Hoping For Snow

“I really wish it snowed this winter.” That is a sentence I repeat every year. Why? Because it almost never snows in my town, so when it does everyone becomes a child and goes out to play. Everything stops. Yes, it’s hard for people to go to work, the roads get icy and the traffic barely works at all, and people start falling down like apples from a tree, but still, I selfishly hope for snow. And since December is here, and winter is on its way, I wanted to write a post about it. Because, why not?

I live in Split (yes, I know it sounds silly in English), in the coastal part of Croatia. Now, if you google Split, you’ll see something like this:

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Sea, sunshine, palm trees (which are not actually native but we have them here since forever and they have become our trademark), and no hope for a snowy day. However, a few years ago we did get a lot of snow (at least for us it was a lot). And for me, it was amazing! Please, don’t think I’m complaining about the sunshine and warmth, but sometimes you just want something you don’t usually have. For me, snow is exciting. And pretty. This is how a park in my neighbourhood looked like (notice the palm trees again):

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And the centre of the city:

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Palm tree: “What, in the name of the tropical gods, is this?”

So, yes, we are never prepared for snow, but that’s what’s so nice about it. This post is a bit unusual for this blog, I guess, but I really wanted to post something “wintery”. Hope you’ll have a nice winter, even if you don’t like the season at all. In that case, well, after winter always comes spring. ­čÖé

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“Aren’t we cute like this?” ­čÖé

Quote for Thought: The Return of Philip Latinowicz

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Hands. Just what do those thousands of human hands moving about the city look like? Human hands that kill, shed the blood of other animals, construct machines, prick with needeles, hold burning irons, lamps, banners, razors, tools, people carry them in the street as if they did not know what to do with them. They take off their hats, wave their sticks, carry things in their hands, cigarettes, books, one hand holds another with the magnetism of physical contact, human hands are warm, they sweat, grow rough, can be wounded, bathed, painted, make meaningless gestures, follow the movement of human bodies like flashy ornaments of monotonous size, moving about the streets together with the people, in that long and fruitless human procession which flows and swells between the walls of cities as water. (…)

There is sorrow in every human eye, like an animal peeping out of a cage; human gestures are like hyenas’ and vunerable because everything is barred and everything is locked, and painting is altoghether unnecessary in cages. How could one possibly stop those human streams and begin talking to them in terms of painting?

Miroslav Krle┼ża, The Return of Philip Latinowicz

Well, I though, why not mention a Croatian author on my blog. So, here he is, the most famous of all – Miroslav Krle┼ża. Miroslav Krle┼ża was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature seven years in a row, from 1958 till 1964, but he was never awarded.

I actually had to read The Return of Philip Latinowicz┬áthree times – first in high school and then twice in college. I didn’t like it the first time, until we started to talk about it. Miroslav Krle┼ża is known for his descriptive style and too long sentences, but I grew to like this book and truly appreciate Krle┼ża.

It is a novel about a man who returns to his hometown after spending many years away. He is a painter who cannot find inspiration for his work. Along the way, he meets several interesting characters, and none of them are very likable. He also has to deal with some issues from his past which cause him to have a love-hate relationship with his town. The novel gives quite a bleak view of people and human nature, and even has elements of Naturalism. For a large part, it discusses the purpose and futility of art – which I think is reflected in the chosen quote. The quote is long, yes, but that is quite fitting considering Krle┼ża’s style in general.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip to Croatian literature!

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