Sunday, August 29, 2021

Beers & Books CXXI – Stephen Fry

"All the big words
– virtue, justice, truth, ... –
are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness."

Making History (1992)
Paperweight (1996)

 Stephen Fry * 24 August 1957

Beers & Books CXX – Julio Cortázar

The novel wins by points,
the short story by knockout.

Julio Cortázar (26 August 1914 – 12 February 1984)

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Beers & Books CXIX – Elsa Morante

The Secret Game (shortstories),
L'isola di Arturo,

Elsa Morante (18 August 1912 - 25 November 1985)

Inexpensive Progress

Encase your legs in nylons,
Bestride your hills with pylons
  O age without a soul;
Away with gentle willows
And all the elmy billows
  That through your valleys roll.

Let's say goodbye to hedges
And roads with grassy edges
  And winding country lanes;
Let all things travel faster
Where motor-car is master
  Till only Speed remains.

Destroy the ancient inn-signs
But strew the roads with tin signs
  'Keep Left,' 'M4,' 'Keep Out!'
Command, instruction, warning,
Repetitive adorning
  The rockeried roundabout;

For every raw obscenity
Must have its small 'amenity,'
  Its patch of shaven green,
And hoardings look a wonder
In banks of floribunda
  With floodlights in between.

Leave no old village standing
Which could provide a landing
  For aeroplanes to roar,
But spare such cheap defacements
As huts with shattered casements
  Unlived-in since the war.

Let no provincial High Street
Which might be your or my street
  Look as it used to do,
But let the chain stores place here
Their miles of black glass facia
  And traffic thunder through.

And if there is some scenery,
Some unpretentious greenery,
  Surviving anywhere,
It does not need protecting
For soon we'll be erecting
  A Power Station there.

When all our roads are lighted
By concrete monsters sited
  Like gallows overhead,
Bathed in the yellow vomit
Each monster belches from it,
  We'll know that we are dead.

John Betjeman (28 August 1906 – 19 May 1984)

Beers & Books CXVIII – Liam O'Flaherty

[left to right]
The Informer, Mr Gilhooley,
Two Lovely Beasts and other Stories,
I went to Russia;

A Tourist's Guide To Ireland (1929)

The Sniper [Shortstory I read in an anthology]

Liam O'Flaherty (28 August 1896 – 7 September 1984)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Beers & Books CXVII – Jorge Luis Borges

He measured the achievements of others
by what they had accomplished,
asking of them that they measure him
by what he envisaged or planned.

Jorge Luis Borges (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986)

Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday is Skyday

Announcement of another hot day.


Sunday, August 01, 2021

Beers & Books CXIII – Mahmoud Dowlatabadi


Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
* 1 August 1940

Beers & Books CXII – Oskar Negt

This Work, published in 2001 by Steidl,
seems not been translated into English, yet.
Its title would perhaps read:
Work and Human Dignity

Oskar Negt * 1 August 1934