avrelia: (Wes - People are strange)
Did Angel have them in his closet just in case? Or did he run to get them immediately after losing his soul?
avrelia: (Default)
Re-watching season 7, I noticed that Willow does much more work around the house, than in the previous season (when she did none). She bought the microwave, she did laundry – okay, I don’t remember much more, but it is still more than none.

Trying to explain this mistery to myself, I remembered the timeless lines from Something Blue:

Well, baking lifts about 30% of my guilt, but only 7% of my inner turmoil. Guess that'll just take awhile.

And it has kind of falls together, doesn’t it? The housework – visible and useful activity as Willow’s coping mechanism.

And, apparently, when she feels right, she doesn’t need it. ;)
avrelia: (kbsword by indilime)
He said once (as the legend goes): “I know only that I know nothing.”

Well, he said it in Greek, so it sounded differently, and I’ve heard it in Russian first, so it may look different from what you’ve heard, and maybe he didn’t say it at all, just looked as if he was going to say it any time soon.

But then, you know, was executed by democratic Athens.

Anyway, I came to a conclusion, that it is the truest thing I can say for myself. I am not going to be in every philosophy textbook for that, but the hell with it, I would prefer to be it a literature textbook.

When I was a child I thought it was stupid (Socrates’ thing) – I knew a lot. I knew about Socrates even. When I was a teenager I thought I was very intelligent and educated: I was studying Socrates, Plato and other really ancient guys. I knew a lot if stuff. I still do.

Yet… It came to my attention how much I don’t know and don’t understand. About everything – but I meet people, and often I can’t remember anything about their country beside the fact that it exists. But even when I can…

Things in Canada surprise me every now and then. But, well, I knew next to nothing about it before I came here. I knew way more about USA. It always loomed around in the consciousness – best foe, best friend, everything capitalistic and good, or capitalistic and bad – we studied its history in the history class, its Constitution in the political science class, etc. I knew a lot about USA.

Then I realized how little I knew.

And those last days – here is what prompted this post – I learned a huge, mammoth-like huge stuff about USA and people that live there, and I realize that I really know nothing about it, and probably never will.
Moreover, when I look back to me beloved Russia, I understand that I know nothing about it, too: I have some ideas and some facts, and some conclusions, but, really I know nothing about Russia, too. (which I was told – you are from Moscow, Moscow is not Russia)

So, the more I live, the more I learn, the less I actually know.

Is it the road to wisdom or senility?
avrelia: (Default)
I have a question for my friends’ list and the passers-by.

How did you feel when you first discovered (was taught about) the existence of gerund?

Today we studied verbal phrases, gerunds, participles, and infinitives in my grammar class. Two thirds of the class are people for whom English is the native language. Only I and two Chinese girls were rather nonchalant about the whole gerund thing. Confusion, puzzlement, and some kind of torpor ruled the others. But I remember the first time I found out about gerunds: I was fifteen, and I was indignant about their existence. They didn’t fit into my view of the languages, and I had enough trouble to reconcile with tenses to be bothered by gerund.

Eventually I got used to them, and now I like gerunds very much.

What about you?
avrelia: (Default)
Half of the yesterday we spent cycling and sitting in the park, reading books and looking at geese. Then, of course was the cycling back home, after which I felt not so dead as two weeks ago. Still, cannot go uphill if it is long and/or steep.

I continue reading The Woman in White, and find the evilness of sir Persival Glyde and Count Fosco very boring.

Recently we watched an X-files episode “Arcadia.” It’s season 6, and even though I usually have no idea about names of the episodes and their placement in seasons in X-files, we have s6 DVDs (a present from a friend). Anyway, to the episode: it has a very Jossverse feeling. With the first scene of a nice clean suburban neighbourhood, and I am thinking immediately: “Hell” – after the last season on AtS, and of course I am write, and the episode brings out the demonizing of real life experiences just like it, and Olaf the troll appears (Abraham Benrubi) and I am all Yay! And Mulder and Scully are playing the married couple, and Mulder is horrible at it, and I am Yay! again.

Unrelated to this: I found this article recently, and it was fun to read, but I cannot comment if it is true or not – both the overview of Russian LifeJournal (Russian in the sense of the language it is written in), and the reasons behind suggested common traits. May be one – saying that most of the other lj users have a dozen or two of friends tells me that he’s never seen fandom (any fandom) LJs.

http://www.zhurnal.ru/staff/gorny/english/rlj_aoir5_abstract.html
avrelia: (kbsword by indilime)
I find it mildly disturbing that I was full of really cool ideas about Eco and the book when I was reading it two months ago, and I even typed some of it, and then I accidentally deleted it, and then I didn’t have time and/or inspiration to write it again, and now that I have I cannot remember anything. Anything but vague memories of how happy I was thinking those thoughts. I have too many books right to read from the library, so going back isn’t an option, and it wouldn’t be the same anyway, and I really wanted to post those thoughts here, and… woe me.

Let’s try, anyway.

It wasn’t an easy book to read, neither the first time around, five years ago, when it took me couple of months to finish it, nor now, even though I read it in a week. I cannot claim I got all the references, and understood fully everything… It is never the point, isn’t it? We are reading books through our personal lens that change as we change. Five years ago a different me read a different “Foucault's Pendulum”. The one I read now was about history, perceptions, and personal choices – the things that have a large place in my thoughts lately. (If my husband reread this book now, it would probably be about competition and productivity.)
We want to make sense out the world, out of the life, and of the history – our personal and the big one. We want everything to make sense. Sometimes by this we mean to have a sense of higher purpose.

I love reading about The Plan. I don’t suppose it existed, but I enjoy reading the chapters about creating the plan as well as various conspiracy theories. They often seem so entertaining. In this I am a little bit like Kazobon – trying to fanwank history for the fun of it, but not believing in any of it, just enamored with the beauty of a well-crafted nonsense.

It is a little bit about being a demiurge - creating your own world out of the chaos of the real one. Only it is not a chaos, it is a life, going through its eternal conflict between chaos and order, because both perfect chaos and perfect order is an absence of life. Entropy. It is also about creation itself – paralleling the creation of the plan, with writing of a book, with conceiving of a child, with creation of oneself. And once again, does our life have a meaning? Is there a one perfect, sparkling moment that justifies everything, that brings everything to the single point, the only fixed point in the universe?

So, here goes a mistake of getting heads too high it the abstract intellectual clouds. And Belbo is telling about the plan to a wrong person for a wrong reason.

I was thinking about it for too long, and I am losing the connection with the book. What was about Belbo? It was important. I’ll have to read it again. Meet me here in five years, ok?
avrelia: (kbsword by indilime)
I am reading Wilkie Collins. Again. The Woman in White. And I love it again. I am quite fond of Walter Hartright, and I love, love, Marian Halcombe. She is one of the most interesting female characters I know of. Ever. And what a description, and what a role physical beauty plays here. We meet with her turning back to the Walter – and to the reader. And with Walter we admire her back, her stature, her body, and then she turns, and… her face isn’t up to contemporary beauty standards. Oops. And look at the description – she isn’t really ugly

The lady's complexion was almost swarthy, and the dark down on her upper lip was almost a moustache. She had a large, firm, masculine mouth and jaw; prominent, piercing, resolute brown eyes; and thick, coal-black hair, growing unusually low down on her forehead. Her expression -- bright frank, and intelligent -- appeared, while she was silent, to be altogether wanting in those feminine attractions of gentleness and pliability, without which the beauty of the handsomest woman alive is beauty incomplete.

She mostly isn’t feminine enough in her expressions. Then she starts talking and all ugliness is forgotten. Until, of course, Laura appears, the vision of a perfect beauty, not perfect in its features, but in its influence over a man. I don’t find Laura interesting per ce. I like her, she is a sweetie, but she is always an object – of love, greed, villainy, or nobility. She is like Irene from the Forsyte Saga, slipping through other lives, influencing other lives, but never acting themselves.

Beauty does mean a lot in our first impressions – whether we admit it or not. But the second impressions help us with a touch of reality.

And I loved Walter in the fateful meeting on the road to London with the Woman in White. How sincerely perplexed he is! How he is trying to justify himself in helping the stranger!

As she repeated the words for the third time, she carne close to me and laid her hand, with a sudden gentle stealthiness, on my bosom -- a thin hand; a cold hand (when I removed it with mine) even on that sultry night. Remember that I was young; remember that the hand which touched me was a woman's.

Hee!

More to come. ;)

And now, I have a favour to ask. Could please think something encouraging for me tomorrow around noon EST? I have an interview, and I really want this job. Pretty please? ;)

Finally, a question: what are your favourite female characters in books? Any time, any country?

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