Thursday, 30 April 2015

And then it was April...

This month was all about re-grouping, getting things done; organising my life, focusing on what I want for myself; catching up with friends, delivering more baby blankets to other pregnant friends, spending lovely afternoons with my hubby and reading several books at the same time. 
                        
The main highlights of this month were the news my sis Gabi is coming to visit me! My July post will be juicy and packed with nice pictures of London and (maybe) Lisbon or some other capital in Europe — still checking. I already cannot wait!
                     
The second most important event was getting myself a new toy - a Kindle - which despite of all my prejudices and “oh, but I like to feel the book in my hands” is a great reading tool. Meaning: I am reading books in Portuguese again, first time in ten years. I know, it's been a while!

So my first book (which was a re-reading actually) was The Maias by Eça de Queiróz. An absolute classic of Portuguese Literature; it has one of the coolest opening lines ever that will make you engage to the story immediately. 


"The house in Lisbon to which the Maias moved to in the autumn of 1875 was know in Rua Sao Francisco de Paula, and in the surrounding area of Janelas Verdes, as the Casa do Ramalhete, the House of the Bouquet of Flowers, or, more simply, as Ramalhete. 
(Eça de Queiroz translated by Margareth Jull Costa)  


"A casa que os Maias vieram habitar em Lisboa, no outono de 1875, era conhecida na vizinhança da rua S. Francisco de Paula, e em todo o bairro das Janelas Verdes, pela casa do Ramalhete ou simplesmente o Ramalhete." (Eça de Queiroz) 


Some writers are great storytellers and Eça is exactly that. Plots and subplots are so well developed; the love story between Carlos and Maria is one like no other; at the same time he portrays the decadence and brilliance of the Portuguese society in the end of the XIX century. Eça’s prose is rich, detailed, his characters are complex and full of nuances and in my opinion João da Ega is one of the most memorable characters in the Portuguese Literature. I laughed out loud and was reduced to tears reading this book (for the second time around!). It’s just excellent. For a more serious/deep analysis review check Dedalus Books reviews
This amazing illustration is from LetItFlow
I’ve also been reading Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche. He is a writer with a very bad rep but if you pass that, you will give yourself a chance to find out how profound and meaningful his writing is. I read Nietzsche since University and I love it. He can be quite poetic at times; and he is always very eloquent, pungent. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest his acid criticism, his bitching about the Divine. He never made me lose my faith, if anything he made me think outside the box. 

The other book I am almost finishing is Grapes of Wrath by Stendhal; I thought I would hate this book but it has surprised me, people call these books classics for a reason, it’s definitely a great read. I've also started reading Tender is the Night by Fitzgerald but so far it failed to captivate me. Sorry, Fitz :(

Of course, there was some more blues in my life this April! I’ve seen Seasick Steve, a low-key blues singer who looks like St. Claus and speaks with that Southern American accent which for me sounds hilarious. The concert wasn’t phenomenal but it’s was worth my £19 and I am happy with that. 
My little blog and I made a few new friends; two bright young ladies that are bringing me a lot of blog-joy. Thank you Maria do Amanhecer Tardiamente and Luisa do Cemiterio Dos Livros Lidos  for visiting me this month! If I could I'd invite you girls for some wino and nibbles!
Last but not least I’ve challenged everyone to join me in my reading madness/marathon: one book in 100 days. I wrote this post in Portuguese but it’s for everyone! So get ready and let’s do it! 

Reading Marathon
From 1st of May (TOMORROW!!) until 8th of August 
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 
Published: 1873 - 1877 
Number of Pages: 872 
Available in English/ Kindle format here
Overall, April was a quiet month. The first quiet month of the year so far. I’ve moaned for two months about too much work and though I’ve not worked less, I am at least less stressed. I’ve managed things better this month, I stood up for myself a little bit more and for my surprise it worked. Sometimes all it takes is to shout a little louder. I leave that as a tip. 

I am excited for this new month. May is always a special month for me. Let’s see what the darling buds of May will bring me. 
xx G

4 comments:

  1. Incrível!!! Cada vez que agora venho espreitar o teu blog tenho uma surpresa carinhosa que me enche o coração!!! :) Obrigada!!!! :) Também gostei muito de te conhecer neste mês de Abril! ;) Mais uma vez desculpa responder-te em português, este nosso idioma em comum! ;) Mas agora tenho o cérebro focado para espanhol e não quer correr o risco de ainda inventar um novo idioma, de mistura entre português, espanhol e inglês!! :P lol Ando com uma vontade re reler Os Maias tão grandeeeee!!! :) Pois já o li há muitos anos, mas a verdade é que a sua história me continua a marcar! ;) É muito, muito bom!! O Eça era um verdadeiro "grande senhor escritor"! ;) Olha que a ideia no ar, de nos juntarmos as 3 em Londres, não me pareceu nada mal!! ;) ahahah
    Boas leituras!!:)

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    1. Olá Luisa! Obrigada vc! Uma das melhores coisas de blogar é exatamente isso ;) e pode falar Português! Sempre ;) vino-petiscos e boa companhia - seria sonho mesmo, a noite seria curta para tanta conversa que teríamos! Mil beijinhos

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  2. Olá Giselle, também eu vou escrever em português, embora estivesse tentada a fazê-lo em inglês. Dei um passo atrás quando tropecei na parte do texto que diz "I am reading books in Portuguese again, first time in ten years. I know, it's been a while!". Pensei que seria uma ajuda, neste caso, o português escrito. Os Maias é uma excelente escolha. Boa!

    Este é sem dúvida um belíssimo post. Gostei muito e não sou de andar por aí a esbanjar elogios :)))

    Beijinho e que o próximo post seja também... and then it was May... (por mim não me importo).

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    1. Olá, Maria. Português é ainda o idioma do coração mas tive que colocá-lo de lado para absorver o novo. Sim, ajuda-me ;) e muito! Foi o Eca que plantou em mim o desejo de ir a Sintra, gostei muito das tuas fotos no seu blogue. O amor dos Maias tb nasceu lá e morreu em Lisboa. Obrigada por ter passado por aqui! Sempre um prazer para mim :))

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