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Freitag, November 23, 2007

Look here!

I did not plan to buy any decorations this year but well... I could not just pass these by. Hand-decorated and all as written on the package (and it almost has my name lol!). Glass decorations are beautiful. They make me this of childhood and feel more real now though there were times when I thought them old-fashioned. Now I think them timeless! And I also remember tears for any broken glass hare or bear or any other favourite! But now I can be more careful with them then when I was 6!
It felt lovely to be listening to Nena's song from Weihnachten (Christmas) album on the train and be watching the sun going down, very pre-holiday. And I caught a glimpse of the beautiful fading day when coming home (from the window).
Happy pre-holiday mood to everyone reading this!

Sonntag, November 18, 2007

Pippi is priceless!

Inspired by Astrid Lindgren's 100th birthday I decided to reread Pippi Longstocking after many years. This girl is priceless! And the book is absolutely timeless, it will make a wonderful reading when I am already 70, that is for sure. Reading the 3d part yesterday I just sat on the carpet with a cup of cofffee, bisquits and sandwiches behind. Mum, looking at me, said it was awfully bad manners, but I think it was just attempting to join the fun of the book, the dream of childhood freedom, like when Pippi, Tommy and Annika were eating muffins on the desert island with their hands when they did not have forks or had coffee on the old oak-tree in the garden. Not that I often or ever have snacks sitting on the floor, but yesterday was such a day thanks to Pippi.

When a child I wanted to be like her, sometimes I even put my feet on the pillow hiding my head under the blanket. And when I was 16 I used bottle post when we were camping a 1000km from home. With astonishing results! - I got a reply half a year later (sometimes I will tell the story in detail here!).

Pippy is wonderful. She's so artless, so good-natured, her logics is absolutely disarming. I remembered this for ages, ever since I read the book for the first time being 6: "Why should I give up watering my flowers this rainy October morning if I've been dreaming about it all night? Should I give it up because of some silly rain?". I love her being a sailor's daughter and having travelled a lot (being a sailor's daughter myself, though of course I am romanticising my dad a bit here). And she has a wonderfully kind heart, not conscious about it at all. She's a wonderful friend and there's never a boring moment with her. She's every hild's dream of being free from any restrictions come true!

On the other side, this book is wonderful for bringing kids up. Reading about Pippi's bad manners or her not ever wanting to go to school a child wouldn't think it exemplarly behaviour, and would never do this way.

It was a lovely rereading, the translation is a real masterpiece and the phrases I reread after many years just resonated in my head and I kept remembering what I thought and how I felt reading it when a 6- or 7-year old. The book is quite worn out, the pages are stained with chocolate and something else because I loved nibbling at something when reading, things seemed tastier with a book then! I relived the childhood joys and fears again and felt wonderfully comforted.

Pippi is a masterpiece. She's absolutely timeless. I'm looking forward to the times when I am reading it to my own kids :)

I think I have not mentioned it here yet (or have I?), but Astrid Lindgren loved "those wonderful books for girls" and said that Anne of Green gables was one of absolutely unforgettable favourites for her. I am wondering if a bit of spirit was inherited from anne together with a fiery hair done it two funny plaits.

Picture: this is how my book cover looks (it has stories about Karsson, Pippi and Emil under one cover). It was published to mark astrid lindgren's 80th birthday, so it is 20 years old now.

Samstag, November 17, 2007

Still another

This is the final scene from Pat, only a slight sketch, also done yesterday evening.

Glasse Castle sketches

I came home today and I was so tired I could not do anything but relax with a little drawing, so I made several sketches of the princess in the tale I am writing.
It's been snowingof late so I also made a couple of snow-themed drawings but I want to colour them first and only then display here!

Addition: I am starting to teach evening classes in commercial translation since January (they were so enthusiastic about my experience of commercial translation correspondence with a company, they wanted to sign the contract yesterday!). So now I have still another teaching part-time job with another department.
Besides, yesterday I've been invited to literary translation workshop (from German into Russian) in the Austrian Library at the Ubni on the 1st of December. Now I only should join a photography or art workshop to have a perfectly tight but exciting schedule!

Mittwoch, November 14, 2007

The Undomestic Goddess

I took to reading this type of books recently - what else would you want to read in a crowded bus returning home after you've been 3 hours at correcting other people's translations and trying to steer them to a correct variant so that they end up saying it aloud themselves? (oh, I love my job :-)).

I did not like it so well as the Shopaholic books first (Becky's story hooked me from the first page) but later I was involved into the story and was especially touched how Samantha stayed loyal to her employers even if they did not have an IQ of 158 like her.

It's relationships that are important, not only career. Therefore I am a part-time assistant lecturer at the Uni, and my salary there would only be enough to cover the bus fare, and that only if I don't go to the Uni every day!

Quiz results:

Your Samantha potential is high. You have the right skills—or at least how to fake them.

(Link to the quiz hidden in the post title)

Astrid Lindgren's 100th Birthday!

I can't miss this day, even if Google misses. Yandex (one of Russain most popular search engines) has Pippy Longsttocking featured on the main page however!

I don't think I have anything absolutely special to say but I love her books and I think that's the most important. I lost count as how many times I read the novels about Karlsson, Pippi and Emil, the book is quite worn out! When I was 6 I finished Pippy for the first time and I remember crying because I did not want the story to end. Pippi came to be a real friend and I just did not want to say goodbye to her.

Then, last autumn, I bought several books by Astrid Lindgren that I never read before and I assure you it's not less lovelier to read her books when you are over 20 than when you are 6 or 7! She brings about your own childhood memories in such a simple and charming manner!

Astrid used to say she wrote mostly to entertain the "inner child" in herself and I think it's really wonderful she never properly "grew up". Later on her son remembered she could not sit still when her children were playing but always joined them in the game.

There was a very good documentary on her yesterday evening on the "Culture" channel. I saw bit and pieces from Junnibacken (sp-?), the museum dedicated to her books where she saw to it herself that children felt comfortable there, i.e. that they could play directly in the museum.

Astrid visited Russia several times, and - amazing - she never mentioned the fact she never earned anything from translations of her works published in Russia!!! That was very tactful of her and I think the visits here really meant to her as Russia was always a country where children's literature was treated seriously as really important.

They say Karlsson is the most popular of Lindgren's chracters here in Russia, maybe, due to the good cartoon every child knows here (there were loads of Karlsson toys in toyshops when I was small too) while Swedish kids prefer Pippy. I think that must be true, but I personally prefer Pippi too. Karsson is fun, but sometimes he struck me as awfully selfish (and that he is!) and I used to fly into passion with him when he would eat up all the sweets and not share anything with his friend. But I wanted a friend like Pippi who would always invent something or tell a story from her travels and make you a cup of coffee and a nice surprise hidden in a tree-hole or somewhere else in the old garden.

I also found out Astrid Lindgren loved "Anne of Green Gables" and read it a hundred of times as a child and had very warm and loving memories of the book later on. Maybe, Pippi inherited a bit of fiery temper and her fiery hair done in two plaits from Anne? I think it's a possible theory.

I'm toying with the idea of putting up a Russian Astrid Lindgren fan-site because we don't have any... That is, if I ever have time!

Happy Birthday to Astrid! I think she deserves every praise because her books are real treasures!

I put a lesser known of Astrids photos here, her and her son Lars. She had Lars when she was only 19 and unmarried (a scandal in 1920s), and she had to leave him with childcare while she was trying to earn at least something for a living (actually trying to make the ends meet)and it was only weekends that she could see her baby. Later on when she married her boss several years after she was able to give him a home but people also think that her own son's story is the reason why boys in her books are so vulnerable and lonely (Like in Karlsson or Mio, my Son). In yesterday's documentary it was said that the two major influences on her writing were her own idyllic childhood memories and the poignant story with Lars.
I think I wanted to say something else but I forget now!

Dienstag, November 06, 2007

For fans of my drawings

A quick post - I made the garden gare sketch coloured and also post one of "glass castle" sketches here

(*back to investment terminology*)

Sonntag, November 04, 2007

Back to a little drawing

I haven't drawn anything for ages, but today - it's a long weekend - thanks to day of national unity - I took out wax crayons and a drawing pad...

The first on is a gate and trees from imagination, the second is inspired by a poem, easy to guess, from Mariona Tsvetayeva.

...Я бы хотела жить с Вами
В маленьком городе,
Где вечные сумерки
И вечные колокола.
И в маленькой деревенской гостинице --
Тонкий звон
Старинных часов -- как капельки времени.
И иногда, по вечерам, из какой -- нибудь мансарды
И сам флейтист в окне.
И большие тюльпаны на окнах.
И может быть, Вы бы даже меня любили...
Посреди комнаты -- огромная изразцовая печка,
На каждом изразце -- картинка:
Роза -- сердце -- корабль. --
А в единственном окне --
Снег, снег, снег.
Вы бы лежали -- каким я Вас люблю: ленивый,
Равнодушный, беспечный.
Изредка резкий треск
Папироса горит и гаснет,
И долго -- долго дрожит на ее краю
Серым коротким столбиком -- пепел.
Вам даже лень его стряхивать --
И вся папироса летит в огонь.

10 декабря 1916


I'd like to live with You

I'd like to live with You
In a small town,
Where there are eternal twilights
And eternal bells.
And in a small village inn—
The faint chime
Of ancient clocks—like droplets of time.
And sometimes, in the evenings, from some garret—
A flute,
And the flautist himself in the window.
And big tulips in the window-sills.
And maybe,
You would not even love me . . .
In the middle of the room—a huge tiled oven,
On each tile—a small picture:
A rose—a heart—a ship.—
And in the one window—
Snow, snow, snow.
You would lie—thus I love You: idle,
Indifferent, carefree.
Now and then the sharp strike
Of a match.
The cigarette glows and burns down,
And trembles for a long, long time on its edge
In a grey brief pillar—of ash.
You're too lazy even to flick it—
And the whole cigarette flies into the fire.

December 10, 1916

Samstag, November 03, 2007

Some time, some day, my lovely child

I made a slide show. For the first time. Using a song with lyrics from Marina Tsvetayeva - it was a poem to her older daughter Ariadna, or Alya, written in hard after-revolution times in 1919. There was a very special bond between them especially that Alya was developed well ahead of her 6 years.


Just my little tribute to Marina, to express my admiration by her art and personality.

And the poem itself:




Когда-нибудь, прелестное созданье,

Я стану для тебя воспоминаньем.

Там, в памяти твоей голубоокой,

Затерянным -- так далеко -- далeко.

Забудешь ты мой профиль горбоносый,

И лоб в апофеозе папиросы,

И вечный смех мой, коим всех морочу,

И сотню -- на руке моей рабочей --

Серебряных перстней, -- чердак -- каюту,

Моих бумаг божественную смуту...

Как в страшный год, возвышены Бедою,

Ты -- маленькой была, я -- молодою.

That's the only translation I found thus far, but it hardly does the original any justice:


One day, pretty creature,

I'll become a memory for you,

There, in your deep memory,

Lost -- so far far away.

You'll forget my hook nosed profile,

And my forehead in the tempest of a cigarette,

And my eternal laughter, annoying you,

--And on my working hand,

a hundred silver rings, -- an attic-cabin*,

Of my heavenly confusion of papers*

Frightening year, reasoned by the sorrow,

You -- were small, I -- was young.