana María Matute: Celebration in the Northwest (1952), original Spanish title: Fiesta al noroeste
        20. Margaret Mazzantini: Twice Born (2008), original Italian title: Venuto al mondo
        21. Eva Menasse: Vienna (2005), original German title: Vienna
        22. Julya Rabinowich: Splithead (2008), original German title: Spaltkopf
        23. Judith Schalansky: The Giraffe's Neck (2011), original German title: Der Hals der Giraffe 
        24. Sumii Sué: The River with No Bridge (Volume I: 1961), original Japanese title: 橋のない川
        25. Marcelle Tinayre: To Arms! (1915; also translated into English as Sacrifice), original French title: La Veillée des armes. Le départ; Août 1914
        26. Regina Ullmann: Country Road (1921), original German title: Die Landstraße

        Saturday, 7 January 2017

        Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks: My 2017 List


        http://www.read52booksin52weeks.com/
        click on the image to go to the
        challenge on Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

        52 Books – 52 Writers

        - completed and forthcoming reviews in alphabetical order -
        1. Ilse Aichinger: The Greater Hope (1948; previously translated into English as Herod's Children), original German title: Die größere Hoffnung
        2. Ariyoshi Sawako: The River Ki (1959), original Japanese title: 紀ノ川
        3. Miguel Ángel Asturias: The Green Pope (1954), original Spanish title: El papa verde
        4. Paul Auster: 4 3 2 1 (2017)
        5. Mariama : So Long a Letter (1980), original French title: Une si longue lettre
        6. Ingeborg Bachmann: Letters to Felician (1946/1991), original German title: Briefe an Felician
        7. Bánffy Miklós: They Were Counted (1934), original Hungarian title: Megszámláltattál
        8. Anna Banti: Artemisia (1947), original Italian title: Artemisia
        9. Thomas Bernhard: Old Masters (1985), original German title: Alte Meister
        10. Heinrich Böll: Billiards at Half Past Nine (1959), original German title: Billiard um halb zehn
        11. Agatha Christie: Star Over Bethlehem (1965)
        12. Alfred Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz (1925), original German title: Berlin Alexanderplatz
        13. Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate (1989), original Spanish title: Como agua para chocolate
        14. Mary McNeil Fenollosa: The Dragon Painter (1906)
        15. Lion Feuchtwanger: This is the Hour (1951), original German title: Goya oder Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis
        16. Katie Flynn: No Silver Spoon (1999)
        17. Dario Fo: The Pope's Daughter (2014), original Italian title: La figlia del papa 
        18. Romain Gary: The Roots of Heaven (1956), original French title: Les racines du ciel
        19. William Golding: Darkness Visible (1979)
        20. Maxim Gorky: The Artamonov Business (1925), original Russian title: Дело Артамоновых
        21. Jay Griffiths: A Love Letter from a Stray Moon (2011) 
        22. Paula Grogger: The Door in the Grimming (1926), original German title: Das Grimmingtor
        23. Sabine Gruber: Roman Elegy (2011), original German title Stillbach oder Die Sehnsucht
        24. Maja Haderlap: Angel of Oblvion (2011), original German title: Engel des Vergessens
        25. Elisabeth Hickey: The Painted Kiss (2005)
        26. Christopher Isherwood: A Meeting by the River (1967) 
        27. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Artist of the Floating World (1986) 
        28. Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)
        29. Miljenko Jergović: The Walnut Mansion (2003), original Croatian title: Dvori od oraha
        30. Kakuta Mitsuyo: Woman on the Other Shore (2004), original Japanese title: 対岸の彼女
        31. Else Lasker-Schüler: My Heart (1912), original German title: Mein Herz
        32. Clarice Lispector: Água Viva (1973; also translated into English as The Stream of Life), original Brazilian Portuguese title: Água viva
        33. Lu Xun: The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China (1923-1935), original Chinese titles of the combined collections: 吶喊 (1923), 彷徨 (1925) and 故事新編 (1935)
        34. Ana María Matute: Celebration in the Northwest (1952), original Spanish title: Fiesta al noroeste
        35. Margaret Mazzantini: Twice Born (2008), original Italian title: Venuto al mondo
        36. Eva Menasse: Vienna (2005), original German title: Vienna
        37. Miyamoto Teru: Kinshu. Autumn Brocade (1982), original Japanese title: 錦繍
        38. Alberto Moravia: Boredom (1960), original Italian title: La noia
        39. V. S. Naipaul: A Bend in the River (1979)
        40. Natsume Sōseki: I Am a Cat (1905), original Japanese title: 吾輩は猫である
        41. Amos Oz: Black Box (1986), original Hebrew title: קופסה שחורה
        42. Arturo Pérez-Reverte: The Flanders Panel (1990), original Spanish title: La tabla de Flandes
        43. Julya Rabinowich: Splithead (2008), original German title: Spaltkopf
        44. Judith Schalansky: The Giraffe's Neck (2011), original German title: Der Hals der Giraffe
        45. Clemens J. Setz: Indigo (2012), original German title: Indigo
        46. Claude Simon: The Trolley (2001), original French title: Le tramway
        47. Irving Stone: Lust for Life (1934)
        48. Patrick Süskind: The Pigeon (1987), original German title: Die Taube
        49. Sumii Sué: The River with No Bridge (Volume I: 1961), original Japanese title: 橋のない川
        50. Marcelle Tinayre: To Arms! (1915; also translated into English as Sacrifice), original French title: La Veillée des armes. Le départ; Août 1914 
        51. Miguel Torga: Grape Harvest (1945), original Portuguese title: Vindima
        52. Regina Ullmann: Country Road (1921), original German title: Die Landstraße

        Wednesday, 4 January 2017

        2017 Reading Challenges

        Welcome in a new blogging year – my fifth already! It goes without saying that on the coming fifty-two Fridays you can look forward to many reviews of gorgeous books from the pens of famous and forgotten authors, half male and half female. During the past couple of weeks I made a long (not yet complete) list of reads to present to you and that I hope will meet your tastes too, not just mine. In addition, I picked a few new annual reading challenges to participate in that should make 2017 an even more diverse reading year than usual. Instead of making a sign-up post for each one of the five new ones, I decided to just write the following summary with links to the respective lists that will go online by and by. Moreover, I include an up-date for the ongoing reading challenges.

        Monday, 2 January 2017

        Poetry Revisited: Time by Emily Mary Barton

        Time 

        (from Straws on the Stream: 1907)

        Time is not the cruel master,
        Slavish souls have sometimes thought;
        Faster driving us and faster,
        Till our work is good for nought.

        Time enjoys a day of leisure
        With the artists and the bards:
        And in summer takes his pleasure
        Musing over Christmas cards.

        A happy method we have found.
        Wisely to control his powers;
        And when he brings a Birthday round,
        Envelop it in verse and flowers.

        Emily Mary Barton (1817-1909)
        Australian poet