Friday, January 28, 2011

Saturday by Ian McEwan




 The novel is set on the day of the anti-Iraq war protests across central London (Saturday, February 15th 2003) and terrorism is on everybody’s mind. When the celebrated neurosurgeon, Henry Perowne, unusually wakes up in the middle of the night he can’t help but wonder whether there was a reason behind it. The day that follows is packed out with such detail that it is as though you are with Henry as he drives in his plush Mercedes across the crowded streets. The detail in which McEwan writes about Perowne’s craft, neurosurgery, is almost breathtakingly precise and detailed, as though he was writing a recipe for the correct procedure to remove blood clots. There are moments of gore, shock, warmth and in-between is the mundane every day activities which reassure that this could very well be any Saturday of any week.

'A man who attempts to ease the miseries of failing minds by repairing brains is bound to respect the material world, its limits, and what it can sustain – consciousness, no less. It isn’t an article of faith with him, he knows it for a quotidian fact, the mind is what the brain, mere matter, performs. If that’s worthy of awe, it also deserves curiosity; the actual, not the magical, should be the challenge.'
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the V & A

I popped into the V&A for the first time yesterday.  I wasn't really sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.  There's such a variety of exhibitions there (the majority of the stuff being very pretty and very easy on the eye!).  If you're stuck for something to do when you're out-and-about in London I recommend you visit it (plus it's on the Science Museum and Natural History Museum's doorsteps so you can have a very educational day out!)  

v and a - pweetty
entrance

oh hai tharpretty metalwork

jewellery

beauty and the beast

the lion king

headdress2

Postage Stamp

glittah dress

'As you Like it' set design

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane


Russian Ballet

Technical Script

The Entrance | Inside | The ‘Oh hai thar’ statue | Religious Artefact | Jewels | ‘Beauty and the Beast’ | ‘The Lion King’ stage show costumes | Headdress | G-string | Dress | Set design for ‘As you like it’ | Theatre Royal | Japanese Ballet costume | Technical Script from ‘In Celebration’
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES BY ERNESTO 'CHE' GUEVE

Have you seen the film? Are you in love with Gael Garcia Bernal as much as I am? Turns out the young Che Guevera was a) really intelligent and a brilliant writer b) quite the looker and charmer and c) hilarious.

Self Portrait by Ernesto Guevara, 1951
The book is a compilation of the notes which Ernesto made on a trip upon 'La Poderosa 2' (the mighty one) aka a beloved but pretty much useless motorbike belonging to his friend and co-pilot Alberto.

Both are educated - Guevara taking a break from his medicine degree and Alberto being a graduated biochemist although dressed in rags they're often mistaken for being homeless tramps travelling the continent for work - no one that they met could understand their want for travelling just for travels sake.

It is full of drunken escapades; sticky situations; heart breaking tales; and is written in such beautiful prose that although the film version is very much a true portrayal of the book - the prose is something to be admired.

According to his wikipedia page Guevara was described as 'fairly intellectual for a Latino' in a file by the CIA.  This book I feel is so powerful when you know the change which he eventually made to the continent and the world.  Especially when you can see the people who although he only spent a few hours with - had such a profound effect on his beliefs and understanding of the world. And the towns and cities full of ancient artefacts which became the spiritual home of this eternal traveller.

'In every typical scene, the town's very breath evokes the time before Spanish colonization.  But the people before us are not the same proud race that repeatedly rose against the Inca rule, forcing them to maintain a permanent army on their borders; these people who watch us walk through the streets of the town a defeated race.  Their stares are tame, almost fearful, and completely indifferent to the outside world.  Some give the impression they go on living only because it's a habit they cannot shake.'




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