Italy & Italian Literature

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Dorothy L. Sayers: Love All (aka Cat’s Cradle)

Sayers Does Drawing Room Comedy When I bought the joint edition of Busman’s Honeymoon and Love All (published in 1980), the obvious pièce de résistance, for me, and the reason why I spent some time hunting down an affordable copy at all, was the stage version of Busman’s Honeymoon – the final full-length outing of […]

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Literature Reviews

Patricia Moyes: Dead Men Don’t Ski

A huge shout-out to Moonlight Reader for favorably reviewing this book earlier this year and thus bringing it to my attention.  Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy are a joy to be with, and like MR and Tigus (who has also read the book in the interim), I’ll definitely be spending more time in their […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?

Witches. One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them — the heroine of Otfried Preußler’s Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the […]

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Bristol academic cracks Voynich code, solving century-old mystery of medieval text | EurekAlert! Science News

News Release 15-May-2019 IMAGE: Vignette A illustrates the erupting volcano that prompted the rescue mission and the drawing of the map. It rose from the seabed to create a new island given the name… view more  Credit: Voynich manuscript A University of Bristol academic has succeeded where countless cryptographers, linguistics scholars and computer programs have failed – […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 12 – Saturnalia

  Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it. Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously – a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke. Tell us about it in a post. –OR– Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would […]

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Literature Reviews

Horrace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto

The grandfather of all gothic literature, madly dashed out in the space of a mere eight days. Intended as a (semi-)satirical response to the “Frenchification” of the 18th century English stage, where – under the influence of Voltaire’s criticism of Shakespeare – scenes considered unduly “rough” and “uncultured” (like the gravediggers scene in Hamlet) were […]

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TA’s Halloween Book Bingo Reading List

    Read by Candlelight or Flashlight – E.T.A. Hoffmann: Das Fräulein von Scuderi (Mademoiselle de Scuderi) (novella) Magical Realism – Isabel Allende: La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits) (novel) Witches – Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters (or possibly Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman: Good Omens) (novel) Genre: Horror – Edgar Allan […]

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Movies Reviews

THE RED VIOLIN

A feast for the Senses … and the Everlasting Magic of Music “Cinque carte” – five tarot cards servant Cesca (Anita Laurenzi) makes her mistress Anna Busotti (Irene Grazioli) draw in 17th century Cremona when Anna, wife of the legendary violin maker Niccolò Busotti (Carlo Cecchi), asks her servant to tell her and her unborn […]

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Movies Reviews

THE ENGLISH PATIENT

Ownership, Belonging, and an Earth Without Maps After the publication of Michael Ondaatje‘s Booker-Prize-winning English Patient, conventional wisdom soon held that the novel, while a masterpiece of fiction, was entirely untransferable to any other medium: too intricately layered seemed its narrative structure; too significant its protagonists’ inner life; too rich its symbolism. Then along came […]

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Literature Reviews

Lorenz Books: Around the World Cookbook

Around the World in 350+ Recipes “Holidays in far flung places have increased our awareness of different foods, and restaurants on every street corner now offer dishes that no so long ago would have been unfamiliar,” the editors of this volume say in their introduction. And indeed: This is nothing less than a lavishly illustrated […]

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Literature Reviews

Anna Maria Ortese: L’Iguana

Humanity’s fall from grace between reality, dream and lunacy. Born in Rome in the year 1914, Anna Maria Ortese grew up in southern Italy (primarily Naples) and in Lybia, the fifth of nine children of a soldier’s family often short on money. Like many poor girls of her generation, Ortese left school at age thirteen, […]

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