ponedjeljak, 31. listopada 2016.

Fashion illustrations of the day /Modne ilustracije dana 31.12.2016

Hi, how are you this evening? I'm fine, the cold (or perhaps a virus of some sort) is still bugging me (that is why I started posting less), but I'm managing. I can't believe it's already the end of the month. Lately I've been thinking a lot about balance. I'm trying to find balance. It's a tricky thing- finding balance in life. Not as easy as it might seem. If you think you know too much, you blind yourself and you close the path leading to knowledge and realizations. If you think you don't know anything, it is easy to become depressed and let the desperation take over. After all, we all need  foundation to build on. In order to build something (even if that something is ourselves), we need to start somewhere and make some assumptions. We should be able to see the good that exists within us, not only the bad. As important as self-critique can be, we shouldn't be overly harsh with ourself. We all have to start from somewhere.

 Tonight, I've prepared two fashion drawings for you. Purple and green together? Why not? A maxi dress in Autumn? Why not? A purple maxi dress worn with a green coat because I love colours and I love the unexpected. It is always great to break the routine with a bit of colour. Blue and green together? Why not? That's another brilliant colour combination. Green wide trousers and a blue turtleneck. Wide trousers are a clothing item that always looks sophisticated to me. As soon as it gets cold(er), I start wearing turtlenecks. They are another item that always says 'classy' to me. Can you go wrong with wearing a black coat? I don't think so. Hence, the second illustration of the day is something I wouldn't mind wearing myself.  Thank you for reading!

Zdravo, kako ste? Ja sam dobro, još me muči prehlada, a možda se radi i nekom virusu (zato i manje objavljujem)  ali se snalazim.  Ne mogu vjerovati da je već kraj mjeseca. U zadnje vrijeme razmišljam dosta o ravnoteži. Pokušavam ju pronaći. Nije to lako, pronaći ravnotežu u životu. Nije lako kao što se može činiti. Ako misliš da znaš previše, oslijepiš sebe i zatvoriš si put prema novim spoznajama i znanjima. Vjeruješ li da ne znaš ništa, može se lako dogoditi da zapadneš u depresiju i prepustiš se očaju. Na kraju krajeva, moramo na nečemu graditi i trebali bi vidjeti i dobro u sebi, a ne samo loše. Koliko god je važno ponekad biti samokritičan, ne trebamo biti previše oštri prema sebi. Svi mi moramo započeti od negdje. 

 Večeras sam pripremila dva modna crteža za vas. Zelena i ljubičasta zajedno? Zašto ne? Duga haljina u jesen? Zašto ne? Duga ljubičasta haljina nošena s zelenim kaputom jer volim boje i volim neočekivano. Uvijek je dobro malo razbiti rutinu bojom. Zelena i plava zajedno? Zašto ne? To je još jedna sjajna kombinacija boja. Zelene hlače širokoga kroja i plava dplčevita. Široke hlače su odjevni komad koji mi se uvijek čini sofisticiranim. Čim malo zahladi, počnem nositi dolčevite, jer one su još jedan odjevni komad koji je za mene uvijek elegantan. Možemo li pogriješiti ako nosimo crni kaput? Mislim da ne. To moje mišljenje se odražava na drugoj ilustraciji koja je nešto što bih i sama rado nosila. Hvala na čitanju!

nedjelja, 30. listopada 2016.

Time for reading..... The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud (book recommendation and review)

Does this novel has a cool cover or what? It came really handy when I accidentely dropped the book in the sink while I was blow drying my hair. Well, fortunately this 3D cover protected the book from being damaged by the water (a good thing since I borrowed this book from the library and would hate to give it back in bad state). Anyhow, a lesson learned there!  Take it from me, it is not possible to blow dry your hair and read at the same time. It simply isn't possible. We don't have 3 hands, so no we can't hold a brush, a hair dryer and a book at the same time. Unless we can do magic. This is what this book is all about. It is a fantasy novel, a sequel to The Amulet of Samarkard (published in 2003) that I actually mentioned about a year ago on this blog. It is my second novel by this British author but not the last one because I do plan to read all the sequels, and perhaps others works by Stroud as well. Jonathan Stroud seems to me my kind of writer. There are a lot of authors from Britain that I really like but it is always nice to find new ones.  As much as I like classics, I'm also always on a lookout for new stuff.  This particular novel was published in 2004. In one way, it is a light read, full of humour, but if you read it the way I do, you can also take something else from it- a life lesson about how important is it to think with our own heads and not just accept everything that is served on our plate.

I was really looking forward to reading this second novel in the Bartimaeus series. I was quite curious to see what it would be like, not just in the sense of the development of the story and the characters, but of the world building as well. I kept wondering how will this world ruled by magicians develop further? I was eager to see what place will our protagonist Nathaniel take in it, will he become like the rest of them (i.e. all the other corrupted magicians)? The world that the author created in the first novel was of great interest to me. In the first novel, I found the setting as fascinating as the story itself. I must say that I wasn't disappointed with how the world building evolved in this one. This sequel was wonderful, an absolute joy to read. Often the sequel disappoints, not being able to retain its original charm, but not this time. It is obvious that the author already had things worked out in his mind because everything seems to flow naturally. This sequel opens up as a mystery novel. Nathanial has to solve the mysterious attacks that are bringing shame to the government. He is utterly engrossed in this task, for his career and his life, depend on his ability to solve the mystery and find the group that is behind these attacks. There are many twists and turns in this Golem’s Eye and many secrets to be discovered. In fact, the secret identity of the person behind the golem’s eye is only one of them. This is an excellently plotted novel with enough food for the thought- or at least that is my experience.

 If one cares to, one can draw many parallels to our own world, just switch the magicians with modern politicians. The magic could be used as a metaphor for power and money. In this alternative world, the general public doesn’t have much say in anything. It is understood that the magicians know better and that the commoners should just look after their own business and stay out of magicians’ way. In other ways, exactly like democracies in Europe and USA. As far as I can recall, nobody asked us, the European public, would we like to stop trading with Russia? There was no referendum on that subject in any EU country.  I’m not an expert on economy, but one doesn’t have to be to know that the record high unemployment in Europe is a sign of economic collapse and you don’t need to be one smart cookie to figure out that a bit of trade would go a long way right now.  Likewise, I didn’t notice that American politicians are consulting the public on the subject of whether it is a good idea to push a nuclear superpower into a war? If some politician decides it is time to go to war, that’s what happens. Nobody asks the public anything. Yes, we get to choose between people serving identical power groups every few years but that doesn’t amount to much, does it? If it seems to you that this scenario where one small group dominates another larger group seems unlikely, think again.

 I swear this real world we live in sometimes sounds more ridiculous than a third-rate fantasy novel. No wonder I feel the need to escape it by reading first class fantasy novels. This novel seems a lot more logical and better thought through than our own ‘real’ world (and the sense of humour is right up my alley, so no wonder I like it so much). I mean there is a logical explanation to why people don’t rebel against politicians/magicians in this novel, they have a complete control over the schools, the media, the education, every aspect of life.  What is the explanation for general public being so passive and believing everything it is told in our world? Golem’s Eye does give us plenty of explanations as to why this world is the way it is, but this time the dynamics of a narrative are a bit different, it is no longer only about the boy and the djinn, now it there is another character that takes the prominent place. When I wondered, what characters would be a part of this sequel, I didn’t expect any of the old ones to reappear (I mean at the end of the previous novel, most people surrounding Nathaniel are killed and off he goes to be the part of the elite). I completely forgot about Kitty, a girl that shows up shortly in the Bartimaeus narrative and makes a fool out of him. Well, she turns out to be an important character in this novel and there is a good reason for her introduction for it makes sense not just in terms of the plot but in adding a human dimension to this novel.

You see another thing I wondered about was what the relationship between the boy and the djinn would be like in the sequel. I took it for granted that there will be a relationship between the two of them. I assumed that the boy will, despite promising otherwise, summon the djinn to serve him once again. I was not mistaken, for Nathaniel indeed summons Bartimaeus when he finds himself in trouble. I guess we can give him some credit for at least attempting to avoiding his promise. What make the dynamics of their relationship so interesting in the first one is the fact that Nathaniel is vulnerable to Bartimaeus because the spirit knows his name. In addition, Nathaniel’s naivety (not to mention young age) made him less like other magicians. However, Nathaniel of Golem’s Eye, is not a very likeable character. He is only a few years older, but he is very much changed. Bartimaeus still can negotiate with him, because he knows his secret, but the relationship between them is different.

Surely, Bartimaeus said some bad things about Nathaniel in the first sequel, but it was obvious that the boy’s youth got to him and that he felt some sympathy for him- probably because he reminded him of the Egyptian boy, the only master Bartimaeus seems to have respected. Nathaniel does show some sheds of decency that his superiors lack. Nevertheless, everything is different now. Hence, comes Kitty! As the only individual with some moral decency, she is contrasted sharply with all the other’s characters. This works very well with the premise of the novel that states that magicians are inheritably bad.  As I said, I quite liked how the magicians need for power is showed to be pathological in essence. Indeed, I could strike some parallels with 1984, if only there wasn’t so much humour in this one. Everyone who says anything against magicians is, a priori, considered an enemy of the state in much the same way as described in 1984. So, my initial question of whether this sequel would elaborate on politics, revealing more about the power structures and dynamics of this would, could be answered with yes. There is a lot of serious issues tacked through Bartimaeus sarcasm, from slavery to colonialism. He is notorious for his funny remarks on humans.

What makes this possible is Kitty.  The author digresses into past to give us her background. This was also necessary because her story is connected with the plot in many ways. The reasons why Kitty hates magicians so much are quite relevant for the context of her story. In addition, the injustice Kitty suffered from the hands of magicians allows us to understand her actions. Her character development is handled with care.  We understand why she is so driven to take revenge. We understand why even when everything seems futile, she doesn’t stop. Being the moral character she is, makes her invoke admiration in Bartimaeus, invoking him to share his knowledge of history and human societies with her. His discussions and dialogues with Kitty were really interesting and well developed. For me, Bartimaeus was always the star of the story and I was quite happy with his role in this novel. His bond with Kitty seemed quite genuine. All this happens later on in the story (exactly how their paths cross again I won’t say), but I will say it feels very real and meaningful all the same. The fact that spirits are forced to serve magicians is something we’re told from the beginning, but the sequel elaborates on it, comparing spirits (djinns and other lesser spirits and beings) with slaves. This sequel made me sympathize with others djinns, not just our charming Bartimaeus but it was through Bartimaeus conversation with Kitty that I realized how much spirits really hate being materialized and how it takes a toll on them.

I think that I said in my review of The Amulet how that first novel seemed more suitable for young adult and adult audience than for young children (no graphic description of violence in neither of these two, but there are plotted murders and deaths). However, this one seemed a bit lighter for some reason (even if it discussed serious matters at times) so it might very well be suited for older kids. It could have felt that way because there was a lot of humour in it, in all shapes and forms. Maybe it felt a bit ‘lighter’ because Kitty represents imminent if not evident hope for change. Moreover, Nathaniel’s turn into a ‘serious magician’ is not without a sense of comedy. He might be losing his moral compass, but his djinn is there to remind him of it and make fun of him every step of the way. His intellectualism still serves him well, but he seems kind of lame in comparison with Kitty, who is the heroine of this one. That was refreshing- having a girl be a hero for once!

 I pretty much liked everything about this one.  There were only a few minor things bugging me. One of them was the way that the narration kept switching from first to third person when Bartimaeus would change form. For example, when he would become a cat, the sentence would be- the cat did this or that but then it would return to the first-person narration. Perhaps, this was to give us a better visual perspective of events. It might even serve to enable Bartimaeus to focus on narrating things his way, without having to explain what is he doing on the physical level. This was only a bit irritating at start, soon I got used to it and didn’t mind it. One thing that I did mind was how naïve Nathaniel still was, despite his obvious high intelligence. One in a while, I think he could have been less abashed with what was going on. Apart from that, his character development, with his teenage insecurities contrasted with incredible ambition, was well balanced. Another thing that I felt was lacking was a few juicy conversations between Bartimaeus and his master. I know that the novel was fast paced and that really wasn’t much place for it (especially with Kitty’s past and present life being introduced) but it would have been fun seeing more dialogue between them. Their changed relationship and estrangement did make sense; I was just left wanting a bit more. 

 In this review, I focused mostly on characters and the world building. I know that didn’t really say much about the plot, but hey I didn’t want to spoil anything for anyone. That- and truthfully as entertaining as the story itself has been (who doesn’t like a nice detective story?) that was not my primary field of interest. However, I will comment on the ending. I must say that the climax is really superb and that it all ties nicely in the end.  Towards the end, I kept asking myself how will everything get resolved, but actually the ending felt quite natural.The novel is, as you can see, quite long, more than 500 pages, but it was certainly worth the time it took to read it. I would have loved if I could read it in a short span of time, but my week was kind of awful, one of those weeks when everything that can go wrong does, so I had to pick it up a number of times. All in all, the sequel was more than satisfactory. I expected it to be good, but not this good.  In my view, it was perfect. That would be all for today, thank you for reading!

nedjelja, 23. listopada 2016.

Painting of the day (A Lioness) / Slika dana (Lavica)

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was walk to the kitchen. Naturally, I was there to make coffee (can’t start a day without it) but while I was at it, I decided to also make a nice cup of warm chocolate. I figured that one can’t have too many warm drinks when the weather is misbehaving. Plus, I wanted something to drink right away, and because preparing coffee my style takes a while (wouldn’t be caught dead drinking instant coffee;)) I opted for warm chocolate first and it was nice but I have to remember to make my own instant coffee again, I’m sure that stuff they sell in shops are full of all kinds of unhealthy stuff. Speaking of health, I have had a cold for a week now, my throat is still sore and my vocal cords are in pitiful state.  I'm not a big fan of my voice right now, but most people seem to like it. Well, at least I’m unique this way. I can always tell people that I was out partying the previous night. Anyhow, while I was preparing my coffee/hot chocolate, I was wondering what should be the first thing on my agenda for the day. Do you do that in the morning or do you already have it planned?

Kada sam se jutros probudila prva stvar koju sam napravila je bila pravac kuhinja. Naravno, tu sam kako bi napravila kavu ( ne mogu započeti dan bez nje), ali kada sam već tu, odlučila sam napraviti i lijepu šalicu tople čokolade. Zaključila sam da nam, kada je vrijeme ovako promjenljivo,  nikad osta toplih pića. Osim toga, htjela sam imati nešto za odmah popiti i jer pripremanje kave na moj način traje malo duže (nikad ne pijem instant, bože sačuvaj;)), tako da sam prvo pila toplu čokoladu i nije bila loša, ali moram se sjetiti napraviti svoju instant čokoladu, sigurna sam da je ono što se prodaje po dućanima nezdravo. Kad smo već kod zdravlja, već tjedan dana vučem prehladu, još uvijek me grlo boli, a glasnice su mi u jadnom stanju. Nisam neki obožavatelj svoga glasa trenutno, ali mogu uvijek reći ljudima da sam prijašnju noć slavila. Uglavnom, dok sam pripremala kavu i čokoladu, pitala sam se što bi prvo trebala danas napraviti. Radite li to ujutro ili to imate već u planu?

Then I realized that I haven’t painted anything for a weak straight. Well, unless I count what I painted at an art class last Tuesday but I really ought not because it was rather terrible. I don’t really enjoy doing reproductions; I know they’re useful to develop one’s skill but I always feel like I have stolen something. It is not like you can do a reproduction and feel it is your all own work because the idea  belongs to somebody else. The one I selected was semi-abstract and it seems I'm not so great at that. I don’t mind the practice and while I’m sure that I can benefit from it, I prefer working on my own stuff. High time to get at it, I thought this morning. Truth be told, it being early in the morning, I didn’t feel much in mood for the painting, but I know that later on, I might not get the chance. It is not that I had a crazy busy day ahead, but life gets in the way of your creative hobbies unless you set time for them. I knew that later on there will be meals (lunch/dinner) to be prepared and desserts and all kind of food (I mean what is Sunday without all the extra fun? I need calories for a day to feel like a proper Sunday), and  besides by the end of the day who knows will I have the energy. Moreover, I do believe in what Picasso said. Inspiration exists but it has to find you working. If we wait for inspiration, we’ll probably never get much work done.

Onda sam shvatila da nisam ništa naslikala cijeli tjedan. Osim ako ne računam ono što sam naslikala na tečaju slikanja prošloga utorka, ali ne bi trebala jer je bilo baš grozno. Baš i ne uživam u reprodukcijama, znam da su koriste u razvijanju svoje vještine, a ipak imam taj osjećaj kao da nešto kradem.  Nije da možete napraviti reprodukciju i imati osjećaj da je vaš rad jer ideja iza nje uvijek pripada nekom drugom. Ona koju sam izabrala bila je pomalo apstraktna i čini se da mi to i nije najjača snaga. Ne smeta mi vježbanje i iako znam da će mi dobro doći, opet mi je draže raditi na svojim stvarima. Krajnje vrijeme da se toga uhvatim, pomislila sam jutros. Iskreno, tako rano ujutro, baš i nisam bila raspoložena za slikanje, ali sam znala da kasnije možda i neću imati prilike. Nije da sam imala neki ludo zauzet dan, ali ako ne odvojimo vrijeme za kreativne hobije, život se uvijek nekako umiješa u sve. Znala sam da će kasnije trebati spremati ručak i večeru i deserte i svašta nešto (mislim što je nedjelja bez svega toga? Trebaju mi kalorije da bi mi nedjelja bila prava), a osim toga tko zna hoću li imati energije kad dan dođe kraju. Uz to, vjerujem u ono što je Picasso rekao, nadahnuće postoji, ali mora vas pronaći dok radite. Čekamo li nadahnuće, nećemo puno toga obaviti.

So, I gathered my art tools and sat down to paint. I have been painting for two straight hours, when I was interrupted by a door bell. After that I got up and went on to do other stuff for the rest of the day. This was one of the paintings I made. I feel like I’m relearning aquarelle. I used to be good at it as a kid, but nowadays I kind of feel like I’m doing something if not wrong then in a peculiar way. Or maybe I’m just developing my personal aquarelle style? Either way, here it is my watercolour and pencil painting of the day. Mostly watercolour, I had only used pencil to sketch before applying the paints. I might remember to delete it (the pencil), or I might let it stay this way. The painting depicts a woman with a mane of hair, hence the title of this work- A lioness. Perhaps that doesn't make sense because lionesses don't have manes but we still use this expression for women- and for often because it is usually us ladies who have long(er) hair. I didn’t have anyone in mind while I was painting this, but now that I think of it, she does remind me of an old friend of mine, someone I hadn’t seen in years. Interesting. The background is kind of fairy-tale like or perhaps just a historical sight. The outfit this lady is wearing isn’t fully visible, but it doesn’t have to be- you can imagine what it might be. I suppose you could still look at this painting as a fashion illustration of some sort. After all, fashion is not just clothes….but we all know that.

Tako da sam skupila svoje alate za slikanje, sjela i uhvatile se posla, slikala sam oko dva sata prije nego što me prekinilo zvono. Nakon toga sam se ostatak dana bavila drugim stvarima. Ovo je jedna od slika koju sam napravila. Imam osjećaj kao da ponovo učim akvarel. Kada sam bila mala, dobro mi je išao, ali danas imam osjećaj da nešto radim, ako ne krivo, onda na čudan način? Ili možda razvijam svoj vlastiti stil akvarela? Kako god, ovdje je moja slika dana, vodene boje i olovka, većinom akvarel, olovku sam koristila samo za skiciranje. Možda se i sjetim obrisati ju (olovku), a možda je i ovako ostavim. Slika prikazuje ženu s gustom kosom kao griva, a zato je i njen naziv lavica. Možda to i nema smisla jer lavice nemaju grivu, ali ipak koristimo taj izraz i za žene, zapravo češće za žene jer obično mi imamo dužu kosu. Nije mi nitko bio na pameti dok sam ovu slikala, ali sada kada razmislim, podsjeća me na jednu prijateljicu, nekoga koga godinama nisam vidjela....Zanimljivo. Pozadina je pomalo bajkovita..ili možda samo neko povijesno mjesto. Odjevna kombinacija ove dane nije posve vidljiva, ali i ne mora biti....možete i sami nešto zamisliti. Pretpostavljam da je i ovu sliku moguće gledati kao modnu ilustraciju neke vrste. Na kraju krajeva, moda nije samo odjeća...ali mi svi to već znamo.

I manage do to a little blogging today, replied to your lovely comments- thank you very much, your lovely comments make my day. I did a bit of reading in the afternoon and managed some in the evening too, but let’s make at least one post without making literary references, shall we?  I’ll just admit to reading one contemporary British author and one Croatian author from last century. My day had been comfortably  slow paced so far. Lots of cooking ( I’m using my new wok and it’s great) and since I’m such a sweet tooth I could resist making at least one dessert- almost caramelized apples and bananas with with a bit of cream. Usually I like to make caramelized desserts but today I decided to remove the fruit from the heat before it was fully caramelized- just to try something new. My walk today was rather short and practical- I went to open the windows on my new house so that the paint can dry more quickly.  Anyway, the evening was wonderful and the sunset quite magical. 

Uspjela sam se danas malo baviti i blogom, odgovoriti na vaše komentare- hvala vam na svima, baš mi uljepšaju dan. Malo sam čitala poslijepodne, a pomalo i navečer, ali idemo barem jedna objava bez da pričam o književnosti. Samo ću reći da sam čitala suvremenoga britanskoga autora i hrvatskoga pisca iz prošloga stoljeća. Dan mi je do sada bio ugodno usporen. Puno kuhanja (koristim svoj novi wok i baš mi je odličan), a pošto jako volim slatko, morao je tu biti i desert- skoro pa karamelarizirane jabuke i banane s malo vrhnja. Obično volim praviti karamelizirane deserte, ali ovaj put sam odlučila maknuti voće s vatre prije nego što se posve karameliziralo, tek tako da probam nešto novo. Danas mi je šetnja bila poprilično kratka i praktična, išla sam otvoriti prozore na novoj kući tako da se boja prije osuši. No, večer je bila divna, a zalak sunca čaroban.

Had I not been so tired from this stubborn cold, I would have probably indulged in a longer walk today- I had the time for it, but alas no muscle power. Well, I'll get rid of this cold sooner or later. All in all, I’m rather enjoying Autumn, even if I’m not spending as much time outdoors but that goes to prove that you can never have two things at the same time, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, right? I’m working on one new project that I probably won’t be sharing with you because it is not related to blog. It is something that will probably demand considerable time and energy, but I’m doing it for myself, so no complaints here. Quite on the contrary, it gives me something to look forward too, so all good. What was your day like? Did you have a nice Sunday? Are you looking forward to the new working week?

Da nisam bila tako umorna od ove tvrdoglave prehlade, vjerojatno bi uživala u malo dužoj šetnji, imala sam vremena za nju, ali ne i energije. No, riješit ću se ja ove prehlade, prije ili kasnije. Sve u svemu, uživam u jeseni, čak i ako ne provodim toliko vremena vani, no to dokazuje da se ne može imati ovce i novce, zar ne? Radim na jednom novom projektu kojega vjerojatno neću dijeliti s vama jer nije vezan uz blog. Vjerojatno će mi oduzeti dosta vremena i energije, ali radim to za sebe, tako da se nemam na što žaliti. Naprotiv, daje mi nešto čemu ću se veseliti, tako da sve pet. Kakav je vama bio dan? Jeste li uživali u nedjelji? Veselite li se novom radnom tjednu?

watercolour on paper/ akvarel na papiru

subota, 22. listopada 2016.

For the love of reading....Za ljubav prema čitanju....Sylvia Plath

Today I shall talk (or should I say write) about two things. Poetry and prose. Not poetry and prose in general, but the poetry and the prose of Sylvia Plath. It might come as a surprise (or even shock) to you, but I didn't care much for The Bell Jar, the only novel that Plath published. I will explain why in this post, as briefly as I can, (you can read my 4000 words long review here). I do consider Sylvia Plath to be a great writer, I just have some issues with that one book. I can't help wondering whether her untimely death had something do to with the novel's success. I've been thinking about that issue for quite some time. Like many times before, I find myself wondering just where does art stop and an artist begings and vice versa. Can we seperate Sylvia Plath from her life? Should we forget about her tragic suicide? Should the power of her poetry be more important than the story of her life? Or should we study both? Perhaps we don't have to choose. Indeed, reading her work in a multiple of ways (including biographical reading) can only benefit our efforts to understand her. What I do find problematic is how sometimes her work is intepreted only in light of her death because honestly that just doesn't feel fair. Sylvia's daugher was deeply hurt by the movie version of her mother's life and in 2003 she had written the following poem:

Now they want to make a film
For anyone lacking the ability

To imagine the body, head in oven,
Orphaning children

 [...] they think
I should give them my mother's words
To fill the mouth of their monster,
Their Sylvia Suicide Doll

Danas ću govoriti (ili bolje da kažem pisati) o dvije stvari. Poeziji i prozi. Ne poeziji i prozi općenito, već o određenoj poeziji i prozi, onoj jedne spisateljice. Možda će vaš to iznenaditi (ili možda čak i šokirati), ali nije me se posebno dojmilo Stakleno zvono jedini roman koji je Plath objavila. Objasnit ću zašto u ovoj objavi, što kraće što mogu (možete pročitati moj ogled koji ima oko 4000 riječi ovdje). Imam nekih problema s ovim romanom, ipak i dalje smatram Sylviju Plath velikom spisateljicom. Ne mogu se ne pitati je li njena prerana smrt imala nekakve veze s uspjehom romana. Već dugo razmišljam o tome. Kao i puno puta u životu, ne mogu se, a ne pitati gdje završava umjetnik, a gdje počinje umjetnost. Možemo li odvojiti Sylviju Plath od njena života? Trebamo li zaboraviti njeno tragično samoubojstvo?  Treba li moć njezine poezije biti važnija od priče njezinoga života? Ili možda trebamo proučiti oboje? Možda ne moramo birati. Jer čitanjem njena rada na više načina, pa i biografskim čitanjem, može samo dobro doći našim nastojanjima da je razumijemo. Ono što ja smatram problematičnim je kako se njen rad nekada tumači samo u svijetlu njene smrti, a to mi se jednostavno ne čini poštenim. Sylvijina kćer je bila veoma povrijeđena filmskom verzijom životne priče njene majke te je napisala sljedeću pjesmu koja je obavljena 2003:

 Sada žele napraviti film
za svakoga kome nedostaje sposobnosti
da zamisle tijelo, glava u pećnici,
djecu koja su postala siročad

...oni misle
da bi im ja trebala dati riječi moje majke
da napune usta njihovoga čudovišta
njihove suicide Sylvia Plath lutke

Fever 103  is one of Sylvia's best known poems and for good reason, I might add. I very much like it, but I must confess that I'm not quite sure that I fully understand it even now. Perhaps it is better that way, for this way I can always search for new intepretations of it. Fever 103 continues to fascinate me to this day. It is  written in typical Plath's style. Her almost simple language is contrasted with the complexity of her themes. Like some other Plath's songs, it is composed of 18 stanzas ( 3  lines each). Feel free to have a look at it (here is a pretty decent study of it). How to you like it?  It strikes me as a very powerful indeed, especially after I had listened to Sylvia's own reading of it. Moreover, I must say that I think that the best way to experience Plath's poetry is not by reading it, but by literally listening to it being read by Plath herself! It was only throught her own physical voice that I understood the depth of her poetical voice. I included one youtube video with her recital below, for more information- well, you know how internet works, don't you? Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. Plath belongs to the confessional poets. Her poetry is focused on herself and on her personal experiences. For her poetry, Plath has received much critical acclaim. In fact, she is considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. Her short stories are equally praised. I haven't read them myself yet, but I plan to.

Groznica 103 je jedna od njenih najpoznatijih pjesama, a ja bi mogla dodati s dobrim razlogom. Meni se jako sviđa, ali nisam sigurna je li ju i sada posve razumijem. Možda je i bolje ovako jer uvijek mogu tražiti nova tumačenja ove pjesme. Dan danas me nastavlja fascinirati. Napisana je u njenom tipičnom stilu. Njen jednostavni jezik je u kontrastu s njenim složenim temama. Kao i neke druge njene pjesme sastoji se od 18  strofa (kitica) od kojih svaka ima po tri stiha. Slobodno je pogledajte (ovdje možete pronaći pristojno tumačenje uz tekst). Kako vam se sviđa? Meni se čini da je veoma moćna, pogotovo nakon što sam slušala kako je sama Plath čita. Štoviše, moram reći da mislim da je najbolji način za iskusiti poeziju Plath ne tako što ćemo je čitati, nego tako što ćemo slušati Plath kako je čita! Tek sam kroz njen fizički glas osjetila i shvatila dubinu njena pjesničkoga glasa. Ispod možete pronaći jedan youtube video s njezinim recitalom, a ako želite znati više, pa znate kako internet radi, zar ne? Inače, ne biste ovo čitali. Plath pripada ispovjednim pjesnicima. Njena poezija fokusirana je na nju samu i njena osobna iskustva.

Now, that we have talked a bit about Plath's poetry, let's talk about her novel, the only thing written by her that I didn't quite like. I know, shocking, for it is considered a great work of art, the holy grail of feminism, and what not.  It might be considered a classic, but in my opinion, it is not deserving of that title. My experience of reading it lead me to conclude that it lacks depth. It may have something due to the fact that Plath was trying to write a potboiler (she wrote so both in a letter to her mother and in her journal). I had a feeling like Plath was holding herself back when I was reading this one. She was trying to make herself more accessible, but that didn't work out well.  You can still feel a bit of her brilliance for Plath was uniquely talented. She was never meant for the masses and when she tried to work for the masses she failed....or did she? That's the question of the day. Did you read her only novel? That might not be your experience but in my view, this chaotical narrative told by a protagonist that isn’t exactly sympathetic, doesn’t have much going for it.  However, it talks about important themes and that is one of the reasons why I don't regret reading it. 

Sada, kada smo malo pričali o njenoj poeziji, popričajmo o njenom romanu, jedinoj stvari koju je napisala a koja me nije oduševila. Znam, šokatno jer se smatra velikim umjetničkim postignućem, svetim gralom femizima i što sve ne. Da, smatra se klasikom, ali po mome mišljenju to i nije zasluženo. Moje iskustvo čitanja navelo me da zaključim da mu nedostaje dubine. Možda to ima veze s time što je Plath željela napisati roman koji će se dobro prodavati (napisala je to u piscu majci i u svojim dnevnicima). Imala sam osjećaj da se Plath suzdržavala kada je pisala ovaj roman i to nije ispalo dobro. Pokušavala je učiniti svoje pisanje pristupačnim, ali nije tako ispalo. Ipak se može osjetiti ponešto njene briljantnosti jer je ona bila jedinstveno nadarena. Nikad nije bila za mase, a kada je pokušala pisati za mase, nije uspjela...ili je? To je pitanje dana. Jeste li vi pročitali njen jedini roman? Možda to i nije vaše iskustvo, ali po mome mišljenju, ova kaotična priča koju priča junakinja koja i nije baš simpatična, baš i nema previše prednosti. No, govori o važnim temama i to je razlog zašto mi nije žao što sam je pročitala. 

Plath published The Bell Jar novel under a false name, because she considered it a pot boiler (something written for the masses). Original reviews and reception of this novel were lukewarm, but nobody knew who wrote it back then. It makes me wonder how we would feel about this book if it was not Plath's name on the cover. I can help but wonder what if....What if Sylvia never killed herself? Would she have EVEN let us know that she is the author of this novel? Would she had kept it a secret? Would she go on to write better things? Ironically, it was her suicide that gave this novel its life. Perhaps that is why I kind of dislike it. It is not that this novel killed her, but I feel like it took an unfair advantage of her death. I suspect that much of the praise The Bell Jar got was to make up for Plath's suicide, like our belated praise will do her any good. Let's not judge Sylvia Plath for what she did. We shouldn't idolize her either. There is no need. She truly was exceptional in many ways.  A great writer indeed. Her poetry is raw and powerful. Let's appreciate it as such. We should not look at everything in the light of her mental illness and suicide. Plath was more than that and she deserves better.

Plath je objavila Staklenku pod lažnim imenom, jer ju je smatrala trivijalnom književnošću (nečim napisanim za mase). Originalni ogledi i doček ovoga romana su bili mlaki, ali tada nitko nije znao tko ga je napisao. Pitam se što bismo doista misli o ovom romanu da na njemu ne piše Sylvia Plath? Ne mogu se ne pitati što bi bilo kad bi bilo.... Da se Sylvia nije ubila bi li nam IKADA dopustila da znamo tko je autorica ovoga romana ili bi to zadržala u tajnosti? Bi li napisala nešto bolje? Ironično, ali njeno samoubojstvo je dalo ovome romanu život. Možda ga zato i ne volim vrlo. Nije da je ovaj roman ubio, ali imam osjećaj da je nepošteno iskoristio njenu smrt. Čini mi se da je dobio puno dobrih kritika samo kako bi se nekako nadoknadilo njeno samoubojstvo, kao da će zakašnjele kritike učiniti joj dobro. Nemojmo osuđivati Sylvia Plath za ono što je učinila. Ne bismo je trebali ni idealizirati. Nema potrebe jer doista je na puno načina doista bila izvanredna. Sjajan pisac. Njena poezija je sirova i moćna. Cijenimo je kao takvu. Ne gledajmo sve u svijetlu njene mentalne bolesti i samoubojstva. Bila je više od toga i zaslužila je bolje.

petak, 21. listopada 2016.

October- breast cancer awareness month / Listopad- mjesec podizanja svijesti o raku dojke

October is a breast cancer awareness month. Early prevention is very important. Get informed. Read    how you check yourself for early signs of breast cancer (here - or just google it). There are also countless tutorials on youtube explaining how to do a home self-test. If you prefer, ask your doctor do explain the self- check procedure to you. If you notice anything that worries you, contact the doctor immediately.

Listopad je mjesec podizanja svijesti o raku dojke. Rana prevencija je jako važna. Informirajte se, pročitajte (ovdje ili nađite sami sličan članak na webu) kako same sebe pregledati za rane znakove raka dojke. Postoje i brojni tutorijali na youtube koji objašnjavaju kako kući sam sebe pregledati. Ako vam je draže, pitajte doktora da vam objasni proceduru samopregleda. Osjetite li išta zabrinjavajuće, odmah kontaktirate doktora.

ugljen na papiru, charcoal on paper 2015