Montag, 26. März 2012

salvador - henk van straten (2011)

after reading van straten's satire novel superlul, i decided to read this one, which was released at the same time. the two books probably could't be more different, but they're both great!

hendrie perenboom travels to spain to meet his son, a seven-year-old boy, of whose existence he didn't know until some weeks ago. before he confronts the mother and the boy, he spies on them, wanting to know if he really is the father and why this is suddenly becoming an issue for the mother, who asked him to come.

a wonderful portrait. the best part is the inner struggle of hendrie, who refers to himself as ishmael of both the bible and herman melville's moby dick, and his hard fought but useless trying to develop from a hopeless juvenile delinquent to the man he desperatly wants to be, told in little episodes between the main story.

the book is nominated for the dutch literary price libris.

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Mittwoch, 21. März 2012

poem: if love's a sweet passion - henry purcell (1692)

i press her hand gently, look languishing down
and by passionate silence i make my love known.
but oh! how i'm blest when so kind she does prove
by some willing mistake to discover her love.
when in striving to hide, she reveals her flame
and in our eyes tell each other what neither dares name.

if love's a sweet passion why does it torment?
if a bitter, oh tell me, whence comes my content?
since i suffer with pleasure, why should i complain
or grieve at my fate, when i know it's in vain?
yet so pleasing the pain is so soft as the dart
that at once it both wounds me and tickles my heart.

picture by mckee photography (i hope it's ok that i show it, it's so awesome)

Dienstag, 20. März 2012

ballet: the fairy queen - henry purcell (1692) by richard wherlock

this was my first ballet ever. the music by henry purcell is barroque, and the dancing was very modern, emotional and also funny. the story is based on shakespeare's a midsummer night's dream (1595), which i absolutely love. a year or so ago i saw the play performed by od-theater, which was really cool. so i was very curious how the matter is transformed into a ballet.

the king of the fairies, oberon, and his queen titania are quarreling about a little indian boy. oberon is jealous and instructs the ne'er-do-well puck to give his wife a love-juice and make her fall in love with a donkey-headed human. this and all kind of other love-stories sum up in a wonderful mess.

the story has also been made into the modern teenage-musical were the world mine (2008), where topics as homosexuality an sexuality itself are nicely taken up. 

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the art of distinct thinking - rolf dobelli (2011)

rolf dobelli has published columns in several journals. a collection from his writing about all kind of thinking-errors that the human race tends to make, has now been published in this book:

the swimmer's body illusion for example describes the wrong belief that if you start swimming you'll get a swimmer's body. it is the other way round: if you have a swimmer's body, your sport of choice is probably swimming, because you have natural advantages for it. same about cosmetic-product-models on tv, they are not pretty because they wear make-up, they make ads for cosmetics because they are beautiful people.

that's just one of the 52 misunderstandings and twisted thought-schemes, that are explained in an easy understandable and funny way, always with some nice anecdotes and examples. even if i already knew a lot of those errors, and also think i mostly avoid them by simply making use of my brain (haha) it is definitively interesting to see those failures happen not only in private life but also in politics and economy etc. and to have it labeled with a fitting name.

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Montag, 19. März 2012

theater: the physicians - friedrich dürrenmatt (1961) by helmut förnbacher theater company

some weeks ago i was in the theater watching the physicians by dürrenmatt. it's a strange story:

in a residence for mentally ill people, a physician, who thinks himself to be newton, murders a nurse. already some weeks before that a nurse has been killed a physician, who believes he is einstein. the police is shutting down the house, in order to prevent any more deaths. all patients are moved to another place, just the two physicians and another colleague of theirs, an aspiring physician, who claims to see king salomo's ghost in his room, are staying under the protection from the house keeper, ms. von zahnd, while police-inspector voss is trying to solve the mystery of the murders.

a weird, tragic-comedy with a hollywood-like finale from swiss master dürrenmatt (btw a former friend of helmut förnbacher, the head of the theather company).

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Freitag, 16. März 2012

man in the dark - paul auster (2008)

august bril, a former book-critic, cant sleep at night, but due to a serious accident some years ago, he cant leave his bed. in order to not think about the things he doesnt want to think about, he tells himself stories...

owen bricks, a magician, is suddenly waking up in a world where an american civil war is going on. he has been chosen to end the war, which is being created in the head of an old man, who tells stories to himself. he has to go back to his world and kill this man.

i love me a little sci-fi, even if it's only in a mind ;-)

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Mittwoch, 14. März 2012

life is fanspastic - robin corbee (2011)

robin corbee is a spastic. she can't do a lot of things physically - but she can write, and that's what she's always wanted to do...

this book is a collection of corbee's autobiographical columns for the dutch journal de duinstreek.

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see more dutch books here...