One Summer Evening, on p. 57

No need to mention the book, as anyone who follows this blog well knows: it’s the biography of du Maurier. Self is just crawling along, reading at a snail’s pace.

P. 57, one warm summer evening, “after dinner,” Mlle Yvon, du Maurier’s current crush — true artists do not discriminate, a crush is a crush, whether male or female — takes the students “up the hill” behind the villa, “close to the remains of Mrs. Panckoucke’s Chinese pavilion,” where they sit and “contemplate the view of Paris. The air is deliciously perfumed.”

Read this book if you want to swoon into that kind of summer idyll when you are young and you speak perfect French (while being English) and you’ve got a crush on your teacher (who knows it, of course — what teacher worth her salt wouldn’t know if a student had a crush on her)

Mademoiselle poses a series of questions (which should be used in every Bachelor or Bachelorette or Proposal reality show, they are so much better than the questions on those shows):

  • If you were invisible, what is the first thing you would do?
  • What is the most foolish thing you have ever done?
  • If you were a meal, what would you be, and how should you be eaten?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

While We’re On the Subject of Girls’ Schools

from The New Yorker, 22 May 2017:

  • Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is a remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 Civil War drama, about a wounded Union soldier who is given shelter in a Confederate girls’ school and arouses the repressed sexual energy of students and teachers alike. Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, and Elle Fanning play residents of the school; Colin Farrell plays the soldier.

Alas, self missed this film when it showed in theatres last year but she will always, to her dying day, like Colin Farrell.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Being Du Maurier (In a French Boarding School)

Manderley Forever, p. 53:

In the room next door are two younger girls, one of whom is a clumsy oaf named Henrietta, one of the few to have been impressed by the du Maurier name. In the blink of an eye, Daphne sweet-talks, charms, and enslaves her. From that point on, Henrietta will, very discreetly, make Daphne’s bed for her every morning. As for the cold, Daphne complains about it so much to Muriel that her mother pays a supplementary fee to the school management in order that Daphne and Doodle be allowed to light a fire in their room. Adrienne, the young maid, comes in to to light it every morning.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: THE ART OF THE AFFAIR (Bloomsbury, 2017)

From the January/February 2017 issue of Poets & Writers:

“Creative people are drawn to each other, as notorious for falling in love as they are for driving each other insane . . .  Seen a certain way, the history of art and literature is a history of all this love.”

— Catherine Lacey in The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Influence

amreading: Filipino short story writer Gilda Cordero-Fernando

from “Hothouse” :

Tia Dolor has been around the world several times, but towns and cities — Nikko and Capri and Copenhagen — all look alike to her: the same buildings, the same churches, the same automobiles. In fact, she is hard put to tell one country from another except from what they sell in the shops. And she has something to bring home for everybody — no one is ever forgotten — her suitcases are cleaned out of everything she has brought home including some that she went away with. And if you expect her somehow to look more chic (a new hairdo, a new suit) you are sorely disappointed: she minces down the ramp wearing the squirrel coat from Hong Kong and her black lizard skin wedgies.

Filipino (Prose) Literature in English, A Few Recommended Titles from the Golden Age:

  • The Distance to Andromeda and Other Stories, by Gregorio C. Brillantes
  • A Season of Grace, by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • Children of the Ash-Covered Loam and Other Stories, by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • The Bamboo Dancers, a novel by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • Now and At the Hour and Other Stories, by Aida L. Rivera
  • Brother, My Brother: Stories, by Bienvenido Santos
  • You Lovely People, by Bienvenido Santos

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WOOD

Another Cee Neuner Fun Foto Challenge! For the next few weeks, Cee asks us to take inspiration from a photograph. Here is the photograph for Week 3.

Self got to spend time in the City yesterday. She was with her niece Angela, who introduced self to the wonder of Tea Bear Café, whose walls were either real or synthetic wood. And self has no idea what the dice were meant to represent:

DSCN0118

Saturday, 28 July 2018: Tea Bear Café, San Francisco Chinatown

And there’s an adorable picture of the bear in Tea Bear!

DSCN0119

The Bear Has Its Close-up

And here’s the view just outside the café: Washington Park, where a Chinese dance performance was happening.

DSCN0116

Washington Square, Chinatown, San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lady Fitzwilliam: Manderley Forever, p. 25

As the car entered the driveway, Muriel whispered proudly that the Fitzwilliam  family had lived at Milton for four-hundred years. Muriel and the girls are inside the mansion now, but Daphne lingers outside, admiring the porch with its pillars, the clock at the top of the turret, the rows of lattice windows. In the entrance hall, the lady of the house, Lady Fitzwilliam, welcomes them, her white hair in a bun. Next to her are a lady companion with a chow chow . . . Behind them are two lines of servants, from the little chambermaid, whose task it is to light fires, to the self-important butler . . . those strangers whom she has no desire to know . . . when all she wants to do is disappear into a book.

Fascinating.

#currentlyreading: MANDERLEY FOREVER: A BIOGRAPHY OF DAPHNE DU MAURIER, p. 17

Cannon Hall, Hampstead, London

November 2013

As I emerge from Hampstead tube station, in the north of London, the first thing that comes to my mind is that I have been here before: I came when I was a teenager, to visit the house of the poet John Keats, on Primrose Hill.


In self’s mind, memories of 2015 (or could it have been 2016?) when she met Emily in Chez Nous on Hanway Place off Tottenham, just before Emily moved from the Bloomsbury Hotel to Hampstead Heath, and offered to show self around, in a bid to get self to move from Russell Square to Hampstead, where Emily rented a room from a woman who lived in a big, old house not far from Benedict Cumberbatch’s.

Fun times.

In the end, self listened to her old Assumption Convent classmate who advised her to stay put. She’s lived in Russell Square every year now for five years, when she comes to London.

Stay tuned.

Poetry Wednesday: C. P. Cavafy

An excerpt from Second Odyssey (translated from the Greek by George Economou)

Telemachos’s affection, Penelope’s
fidelity, his father’s longevity,
his band of old friends, his people’s
loyal devotion, the blissful repose of home
poured like rays of joy into the seafarer’s heart.

And just like rays, dissolved.

A thirst
awoke inside him for the sea.

This translation of C. P. Cavafy was published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Iowa Review.

Stay tuned.

Message from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee

  • The Supreme Court won’t fix gerrymandering soon, so it’s up to voters.

Charlotte Observer

Half of the officials who will take part in redistricting in 2021 will be elected this year, including governors who will have veto power over rigged maps.

This year, the National Democratic Committee is targeting:

  • 12 states
  • 10 governor’s races
  • 275 state legislative seats

Many of these elections are taking place in districts that are already gerrymandered, so Democrats are facing an uphill battle.

But the electoral fight IS winnable. It happened in Virginia and Wisconsin.

What do we want? We want “to see voters picking their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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