Illustration by Niroot Puttapipat of Quatrain 70 of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, trans. Edward Fitzgerald;
London, Folio Society, 2009; found here at the artist’s blog)
It’s been a little while since the last gallimaufry of links and, since I’m not feeling like writing (periodically, all the hate, violence, greed and intolerance in the world make me despair as I’m sure they do you and this is one of those times), here are a few posts you may find interesting.
For those of us despairing at the sheer depressing idiocy and duplicity that has characterised the Brexit debate on both sides, yesterday’s frolics on the Thames provided some light relief even as it reinforced doubts about the nation’s sanity:
One day, years from now, when I’m sitting in my armchair by the fire, my son will come up to me and ask, ‘Daddy... what did you do during the EU referendum?’
And I’ll put down my newspaper, remove the pipe from my mouth, and I’ll say, ‘Well, son. I went on a boozed-up boat trip down the Thames with Nigel Farage while men from Ukip shouted ‘Get a job!’ at Bob Geldof as he flicked V-signs at them from a pleasure cruiser and Scottish fishermen squirted water at rival campaigners in a dinghy and Members of Parliament gazed from the Commons in disbelief and 100 people on a bridge sang Rule Britannia.’
It’s not often there’s good news about the environment, but here’s a nice story about Văcărești, an abandoned plot of urban wasteland in the heart of Bucharest which has been reclaimed by nature.
Spanish Lit Month 2016 is around the corner in July. As I am reliably unreliable when it comes to any sort of readalong (cough, Little, Big) I am planning to read Julián Ayesta’s Helena, or The Sea in Summer because I believe that even I can manage 124 pages in 31 days. (Although I’m not quite confident enough to add my name to the list.) Richard is also co-hosting a readalong of The Man Without Qualities; I would love to join in as I’ve meant to read this for ages but see above, unreliable. I have a collection of Musil’s short stories so might indulge in a Sympathy Read.
And 165 years after dining with Thackeray, Charlotte Brontë has been cleared of a ‘dress gaffe’ (though not of contributing to a ‘gloomy and silent evening’.
(The dress Charlotte didn’t wear, from here)