Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Rape of Lucrece: 'Conscience, how dost thou afflict me'

I can't find the right title for this blog post. Why is that? Is it because I've waited to long before actually pen this down? The thing is, it's not easy to review this particular narrative poem. It's simple, and yet, it's a lot of things.

Longer than his other work, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece tells the darker shade of love - lust. It talks about a man's reaction to a sudden and strong desire and the aftermath of his decision.

The argument of the poem actually spoils everything out. Sextus Tarquinius (Tarquin) wanted to prove for himself the virtue of Collatine's wife, Lucrece, of whom her husband had boasted a lot. He went to Collatine's house just to find Collatine's praise of Lucrece "hath done her beauty wrong, Which far exceeds his barren skill to show." Tarquin, unable to resist the temptation, raped Lucrece. He left her devastated in the morning, ashamed of what he had done, but too proud to actually admit it. Lucrece sent word to her husband, requested his immediate return, and, in front of everyone, killed herself - but not before relating all Tarquin had done.

Nothing so interesting in the plot. Shakespeare's beauty, after all, is rarely in the cheesy plot. His strength is in the characters, the human beings. Now the two main characters here have an interesting trait of humanity - conscience. But these two work it out differently.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Liebster Award - 11 Facts about Me

Thanks Fanda for nominating me for this award. My blog is a (sort of) free blog, although I blog mostly about classics, but I read other books also, and especially am obsessed with poetry. So, without much ado, here are the rules:

The Rules:

*Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
*Display the award somewhere on your blog.
*List 11 facts about yourself.
*Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
*Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
*Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers. You may nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.  
*Go to their blog and inform them that they've been nominated. 

11 Facts about me

  1. Is this really necessary? I don't have much to say about myself.
  2. I have a lovely brother and sometimes we let people assume we're not siblings and dating instead. That's funny.
  3. I love, love, truly love poetry, and I believe in the power of written word. 
  4. My favourite literary boys are in two opposite poles. They are either a gentle, calm, kind noblemen, or... truly bad, smart, naughty villain.
  5. In high school I was obsessed with Victorian Era and Victorian fashion. I thought I would do anything to be a lady.
  6. I am so capricious and I tend to do things on a whim. I almost took Chinese Lit major just because I liked Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and I studied Italian just to translate songs. 
  7. I love researching. Once I researched the rules of heraldry and the blazoning of coat-of-arms. Again, just for fun.
  8. Needless to say, people think I'm a nerd. Some of them. Well, maybe most of them. But that's what makes me and not everybody else. 
  9. The thing that I hate most in a book: needless sex scene. Firstly, I don't really like sex scenes, because it's just too private for me. It's like watching someone doing whatever he does in bathroom, you know. Like it's out of your business. Secondly, if it's meaningless, it's worse. I don't watch, or read, porn, for that matter.
  10. I love tranquillity. I love to walk on an evening watching the sky turning dark, I love the sound of the wind through the leaves on a grassy hill, I love the whispers of the raindrops when they fall. 
  11. I am a Shakespearean, or Stratfodian, if you want to put it that way. Say whatever you like, but I am convinced that Shakespeare was Shakespeare who wrote those plays. It's not his fault he mimic Marlowe. I think Shakespeare was a Marlowe fanboy. He loved and hated Marlowe because Marlowe was so so good and because he thought he would never surpass him.
So here are Fanda's questions:

Who is your most favourite book character? Why?'
Do I have to choose one? RIght now I can only think of Edmond Dantes a.k.a Count of Monte Cristo. He is dark and light, bitter sweet, tragic and magical. There's no way I'd cease to love that man.

Do you have a full collection of books from one certain author? If yes, which author? If no, are you planning to do that?
I have the full collection of Shakespeare's works. Goodness, I love Shakespeare. It's far from surprising. I also have the whole Canon of Sherlock Holmes. 

When you are starting a new book, can you tell from the beginning how much you would like it, or you can only judge after finishing it?
Depends. But I definitely know if I read a book that I'm going to hate.

What book do you want to reread the most right now?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. It's may favourite, if you haven't guessed already. I wish I had the time to reread Les Miserables by Hugo. Those two books are eye openers. Both books show you how rotten the world is, and both tell you that there's nothing you can do about it except try to do good your own way and hope people will appreciate that (which usually doesn't happen).

By the way, that's how desperate I am right now.

What was the last book you rated 5/5 stars?
I don't remember any more. Robinson Crusoe maybe. 

The longest book you’ve ever read is…. How many pages is it?
Les Miserables. It's 2000-something, I suppose. But I hope next year I'll be able to put The Bible on the list. 

What country do you like most for book setting?
Nothing in particular. It's not the setting. I read books set in London, Paris, past, future, neverland, space, anywhere. It's the characters and the plot for me.

When buying book that has more than one edition, how do you decide which edition to pick?
Book cover. Except when it's first edition of something that I really like. But I'm pretty sure I will never obtain Shakespeare's First Folio or Gutenberg Bible. :(

How do you slip time to read books during your daily activities?
I read almost anywhere. I love ebooks and don't mind reading them. 

Do you read while traveling (when you are not driving, of course)?

Do social media hinder you from reading?
Sometimes. I have to confess sometimes I love blogging better than reading. And because my hobby includes music, poetry, and others, it's pretty hard to just read.

Now, my questions, right? Or should I name the blogs first? Fine. I nominate these blogs for Liebster Award:

  1. BZee @ Bacaan BZee
  2. Kimberlee @ Girl Lost in a Book
  3. Ira @ irabooklover
  4. Melissa @ Avid Reader's Musing
  5. Annette @ Impressions in Ink

Now to the questions:

  1. What is your favourite quote from your favourite author?
  2. What genre do you mostly read? 
  3. What is the best book ever written in mankind's history?
  4. What is the oldest book that you've read?
  5. What turns you on, or off, when reading?
  6. Have you challenged yourself to read something really hard and completed the challenge?
  7. People can read and read for themselves. Why do you blog about it?
  8. What kind of author do you hate the most?
  9. What kind of reader do you hate the most?
  10. What is the literary dream of your life?
  11. When you read something, do you research about the particulars? For example when you read Historical Fiction, do you check history, or when you read science-fiction do you check the science stuff?
That's all. Please have fun with it, and if possible, go back to this blog and post the link in comments so I can read your 11 facts. 

Happry reading.