#amreading: p. 266, THE ROMANOVS, 1613-1918

  • Everything is turned upside down at once . . . It is impossible for me to enumerate all the madness . . .  in a country that had become a plaything for the insane . . .  the army wastes all its time on the parade ground . . .  Power is unlimited and exercised perversely. You can judge how I am suffering.

— Alexander, grandson of Catherine the Great, about his own father, Paul, Emperor of Russia from 1796 (when Catherine died) to 1801

Edvard Munch: A Face in the Crowd

Last year, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art had an exhibit on Edvard Munch.

His portraits show faces erased of individual characteristics. THOSE PEOPLE ARE US.

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Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1925

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Edvard Munch, Death Struggle, 1915

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Edvard Munch, Night in Saint-Cloud, 1893

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

First Sentence, Work-in-Progress

Get up!

p. 154: THE ROMANOVS, 1613 – 1918

Sebag-Montefiore divides his history of the Romanovs into three Acts. Act II, which self began reading over the weekend, is called The Apogee, c. 1700 – 1800.

Instead of chapters, there are “Scenes.” Below is an excerpt from Scene 2: The Empresses.

p. 154:

  • Golitsyn, the grandson of Regent Sophia’s minister, had secretly converted to Catholicism to marry an Italian girl and, as a punishment, (Empress) Anna ordered him to abandon the wife and serve as her cupbearer . . .  Golitsyn’s speciality was to dress as a hen and sit on a straw basket nest for hours clucking in front of the court. After mass on Sundays, Golitsyn and the other fools sat in rows cackling and clucking in chicken outfits.

More scenes of depravity to follow.

Stay tuned.

Still More Faces in the Crowd: Backyard, Redwood City, California

Spring is just around the corner. Buds are beginning to open.

Here are a few of her flowers, just “faces in the crowd” :

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In Bloom Today: Japanese Anemone

More on their way:

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More Blooms Are on the Way

Plum tree’s covered with tiny white flowers:

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Been Blooming for a Week Now: Plum Tree

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: THE ROMANOVS, 1613 – 1918, p. 86

Self is now on p. 86. There have been many great individual sentences.

Nevertheless, she must get a move on.

It is extremely cold here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she needs to exit the house tonight, to pick up someone from SFO. Lacking a parka, she must layer. Not only must she layer, she must wear her UGG boots, which Marie Claire told her years ago was only suitable for under 30s. She hopes she doesn’t encounter people with rheumy coughs, as she did yesterday at Walmart. She wanted to run screaming out of the store, but she was stuck in line and had no choice but to stiff-upper-lip it.

Here’s the Sentence of the Day:

The Jolly Company were toasting the trip at Lefort’s palace when, as General Gordon wrote, a “merry night” was ruined by “the accident of discovering treason against His Majesty.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Faces in the Crowd

Love this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. Self has tons of “faces in the crowd” pictures. TONS.

Here are three more:

  • Waterloo Bridge, June 2017

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  • The Louvre, May 2017

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  • The Crowd in Front of the Mona Lisa, May 2017: This has to be seen to be believed. As you probably can guess, the Mona Lisa is on the left.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

THE ROMANOVS, 1613-1918, p. 52

Hugely enjoying this massive tome, so much so that self took it with her to Black Panther, and kept reading until the theater lights went down.

Chapter on Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, also known as the “Young Monk” :

Meschersky found the chief armourer Bogdan Khitrovo, nicknamed the “Whispering Favourite,” guarding the Red Staircase, brandishing his jewel-encrusted staff of office to hold back importuning crowds. He punched Meschersky.

“You shouldn’t strike me — I’m here on duty.”

“Who are you?” asked Khitrovo, who knew perfectly well.

“The patriarch’s servitor.”

“Don’t make so much of yourself. Why should we respect the patriarch?” and with that he smashed him on the head with his baton, sending him bleeding back to Nikon.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: BIRDS

Self loves participating in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges. This week’s challenge is BIRDS.

Since self is a writer, she has a lot of books. When she travels, there are more books in her suitcase than clothes.

Two years ago, in London, self was trying to heft a suitcase onto a double decker. The bus driver actually left the wheel to help her (This would never happen in San Francisco. Or Redwood City, that’s for sure!). Self tried to warn him. He took one tug at self’s bag, gave her a sharp look, and said: “I tell you, it must make you feel really good leaving home, knowing you’ve brought all your books along with you.”

When she’s in London, she always stays in Bloomsbury. Which means, of course, frequent trips to the London Review Bookshop. She was so good, this last trip. She only bought four books. One of them was a book of Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery, by David Attenborough and Susan Owens.

Here’s one of the illustrations: Frigate Pelican, by John James Audubon, from his groundbreaking collection The Birds of America (published 1822):

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

A FACE IN THE CROWD: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 21 February 2018

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is “a face in the crowd.”

Self has a lot of pictures of anonymous people, because she travels a lot by herself.

In December 2017, self visited London’s Barbican for the first time. She went to see the Basquiat: Boom for Real exhibit. Life-changing.

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Before that, she was in Paris:

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Cinema Mac Mahon, on the Avenue of the same name in Paris, December 2017

Christmas Day 2017  in the Tuileries, Paris:

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Paris, December 25, 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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