Monday, December 1, 2008

King Lear, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Muse, Fantasy Books

And the Bard does it again ! I have yet to find one of his plays that I don't just love and King Lear is no exception. It's a surprising play : the subplot takes over the main plot in a total reversal of power, torture is shown on stage, the play begins with the schemes to divide a kindgom and ends with nobody wanting said kingdom, and it's a play that's all about relationships. Between father and daughter, father and son, the poor and the rich, between sister and sister, between husband and wife. It contains some excellent scenes (Gloucester and the cliff is my favourite) and end with... nothing as there's a complete disappearance of everybody and everything, best summed up by the last stage direction : "Exeunt with a dead march". Some passages were food for thought and I can't understand the misogyny displayed when it comes to Goneril and Regan. I'd love to read a book about the treatment of women in Shakespeare, King Lear, for example, was chock-full of very well-fleshed women. I'd be very curious to show it performed on stage, it'd probably take hours and it would be very expensive, there are so many settings, characters and devices !

Next up : Vanity Fair by Thackeray. It'll take me a while so don't hold your breath. I started it earlier this year and gave up but I can't do that now as it's part of my 2008 reading challenge and 2008 is about to end. So I'll just read and read till it's finished no matter what.

So, what have I been up to these past few days ? I'm very much looking forward to receiving my copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard which I pre ordered the day its release was announced. I've also been listening to a lot of really good music : Simon and Garfunkel (and I couldn't resist buying their complete discography on Play as it was on sale, I know, I'm ashamed of myself but honestly 5 CDs and a DVD for 13,99€ I don't see how I can possibly be expected to just walk away) and in the meantime I've been listening to it on Deezer. I've also been discovering Chuck Berry and after two days of intense listening (Chess Box), I can say for sure that the man is a god. So is Bob Dylan whom I'm discovering for the first time (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited, Bringing it All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde) . I've never liked rock music but since these days I seem to finally broaden my tastes, I listened to two albums by Muse (Black Holes and Revelations, Absolution), and I fell in love, it's excellent stuff. Perhaps I just needed to grow up, change, to be open about other things. Speaking of this, you can't begin to imagine how many times per DAY I have to refrain from buying fantasy books on The Book Depository. I'm about to dream about Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Garth Nix any second now. It's a disease, but I'm waiting for my TBR pile to have no more than two books before ordering anything else. Please please tell me I'm strong enough to do this. Please ?

Chuck Berry