1. Which Book are you currently reading and which page are you on?
I’m still reading Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent or Sleepy Hollow: Schaurige Erzählungen (Ghastly Tales) a book that I started reading back in 2014. It’s a collection of different essays and stories by Irving.
After a few days of reading I’m now on page 111.
2. What is the first sentence on your current page?
Alles dieß lasse ich als eine reiche Fundgrube hinter mir, welche spätere Erläuterer bearbeiten mögen; auch zweifele ich nicht, daß die Tabaksdose und der »halbvergoldete Becher,« welche ich jetzt an das Tageslicht gebracht habe, später Gegenstände zu Kupferstichen hergeben, und beinahe eben so viele bändereiche Abhandlungen und Streitschriften erzeugen werden, als der Schild des Achilles, oder die weitberühmte Portland-Vase.
or in English:
All this I leave, as a rich mine, to be worked by future commentators, nor do I despair of seeing the tobacco-box, and the “parcel-gilt goblet” which I have thus brought to light the subject of future engravings, and almost as fruitful of voluminous dissertations and disputes as the shield of Achilles or the far-famed Portland Vase.
Thanks internet for providing online reading material…I really wouldn’t have wanted to type and translate that…
3. What do you desperately need to tell about your current book? (Thoughts, Feelings, a Quote, whatever you want!)
Since last week I’ve come across some very interesting essays, one being English Writers on America, another being The Art of Book-Making and the last one being The Boar’s Head Tavern, Eastcheap. All of them have quite interesting points that even seem valid today.
In the first one he talks about English media relying on unreliable sources telling them about the New World (aka America) and this quote stood out to me in regards to the way modern media portrays certain things:
Knowledge is power, and truth is knowledge; whoever, therefore, knowingly propagates a prejudice, wilfully saps the foundation of his country’s strength.
– W. Irving: English Writers on America
In The Art of Book-Making he describes a dream sequence were authors act like beggars and put together their own garments by using the works of those that came before them, essentially implying that no work of fiction – or even non-fiction – is new and just made up off thoughts and writings of authors of previous generations.
It’s a fascinating picture of something every writer came across at some point.
The last one deals with being a fan – in this case of Shakespeare – and what fans are willing to do to re-live what their heroes have written or to explore their writings differently. In Irving’s case he recalls a journey to Eastcheap where he wants to visit the tavern described in Henry IV. Things like that are still done today and not just for books, but also movies and TV shows. It’s even encouraged through provided tours or guides to explore those places yourself. While we were in Bath, e.g. we followed an audio guide to take us to the places of Jane Austen’s life and books in the town – during my commute days I then listened to Northanger Abbey that partly took place in there. We did the same in London, where we followed – amongst others – a Sherlock Holmes audio tour, even if it was more in regards to the first Robert Downey Jr. movie than the actual books. I believe it can be quite interesting to see where the inspiration for a story or movie was taken from and then see how it was changed through the authors eyes.
And I’m pretty sure I read a post about this the other day, but I can’t remember where it was…If anyone has a clue, let me know!
It wasn’t this one by the Schreibmeer (Writing Ocean, though probably also a pun on schreib mehr/write more, as it’s a page giving you writing advice), but it’s still an interesting (German) read: From Cosplay to self-research the hard way – When authors slip into the roles of their characters.
Another essay that might be interesting to some might be The Broken Heart, about the very true effect of women actually dying from heartbreak.
Seeing as there is quite a lot of stuff for these four available online, I’m pretty sure a lot of people seem to consider them similarly interesting. And I’m pretty sure I have to re-read the early pages to not miss out on other potentially interesting essays.
I also came across the Rip Van Winkle story, which seems to be rather famous, but I can’t say I ever actually heard about it… It does remind me of Schandmaul’s „Reich der Träume“ (Realm of Dreams) though, which I kind of put into a story here: Back from a Dream.
Though I do believe the story of someone disappearing into a dream land for years and returning to find their old life in ruins is quite a common and old concept. Which probably is the reason, why I didn’t care that much for the story itself…
On a different note: I’m pretty sure I can enjoy the essays about life in England/London more, now that I’ve actually visited it. Just like I appreciated the nods to the Gothic culture in Kinder des Judas more, after being more involved in it.
4. Do you have a booky project of the heart or a favourite book where you don’t waste any chances to make it known, because you think everyone should hear about it? Tell us about it!
Uhm…not really…There are books that I occasionally recommend to people, but I wouldn’t call them projects of the heart…that’s more likely to happen with shows, series and comics these days…
Though I did go to my local library to support/advertise the Märchenspinnerei yesterday…
Last weekend I send off a translated and lengthened version of the first part of the Neubrandenwolf for a writing contest. I also wrote down a story for the latest Bücherstadtkurier contest, the one where my story got chosen a couple of years ago, but I haven’t send it to them yet. I’ll probably read through it a couple more times, before daring to do that. Hopefully I’ll get some other writing done for The Queen’s Wish or even some of the old stuff lying around…we’ll see…
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