Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Picture = 1,000 words

More images from the "2011 United Nations European Ad Competition to Say No to Violence Against Women" here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Meme - What I Am Listening to (when I have the time) 2

I'm assuming this meme, started by Bellezza will happen every two weeks, simply because I don't seem to have enough time to listen to things/music worth mentioning every single week.(except Madonna, of course)
But today, probably for the 4th time, I am listening to Jeremy Irons' speech that happened on the 17th of October, during the World Food Day Ceremony in Rome, when he was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. More about his very important work to eradicate hunger here.

There is no excuse for us not to care!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

4 Is Not a Crowd

A few days ago I read an interesting post here and it made me seriously ask myself the same question: What writers should I invite to my (fancy) dinner?. The tricky thing is that they have to be from different centuries, so after I struggled with a list of 10 or so writers, I decided to have a "ladies' night" with three of the most inspiring women writers. EVER.

Jeanette Winterson (21st century, born in 1959)

~ first encounter with her work: 2001
~ adopted by Pentecostal parents, she used to hide in order to be able to read books.
~ she wrote her first and probably her most talked-about novel "Oranges are not the only fruit" at 23, which she published in 1985.
~ owns an eco-shop in London, called "Verdes".
~ has just started using twitter and is about to have her first autobiography published - "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?".
~ her best book, in my opinion: "The Passion".
Everything she writes feels enchanting and yet, utterly true and about myself :)

Anais Nin (20th century, 1903 - 1977)

~ first encounter with her work: 2002
~ probably most famous for her tumultuous affair with Henry Miller.
~ of French-Cuban origin, she also used to live by herself, although she was married, on a boat on the Seine.
~ studied psychoanalysis and briefly practiced as a lay therapist in New York; she was a patient of Carl Jung for a time as well.
~ was an obscure literary figure until 1966, when her diary in ten volumes was published.
~ her best creation (IMHO): the love letters addressed to Miller in "A Literary Passion".
Her journal is incredibly sultry and passionate.

George Sand (19th century, 1804 - 1876)

~ first encounter with her work: 1997
~ her real name was Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant
~ her reputation turned scandalous when she started smoking cigars, wearing men's clothing in public and all this after she had left her husband.
~ visited Venice in 1834 with her lover Alfred de Musset and stayed at Hotel Danieli, then known as "Albergo Reale".
~ fought for women's role in political life and took part in the events of June 1848 in Paris.
~ my favorite work: "Histoire de ma vie".
As Musset, her lover, said, she was "the most womanly woman."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Strangers - 6 Word Sum Up

Desperate Lonely Soul Saved by Ghosts
More about this great book here and here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Meme - What I Am Listening to (when I have the time) 1

I have been aware of so many memes throughout the blogs I follow but this is the first time I have decided to take part in one, simply because it is easier to listen to yet another album/song/podcast/interview than to move on to the next book. Thanks to Bellezza, who initiated this great meme, here's what I am listening to this Wednesday (when I'm not listening to Absolute Radio, Candy Station, NRJ French, BBC or Venice Classic Radio ):

My affair with Tori Amos started back in '93 when tapes still existed and "Crucify" was the song that I kept rewinding. She still amazes me with her unique style and perfect voice.
Favorite track on the album: Nautical Twilight

Saturday, October 1, 2011


"Out of the gravel there are peonies growing. They come up through the loose grey pebbles, their buds testing the air like snails' eyes, then swelling and opening, huge dark-red flowers all shining and glossy like satin. Then they burst and fall to the ground." (p.5)

"I watch the peonies out of the corners of my eyes. I know they shouldn't be here.It's April, and peonies don't bloom in April. There are three more now right in front of me, growing out of the path itself. Furtively I reach out my hand to touch one. It has a dry feel, and I realize it's made of cloth." (p.6)

"It was Agnes who helped me with the burial. We put flowers from Mrs. Alderman Parkinson's garden into the coffin, having asked permission; and it being June, there were long-stemmed roses and peonies; and we chose only the white ones. I scattered the petals of them over her as well, and I slipped in the needle-case I'd made for her, but out of sight, as it might look wrong otherwise, being red; and I cut a piece off the back of her hair to remember her by, and tied it together with a thread." (p.229)

"It was a lovely and windless evening, and the birds were twittering, and the trees in the orchard near the road were golden in the late sunlight, and the purple milkweed flowers that grew beside the drive smelled very sweetly; and also the last few peonies beside the verandah, and the climbing roses; and the coolness came down out of the air, while Jamie sat and played on his flute, so plaintively it did your heart good." (p.268)

"If you stare into the darkness with your eyes open you are sure to see something after a time. I hope it will not be flowers. But this is the time they like to grow, the red flowers, the shining red peonies which are like satin, which are like splashes of paint. The soil for them is emptiness, it is empty space and silence. I whisper, Talk to me; because I would rather have talking than the slow gardening that takes place in silence, with the red satin petals dripping down the wall.
I think I sleep." (p.344)

All quotes taken from Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood, book offered by Corri.