The Man in the Queue: “It was between seven and eight o’clock on a March evening and all over London the bars were being drawn back from pit and gallery doors.”
Ah, finally I managed to find some time to read a Josephine Tey novel!! I’ve been seeing so many reviews of her novels on other book blogs and hearing so many good things about her writing that I was keen to experience it myself. Initially, I’d planned to start with her lauded Daughter of Time but instead decided to begin with her first novel, The Man in the Queue.
Yes, it’s finally my belated post for Week 4 of The Four Loves Read-along, focussing on Eros! Please read on ….!
Lewis seems to be saying that we are between angels and animals, Venus is the carnal within Eros but she’s kinda funny so laugh at her or she will extract revenge, Eros is Eros but he cannot be Eros by himself, the husband is the head only if he gives most, rough play in sex can be harmless and wholesome (did I read this correctly … however notice the “can be“), while a person is not usually worshiped, Love is and then the expectations are God-like which cannot be fulfilled and then everyone is resentful and implacable and it all falls apart …. LOL!
And the above summary contain the conclusions come to after a very superficial read of a difficult chapter where, in fact, we have to do WORK to follow Lewis. So here goes …
Let’s begin afresh (please!) with Eros or Romantic L❤️ve …
The Thirty-Nine Steps: “I returned from the City about three o’clock on that May afternoon, pretty well disgusted with life.”
Richard Hannay is bored. Dead bored. Returning from mining exploits in South Africa to idyllic England, he expected to be charmed by life in the busy and dynamic city of London. Perplexed at how to inject a dose of adventure back into his life, one evening he discovers a man on his doorstep in Portland Place, a man who relates a fantastic tale of espionage, murder and the possible political destabilization of not only England, but Europe as well.
Is it July already? How the days fly by! And yes, the world smells of roses. How long has it been since someone has given you a rose? Too long? Many of the hybrid roses of today no longer have any scent but I was introduced to a rose lately that was not only beautiful but smelled wonderful ….. lush and fragrant and absolutely divine! Not only the scent but the memories linger with me. So gorgeous. But enough about roses and fragrance and on to news ……
The Reading Lesson (1889) George Hardy ~ source Wikimedia Commons
The topic Books I Loved As a Child is certainly one that captured my attention so how could I pass on this Top Ten Tuesday post from That Artsy Reader Girl? I was such a voracious reader since learned to read and I have so many books that I just love. So here goes ….
Again from my The Four Loves Read-along week 2 post I’ve had thoughts brewing. On Marian’s blog, I posted a question that I’ve been musing about and I thought I’d re-post here in case anyone has any enlightening comments on it:
“Were you surprised when Lewis spoke about developing Affection for people one normally would have nothing to do with but circumstances brought them together? I find that nowadays most people choose only people they would want to hang out with. Where have the relationships gone which form in spite of themselves? Has our world changed drastically from Lewis’ world?”
I do think generally that in spite of our outward modern multi-cultural tolerances, that people actually have practically less tolerance towards the differences of people. What do you think?
I’m a few days late with this post as life is becoming rather hectic but I will try to keep up as we move along. Rest assured though; all the posts will go up eventually!
Before I continue with The Four Loves week two posting, I wanted to put down some more thoughts from week one. After reading the second chapter on Like and Loves for the Sub-Human, I said I was having difficulty finding the distinction between what Lewis called Patriotism (love of home and family) and Ethics, which he implies might replace it (I think it has in our century). Well, I was listening to a training video on workplace harassment and I believe Lewis’ point finally dawned on me. The video sounded as if it were addressing early teens, which in itself was shocking given that it was targeting fully matured adults, but I was also struck by how much we are relying on other people to tell us what to do and how to behave. People used to have an intrinsic value system, and while we’re not perfect, we would never have had to lay out instructions on common, obvious, sensible behaviour like we do today. Was the former (intrinsic value system) based on Lewis’ Patriotism: a strong sense of ties to a family, a community and a place and therefore the better you behaved the more not only the community would benefit, but everyone else also? And thus, has it degraded into a more fragmented society where people without those ties (or less of them), live only for themselves and therefore Ethics has had to step up in an almost haphazard way to try to govern people who are less able to govern themselves? I wonder …..
In any case, on to week two where Lewis examines the Greek word, στοργή (storge, with a hard “g”) which roughly translated means affection, “especially of parents for offspring”, but Lewis expands the term. Let’s see what he has to say ….
And here we go with our The Four Loves read-along! Here is the first post. I hope my notes help clarify the start of the book and please feel free to add any comments below. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I found the beginning quite dense and Lewis sometimes a wee bit difficult to follow. I think it will get easier, however, as he begins to examine each type of love.
I’m going to attach some questions to each chapter. You can use these to answer them as a post on your blog, or simply mull them over to understand the reading better. I do hope they help!
Well, well, this is the first time I’ve participated in the 20 Books of Summer challenge, only because the number 20 has intimidated me. How on earth could I finish 20 books during the summer? Thankfully, Cathy at 746Books gives some leeway with her challenge, so I can breath a little easier. But ten ….??? Could I even manage ten?
Well, I have a plan. I’m going to list 20 books and if anyone has any suggestions in the comments about ones I should definitely read, I’ll take the advice to heart and focus on those. The challenge is from June 3rd to September 3rd and my goal will be 10 books. We’ll see how I do.
“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita.” (Midway in life’s journey I strayed from the path and became lost in a dark wood.)
And so begins Dante Alighieri’s 14th century magnum opus, The Divine Comedy, which includes the books Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, telling of his travels through the depths of Hell and the mountain of Purgatory to discover the bliss of the Heavenly realms.
I attempted to review Inferno after my second read of it, yet never was able to put my thoughts together. This time I was determined but without much more inspiration, however I believe I discovered why this poem is so difficult to review. In essence, it is not only a poem; it is a story, it is history; it’s a science; it is a theological treatise, it is a creation. As in the other two books, there are so many allusions and so many connections that Dante interweaves into them that, as modern readers, we become a little lost in a dark wood. It’s like looking at a puzzle and having to see all the pieces individually before you can see the whole. Without a knowledge of Italian, we can struggle; without a knowledge of medieval scientific theory, we can struggle, without a knowledge of Catholicism we can struggle. But in spite of some of these challenges in this magnificent work, we can still see some of the pictures that Dante painted for us with bold strokes of artistic creativity.