Could Beatrice write with Dante’s passion,
Or Laura have glorified love’s pain?
Women poets – I set the fashion…
Lord, how to shut them up again!
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova)
from Седьмая книга (The Seventh Book)
translation by D. M. Thomas
I had to take a break the past few months to recuperate. Updates will be sporadic for a while.
Forthcoming posts in the next few weeks will be:
- Netochka Nezvarovna by Dostoyevsky
- South of Hell: episode/series synopsis and review
- A few film reviews.
Maybe a series review of BBC’s recent adaption of War and Peace. In brief: It has good, if anachronistic in its gowns, costume design and well framed scenes but the overall series feels as if it proceeds at a break neck pace. It has pointless nudity for the most part (including showing Natalia full frontal nude in the first episode when she is meant to be only 13 years old which is morally awkward even if the actress is obviously in her twenties) and inevitably, as with other productions, has to skip over all of Tolstoy’s social commentary. My favourite character in the end was Marya Bolkonskaya (loyal and moral to a fault) although I felt that the treatment of Sonya Rostova who is considered a ‘sterile flower’ feels tragic considering how others get a happy ending while she is expected to be satisfied with self-sacrifice. On the whole there is great scenery to entertain the eyes but it works better as a ‘dramatic highlights’ version of the story, useful for focused discussions about particular scenes, than a satisfying dramatic adaption of the novel. A good modern style adaption of the overarching narrative ,where everything has been sexed up to appeal to a younger audience, but may leave those more familiar with the novel, or seeking its social commentary on Tsarist Russian society, unfulfilled.
Tom Burke, as Fedya Dolokhov, stole every scene he was in and reminded me of Rik Mayall’s portrayl of Lord Flashheart in BlackAdder II. Due to how fast the narrative proceeds from his introduction to his seduction of Helena and the inevitable duel with Pierre it feels as if they were intentionally trying to portray Dolokhov as the Russian Flashheart.
… actually maybe I won’t cover War and Peace as that is a concise enough summary. We will see. Tell me if you would be interested in a longer commentary.
In other news: I received this link asking for donations towards the upkeep of a Polish girl called Laura who suffers from congenital bone fragility. The site shows photos of her performances, diplomas of her achievements, a blog, etc. They are appealing for donations as the costs of her treatment and rehabilitation exceed the financial ability of her parents to support her on their own. Contact details are on the ‘Jak pomóc’ (How to help) page
Check it out if you want. There is no obligation.
I don’t have access to Word at the moment so WordPress saving a draft every minute or so is a nice feature though I prefer to type it out first then copy/paste into the post drafting part.