An Irrepressible Habit of Thinking Aloud

(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
Reading all the discussions about Brexit, what I kinda miss is the opinion of those who voted to leave. Are they satisfied? Did the falling pound rate alarm them or do they think "We don't need no stinking foreign currency anyway"?

... because that's what pro-government people in Russia say. "Who cares ruble is falling? I don't need dollars!", "Who cares if other countries don't want to deal with us? We have everything we need in Russia".

I kind of trained my psyche to deal with our local politics, but when the rest of the world follows in the madness, it's troubling. Are we having Weimar era revival? Russia-wise, I keep thinking that the era most similar to ours is Nicholas I's times, pre-Crimea war and the war itself. Similar brand of nationalism and blindness.

(Of course any historical similarities are at best imprecise, but. This is a soothing mental exercise of the "we survived that, then we probably will survive this" variety)

(the existence of Israel is also very soothing, history-wise. Even though I don't particularly want to move there)

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
I've been on Tumblr for ages and I am still bewildered by the use of the emotional-disaster language when talking about fandom and fannishness. Everyone always has fits of ugly crying and having their life ruined. *shrug* I don't know if anyone does sociology and psychology of Tumblr or something - I'd read an article on this.

... then, I'd read an article on everything. Normal people deal with politics, for example, by having a discussion on FB. I deal with politics by finding a suitable monograph to read.

Language learning still occupies a lot of my time. But. I have two goals in learning languages: (1) How does this work anyway, I am curious; and (2) More books available to read, cool! Duolingo is sort of decent for the first stage, but not quite enough - I guess I have to spend less time there and more time reading grammar books.

Also, this doesn't work with Spanish. I kind of revived my Spanish through Duolingo, but now I need reading to not let it get rusty, and I don't know what I want to read in Spanish. I did not choose it consciously, I sort of fell into it when I was ten. So I read a lot of classics and worthy moderns, which I mostly did not like. And I can't practice a language by reading what I do not like, I just won't read it. And it's stupid to lose a language. What on earth do I want to read in Spanish?

... maybe I should finish watching Ministerio del Tiempo at least, though TV series are usually not my thing.

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
I don't really believe in poetry translations.
No, that sounds wrong. I mean, I enjoy them, but as sort-of-fanfics - a bit like screen adaptations of novels. maybe. They are interesting in what they are doing, and they have value in themselves, but do they let you know the original poet? I love Marshak's Shakespeare sonnets, but they are not much like Shakespeare's Shakespeare sonnets in both tone and intent.
So, then, if you (if I) read poetry, this has to be done in its original language.
Only poetry is probably most difficult form of reading in a foreign language. I mean, I'm more or less fluent in English, but I know myself to have dubious pronunciation, so am I sure the English poetry sounds right in my head? (thank gods for online audios of poetry readings)
And that's English, probably my best current language. Do I dare to read in any other language? ... I do, but am I right? This post is actually brought to you by me trying Ukrainian poetry and probably being in over my head.

Here's a Polish poem so that I wouldn't be too appalled to reread this post. I am worse at reading Polish than Ukrainian, but this one has inner simplicity (and I've read three different translations).

Kamyk jest stworzeniem
doskonałym

równy samemu sobie
pilnujący swych granic

wypełniony dokładnie
kamiennym sensem

o zapachu który niczego nie przypomina
niczego nie płoszy nie budzi pożądania

jego zapał i chód
są słuszne i pełne godności

czuję ciężki wyrzut
kiedy go trzymam w dłoni
i ciało jego szlachetne
przenika fałszywe ciepło

- Kamyki nie dają się oswoić
do końca będą na nas patrzeć
okiem spokojnym bardzo jasnym

(Zbigniew Herbert)

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
For now I listened to three songs from Hamilton (I was too enthused by an opportunity to catch with something everyone talks about. I mean, by the time I manage to watch five eps of some TV series fandom talks about, fandom will go through two more popular crazes. But musical... that I can deal with. Maybe)

You'll Be Back I loved.
Wait for It was quite nice.
And then I went to listen to the opening and while clever, it was so headache-inducing that I had to take a breather.

Can I deal with a show's worth of stuff like this? Well, I learned to like beer which was counter-intuitive, so maybe. We'll see.

I am hopeless at being fandom-ish.

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the lady smiles
taelle
... and maybe one of the reasons it's so hard for me to take in a lot of forms of the current social justice culture is because I am who I am - a part of the Russian intelligentsia culture which spent all of the late 19th century and early 20th century feeling guilty about social injustice and about its privileges, and then about 70 years having this internalized guilt approved and supported by the state. By now there's not much guilt to add to all that.

(I probably do have internalized prejudice, too. Almost everyone does)

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Wednesday reading - actually on a Wednesday
the lady smiles
taelle
Reading: Twelve Drummers Drumming by C. C. Dennison, looks like a readable mystery, though the protagonist priest's background seems a bit too much - twice orphaned! mother a Eurovision winner! former stage magician! with last name Christmas!

Also: Autobiography of Aleksandra Berezina. A very strange person, a wannabe artist and author of Greek-style epigrams; a notable scholar of Ancient Greek liked her epigrams so much that he took it upon himself to edit and publish her memoir after her death. Early 20th century in Saint Petersburg, extremely vivid and picturesque description, weird and a bit off-putting personality - I was not surprised to learn that she ended up almost a vagrant.

Finished: Moscow and Moscovites by V. Gilyarovsky - Moscow about 150 years ago by a then-famous reporter who knew everything and everybody. Very readable.

To-read: who knows? I think I have another Dennison...

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
Funny how bad I am sometimes at knowing myself. Used to be, I believed I was interested in medieval history, when it is becoming more and more evident that the 20th century is the most interesting - because my brain works at history from the 'why people are as they are', and the troubles of the latest century have, of course, contributed the most.

(but not _just_ 20th century. And when have I ever been able to stick to one topic? Maybe that was why I sucked a proto-academic researcher)

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
I wonder what's happening with our political power. But only sort of dimly wondering, not believing in much good.

Though they let Svetlana Davydova go; that's good.

But it feels like some sort of spring madness. Nothing is real.

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
I've known it for a long time, but it's still unsettling that the word for 'Jew' in Western Slavic languages is one that exists in Russian but is offensive...

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(no subject)
the lady smiles
taelle
Watched the "I am a Russian occupant" video (with English subtitles here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T65SwzHAbes

... lovely. Someone caught up with 'white man's burden' just as the whole world was discarding it.

And people are buying into it.

(I am not sure I even have a tag for it. I am going to the memorial rally for Nemtsov now, and then I am going to think whether I want to keep blogging about this or to delete everything)

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