Well, I may be misusing the title. Yes, this quote might spark some questions, but more than anything it’s a quote so beautiful you’ll want to simply enjoy it.
“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none ay track my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
De Profundis is a long letter Oscar Wilde wrote to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, whom he called Bosie, while he was imprisoned in Reading Gaol.
I may not agree with Oscar Wilde on everything, but I found De Profundis very captivating. I loved reading Wilde’s thoughts on art as much as I liked reading about his feelings and the way he’s coping with his imprisonment. His final words, the ones quoted, left a lasting impression on me. Just a paragraph ago, I was reading his interpretation of Hamlet, and than he turned it all around, and became very personal. The entire text is like this. It’s scholarly and emotional at the same time, it’s personal but with many universal thoughts.
The idea of finding comfort in nature has always co-existed with alongside the idea of technological progress. Humans have always tried to separate themselves from nature. We built houses, towns and walls. We developed a civilisation (or civilisations). But, of course, we cannot live completely divided from nature. Sometimes, it seems like we’re not aware of that. We are destructive. We suck the life out of our planet. And, apparently, we choose to deny that any of the problems we’ve created even exist, or we just don’t care. Yes, there are many people who are trying to make a difference, but they are still just individuals. Not much is changing on the global scale.
People get scared of spiders, flys, and other insects, though most of them are completely harmless. We fear nature. We always have. We don’t want anything to disturb our secluded lives, without relizing that the world we have created is probably just as dangerous. Society doesn’t treat everyone fairly. “Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me”, Oscar Wilde says. How many people have felt the same?
I’m not pretending to be better or more intelligent that other people. I’m exactly the same. (Except for the fear of spiders. I like spiders, but there are insects that make me feel uneasy.) I don’t have a solution, nor do I think there really is one. A perfect world doesn’t exist. Still, we should think about it. Try to do little things, or even big things, that may make a difference. The idea of nature as something wild and dangerous may be woven into the very fabric of our being, but the idea of nature as a nurturing mother is just as powerful. And I think it’s a very important part of who we are.
“Hamlet is a play of contagious, almost universal selfestrangement.”
– Stephen Greenblatt, Hamlet in Purgatory
Obviously, this week’s Classic Spotlight is all about Hamlet. It’s basically impossible not to have heard of this play, and I guess even people who haven’t read it know at least the most basic plot or premise. What made Hamlet this well-known? Well, there can never be a definite answer to this question, but one of the reasons is definitely the fact that Hamlet is open to numerous interpretations.
One perspective I’ve always found interesting is the fact that we are given the story from Hamlet’s point of view. We as readers trust him. We are not supposed to doubt the version of the story that we are given. And yet, imagination can lead us anywhere. What if Hamlet truly is mad?
Hamlet has problems with his own identity after the death of his father. He projects all of the virtues he appreciates in people onto his father and it seems that he takes pleasure in being the only one who still appreciates him. The father becomes the ideal he aspires to, and his memory transforms into an idealised image. Therefore, the father becomes a part of Hamlet, the man Hamlet wants to be. Hamlet’s ideal self, represented by the ghost, may be awakened by the urge to keep everything in place, but it also awakens Halmet’s doubts about himself.
It is also interesting that, though he is not the only one who sees the ghost, Hamlet is the only one who hears him speak, and what the ghost says and wants Hamlet to do is what Hamlet wants to hear. In short – Claudius is the villain, but spare your mother (whom Hamlet loves dearly).
And while King Hamlet (who interestingly shares the name with his son) is the embodiment of eveything Hamlet wants to be, Claudius becomes all that he hates. He is weak, while King Hamlet is a warrior, he is treacherous, while King Hamlet is honourable. And, maybe, Claudius represents some traits that Hamlet sees in himself, but doesn’t like. Hamlet is not strong-minded. His inability to act is what drives the plot forward. It could also be argued that he is not that brave. That’s why this quote is particularly interesting:
“…my uncle,/ My father’s brother, but no more like my father/ Than I to Hercules“ (1.2.152-153).
Does this equation suggest that father is like Hercules, and Claudius is like Hamlet? Well, it’s certainly interesting to guess.
Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as.)
I mentioned it a few times before, I don’t really like the idea of books being turned into movies. But, I admit, it’s fun to think about who might be the perfect actor/ress to play some of your favourite characters. I’ll start with my ideas for the upcoming Vampire Chronicles series, and then go to some random ones.
1. The Vampire Chronicles:
a) Jared Leto as Lestat
Maybe this would be a perfect match some ten years ago, but Jared Leto looks so much younger than he actually is, so I think it would work. His expressive blue eyes would be perfect for Lestat, and he looks great with every hair colour (he was blonde before anyway.) He’s a perfect combination of sweet-looking and crazy, and that exactly what we need for Lestat.
b) Luke Arnold as Louis
He already has curly brown hair. And he proved he was a great actor in Black Sails. I definitely want to see more of him, and I think the role of Louis would fit him well. Though, I think he would be a great Nicholas, too.
c) Jessica Parker Kennedy as Akasha
Another person from the Black Sails cast (what can I say, I’m a bit obsessed). While Aaliyah was perfect as Akasha in Queen of the Damned, and it will be hard to step into her shoes, it think Jessica Parker Kennedy can do it!
2. Natalie Dormer as Poison Ivy
It’s high time Poison Ivy gets her time to shine (I’m not counting the Batman and Robin movie because it was horrible, and I hate what they’re doing to Ivy in Gotham.) Natalie Dormer would be perfect for this! I’m sure she would rock red hair, and she has those eyes that kill. I would watch her in any superhero or supervillain role, to be honest, but since Poison Ivy is my favourite I really want her for this role.
3. Hugh Laurie as J. Jonah Jameson
Tom Holland was a great Spider-man! Now, Spidey will grow up eventually, and we’ll need J. Jonah Jameson to step into the story. 😛 This isn’t actually my idea, I saw it on the internet somewhere, but I loved it! Hugh Laurie would be great for this role.
4. Dan Stevens as Crake (Tales of the Ketty Jay)
This series is so much fun, and it would make a great tv show, or movie series. I’m not sure I want it to be turned into that format, but it would work. And while I’m not sure who would be a perfect Darian Frey, I’m absolutely certain Dan Stevens would be the right choice for Crake. Crake is the only aristocrat on the crew, but he is also a “mad scientist” with a troubled past kind of character, which makes him (almost) a combination od Dan Stevens’ character in Downton Abbey and David from Legion. 😉
5. Shades of Magic
a) Eddie Redmayne as Kell Maresh
Yes, Eddie Redmayne is older than Kell is supposed to be, but I’m old, too, so I don’t care. XD He’s a great actor and I can really see him as Kell.
b) Jade Hassouné as Rhy Maresh
I’ve only heard of Jade Hassouné because I’ve seen several people mention him as a their choice for Aladdin, but he immediately came to mind while I was doing this list. He is how I imagine Rhy to look like.
Hello, people! I was tagged to do this fun tag by the lovely Anna @MyBookishDream – thank you so much! Here are my answers:
1. Totally Should’ve Gotten A Sequel
I don’t think I have an answer for this one… I prefer stand-alone books, so I don’t think any of the books I like would’ve benefited from a sequel. Maaaybe it would be nice to have another book by Ellen Evert Hopman in her trilogy about the Celts. Each book has it’s own story, especially the last one, so it wouldn’t ruin anything, and I would like to read more about that period in history.
2. Totally Should’ve Gotten A Spin-Off Series
I’ll have to agree with Anna on this one, some Harry Potter spin-offs would be great! The Founders Era sounds particularly interesting. But, not to repeat the same answer, I would love to read a spin-off about Natalie Oscott from The Memoris of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. I loved her, and I think her story would be very interesting since she’s a female inventor in a Victorian-like world.
3. An Author Who Should Write More Books
Honesty, most of my favourite authors are dead. XD I’ll have to go with Elen Evert Hopman again. She did write quite a lot of non-fiction, but I’d really like to read more fiction from her. Her books are mostly historical fiction, but they feel so magical.
4. A Character Who Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else
These questions are obviously very hard for me. XD I’m not a big “shipper” so I don’t really know… I don’t really have a couple I hate.
5. Totally Should’ve Had A Movie Franchise
I don’t really like books being turned into movies… Oh, my, I sound like a real hater in in this post! XD But, yeah, I prefer books to stay books, and movies to come up with original plots. If I had to pick, I’d definitely say The Vampire Chronicles. Yes, it’s been done before, but I’m ready for a new one. Apparently, a tv show is in the making and I really hope it will be great.
6. Totally Should’ve Kept The Original Covers
I literally have no answer for this one… Soooo, can I turn it around? The old cover I saw for The Daughter of the Forest was pretty, but the new one blew me away with its simplicitly. I think it’s prettier that the original one. Unfortunatelly, I think the other two books in the series haven’t been published with new covers yet…
7. Totally Should’ve Stopped At Book One
I think The Vampire Chonicles should’ve stopped after book three. Maybe the books about Armand and Marius could stay, as spin-offs, but I think the first three were perfect and the rest was just too much. Tale of the Body Thief wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t like Memnoch the Devil at all. I’ve recently read Prince Lestat, and I enjoyed it at first, and was happy to meet the characters again, but in the end I though it was meh…
And, that’s it! I won’t be tagging anyone this time, but I hope some of you will do this tag! 😉
Company of Liars is, for now, exactly what I wanted it to be. Yes, I haven’t gotten far enough into it to give final judgement, but what I can say is that it portrays the Middle Ages very well. I just finished Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England so I’ve brushed up on my knowledge of the Medieval Period. I’ve always been fascinated by this era, and if you are, too, than I highly recommend Ian Mortimer’s book. It’s about how people actually lived during the fourteenth century, which is something that has always interested me.
Now, back to Company of Liars. A lot of things mentioned in The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England come to life in this novel. It takes place in England, in 1348, at that start of one of the plague outbreaks. Similar to some famous medieval works, such as TheCanterbury Tales and The Decameron, it follows a group of people who try to escape the disease. And while the book is quite realistic and historically accurate (at least it seems so to me, but I’m just an enthusiast, not an expert), it also has elements of fantasy and the supernatural. This works really well because belief in the supernatural was very strong during the Middle Ages. And it makes the novel feel eerie, which I really like.
Hope may be an illusion, but it’s what keeps you from jumping in a river or swallowing hemlock. Hope is a beautiful lie and it requires talent to create it for others. And back then on that day when they say it all began, I truly believed that the creation of hope was the greatest of all the arts, the noblest of all the lies. I was wrong.
This quote I chose to share with you is from the very beginning of the novel. The man who says it sells relics which he knows are fake, but still, he believes they provide hope and comfort for people who buy them. I think it’s a very interesting thought. Is false hope completely bad, or can it do some good? I’m quite a sceptic, so false hope rarely works for me, but it might help some people in a way that it gives them power to move on and maybe even find a solution to their problems.
What do you think? Feel free to chat with me. Also, have you read this book? What did you think of it?
Bromance = platonic relationship between two characters who identify as male.
Oh, my, this topic is great! Now, I know I haven’t posted in a while, and I’m sorry. I will try to post more often from now on, but I needed a little break for some not that interesting reasons. So, I’ll just skip this introduction and get right to my list of favourite bromances, because this is where the fun starts! 😉
1. Spider-man and Deadpool
I’ll just start with my (probably) all-time favourite pair. Spidey would be angry with me for this, because he refuses to call Deadpool his friend, but he’s wrong and we all know it. Deadpool admires Spider-man, but that doesn’t stop him from doing stupid things. And, while I expected more from the comics that deal with their relationship, they are still my favourite bros. With a hint of romance, to be completely honest. 😛
2. Jezal dan Luthar and Logen Ninefingers (The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie)
(This may be a mild spoiler, since this friendship develops slowly, but I try not to give many details.) When you first meet these two, you’d never say that they might become friends. Logen is a warrior from the North, a strong, feared man who wants to become a better person. Jezal is initially a handsome, but vain knight. This quote describes him well:
He wiped his face, and then—his favourite part of the day—gazed at himself in the looking glass.
And yet, they learn to recpect one another. It is interesting how Logen, a man who is tormented by all he did in the past, actually helped Jezal become a better person. At the time Logen was feeling particularly bad about himself, he asks Jezal if he’s an evil man to which Jezal replies “you’re the best man I know”. Neither of them are truly good, and they cannot fight all of their flaws, but the respect they have for one another in the end is wonderful to read about.
3. Hamlet and Horatio
It can be argued that Hamlet is actually insane, but I’ll leave that for another time. XD What is obvious from the play, though, is that the only person Hamlet can truly trust is Horatio. He helps Hamlet the best that he knows, and remains loyal to the end. After Hamlet (and everybody else) is dead, it’s Horatio’s role to tell the story of what had happened to the world.
Does this one even need an explanation? Sam is the best friend one can hope for. Frodo would be lost without him. Anotther great friendship from LOTR is the one between Legolas and Gimli, but Sam and Frodo are my pick for this list.
5. James Potter, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black
There are so many sweet friendships in the Harry Potter series. Ron and Harry are definitely the first that come to mind. And there are also Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski from Fantastic Beasts, the newest addition to the magical world. And, yet, I just had to put there three on the list. From what we learn about them, it is obvious that they were extremely close. They even learned to turn themselves into animals in order to help their werewolf friend.
Bonus, my favourite friendship from a tv show: Captain Flint and John Silver (Black Sails)
Black Sails is my favourite show, and Flint and Silver are just a small part of what makes the show so great – but an important part. Eventually, everything leads to these two. Their dynamic kept me at the edge of my seat (a polite way of saying I was emotionally unstable while watching it.) I want to say so much more, but I also want to persuade the people who haven’t seen the show to watch it, so I don’t want to say too much. Just watch the show, you’ll understand!
I wasn’t actually tagged to do this, but I saw it on @acourtofbookandlove and I realised I really wanted to do it. The tag combines books and music, and it’s always nice to talk about other things you like, apart from books. So, here it goes:
1. My Jam
A song you MUST listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it. + A book you’ll never get sick of.
My songs rarely come on. XD But sometimes, Youtube suggests something I’ve listened to many times before, and if that video is Deception by The Cruxshadows I always click on it. Or if it’s Sleepwalking. Oh, I love this song! Well, I love The Cruxshadows in general, so when I see them in recommended videos, I just click. XD
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley if my favourite book, so, of course, I’ll have to choose that one. How could I ever get sick of it if I adore it?
A song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life. + A book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now).
Oh, my “emo” phase in high school… I have nothing against emos, definitely not, but I was really silly in that period of my life, and not really emo. I was always a goodie-two-shoes, and that’s fine, but I stressed about stupid things and people who didn’t really deserve it. Anyway, my emo side reached its bottom with Lover I Don’t Have to Love by Bright Eyes, and I don’t even know why I felt such a connection to that song since it was far away from everything I actually was. (I never even drank and the song is about drugs and sex.) So, to my teenage readers: your problems are going to pass, just as this cringy phase of my life. Trust me and don’t lose hope! People who make you hate yourself will be forgotten.
The book perfect for this question is Twilight. I was almost as pathetic as Bella, so I sympathised with her. I really should’ve read about someone stronger than her, but hey, then I wouldn’t be able to feel so sorry about myself all the time. XD
A recent song you have on repeat right now + A recent favorite book
I don’t listen to many “recent” songs, but Korn released a new single Black is the Soul this summer and I really like it. When I first heard of this song I spent the day repeating the video on Youtube many times in a row.
My recent favourite book is Bright Air Black by David Vann. Such a great book! I actually wrote a post about it while I was still reading it.
4. Gets Me
The song IS ME + The book is me in book form
I don’t know exactly why, but White Flag by The Romanovs is really “my song”. There’s just something very mysterious and poetic about it. It even gave me inspiration to write. It’s probably my favourite song ever.
I already mentioned that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is my favourite book. It just has everything I like. And yet, I feel like (the first three books of)Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice might be me in book form. It started my love for vampires, and my enthusiasm for everything creepy and Gothic. Maybe I wouldn’t have liked Frankenstein as much if I haven’t had my vampire phase before reading it. (It wasn’t a phase, though. I’ll always love vampires.)
Weird but I like it?
+ A unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason
Anything by Emilie Autumn is a bit weird, and she’s my favourite musician so I have to mention her. If I had to go for just one weird song by her, I’d chose Time for Tea. It’s very murderous. 😉
When it comes to books, I really like medieval sagas, which may be strange to some people. My favourite is The Song of the Nibelungs. Together with Norse sagas and mythology, this book inspired Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
6. Let’s Go
Best pump up song (for workouts or just life)
+ A book that inspired you
I don’t really work out. I do yoga almost every day, but I do that in silence, and I rarely feel full of energy (low blood pressure and iron deficiency does that to a person XD) but I’d say Queen really picks me up. Show Must go On, I Want to Break Free, Bohemian Rhapsody… All of them!
So many book have inspired me… It’s so hard to chose one. Daphne du Murier is definitely a great writer and I wish I could write as she does, so I’ll choose Rebecca for this question.
Fav chill, relaxing song
+ A book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day
I don’t really listen to relaxing music. I’m all gloom and doom. XD The Romanovs are the closest to that, I guess, but they are also quite dark when it comes to lyrics. But sad can be relaxing, too, I guess? So, I’ll say Sad Theme For a Marriage by Lacrimas Profundere. Christopher’s voice is so deep and wonderful, it’s really relaxing.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë sounds perfect for a rainy day!
Guilty pleasure song – one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance
+ Guilty pleasure/trashy/fast/light read
For a strange reason, I really like Mika. He’s so happy, and I never listen to happy songs, but he’s the exception to the rule. So I have to choose Grace Kelly by Mika as my guilty pleasure song, though I think his songs do have substance.
I rarely read light, fast books. They kind of annoy me. XD But I’d say Soulless by Gail Carriger falls into this category. It’s witty, but also quite silly…
Throwback you look back on fondly
+ A book you read forever ago that you look back on fondly or reminds you of a happy childhood time
Anything by Evanescence, if I had to choose one song it would be Bring Me to Life since it’s the first song I’ve heard by them. Besides Marilyn Manson and Korn, Evanescence opened the door for me to all the music I listen to now. And while I still listen to Manson and Korn, I don’t listen to Evanescence as often, so it really feels nostalgic when I do.
And when it comes to childhood books, I’ll actually have to go with a graphic novel. W.I.T.C.H. was everything to me when I was about thirteen. I loved it so much!
And that’s it! Hope this was fun for you as it was for me. 🙂
What kind of music do you listen to? Who are your favourites bands and artists? Feel free to share, or you can do this tag if you think it would be fun for you. 🙂