Literary travels

Literary travels – coming soon!

Jeg introducerer snart et nyt koncept på bloggen. Det har titlen ”Literary travels” og vil gå ned i et særligt litterært rejsemål, sted, museum, bygning, attraktion, etc., som jeg har været så heldig at besøge. Målet er at give ny inspiration til enten at læse det litterære værk, som forbindes med stedet eller give inspiration til rejser eller besøg.

Der vil i disse opslag hovedsagligt være en del billeder, dog med få beskrivelser til. Jeg foretrækker at lade ordene tale, men ofte siger et billede mere end 1000 ord.

Jeg glæder mig til at dele mine litterære oplevelser med jer!

/Soon I will introduce a new concept on my blog. It is called “Literary travels” and will specifically focus on a literary destination, place, museum, building or attraction that I have been so lucky and blessed to experience. The goal with this concept is to inspire you to read the literary published work which is associated with the chosen place and give inspiration for travels and visits.

In these posts, there will mainly be a lot of photos, however with a few descriptions which cover the photos. As the saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

I am looking forward to share my literary experiences with you!

Chaos Comes to Longbourn

Chaos Comes to Longbourn
by Victoria Kincaid

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3-stars

Thanks to Poetic Book Tours!

“Chaos Comes to Longbourn” is written by Victoria Kincaid.

Let me first of all say that when I was asked if I wanted to read this novel, my first thought was “YAY!”

I am Jane Austen-fan indeed. Usually I am not really into fanfiction at all, but it seems like Jane Austen-fanfiction is getting better and better. Especially this novel is living proof it! It is obvious that the author has researched a lot before writing it, because the language is spot on and creates many associations in the reader’s mind.

I have always been a fan of Jane Austen. There is so much in this literary universe to take in: strong protagonists (strong women), an insight of a specific historical period, vivid descriptions of British towns and countrylife, and so much more.

“By the time the music commenced, there were four betrothed couples standing up together. No one was smiling”.

When I first stepped out of the train station in Bath (when I visited in July 2013), I could feel this certain atmosphere and it has followed me ever since, whenever I browse through my Jane Austen-novels on my bookshelf, watch a movie or see something that creates associations. The question is: why do we love Jane Austen so much? One could only wonder, even though there are many examples which could explain our fascination with this talented female author.

Victoria Kincaid really lets the reader dwell in this atmosphere of tea, biscuits, hats and drama. As said before, the language is great, which makes the pace of the reading quick and playful. There is a lot of humour, drama, love and typically “over the top”-dramatic scenes, which makes it so easy for the reader to enjoy.

Already from the first page, there is action and excitement, which makes it even more fascinating to “dive into”. Our beloved characters are introduced and we quickly remember how we feel and think about them – especially the guys.

 

“”Oh, Good Lord, how long have I been staring at her?” He knew there was some reason he should not stare, should not kiss her… Then reality came crashing back into his memory”.

Even though, Jane Austen wrote her novels so long ago, the love for her work has only grown stronger and it is with great pleasure that we still read her novels today. Even fanfiction as Victoria Kincaid makes this specific world so fascinating and loved!

“Chaos Comes to Longbourne” is indeed a pageturner. It’s playful, fun and full of laughs and scandals. While we cheer for Darcy and Elizabeth, the drama unfolds…

Among the Bumblebees

Among the Bumblebees (short story) by Sylvia Plath

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“Among the Bumblebees” is a story written by the lovely Sylvia Plath. It’s about the young girl, Alice Denway and how she feels about losing her father. Through the entire story, there are a lot of descriptions about her family; her mother, brother and most importantly, her father. There are also flashbacks and childhood memories, where the most essential one is “catching of the bumblebees in summer”. There are a lot of descriptions concerning the day-to-day life and how she teases her younger brother. Through the story, it is clear that the father is the most important character. There are a lot of hints that characterizes him, his work and how Alice looks up to him as a role model. Most importantly, she tells about his sickness and death.

The father is a tall man who shows a lot of authority, stubbornness and strong opinions. An example that underlines it is the following sentence: ”the water obeying the skillful mastery of her father’s rhythmic stroke”. The water “obeys” him (personification) because of his personality as the powerful man.
Alice fears him but still has a lot of respect towards her father and worships him (as said directly in the story) , as an example, when she describes his eyes as “overhead dome of sky” or his laughter as “breaking waves”. She also uses these sentences to describe him: “strong and proud, and his voice would be hard, with a sharp edge to it”. She even describes him as “a king” and a “tame lion” – last mentioned symbolizes the fact that the father at first seems powerful and creates fear in people’s eyes and in the same time, he is kind and harmless (as something tamed) .

Through the story, there are a lot of flashback memories between Alice and her father, for example; seeing him correcting papers, swimming in the ocean and most importantly, catching bumblebees in the garden. All of these flashbacks are well-described, which symbolize the strong impression of the love Alice feels towards her father and her deep respect for him. She remembers it as if it was yesterday, as an example: the father swimming in the ocean. She uses personifications to describe this memory – following sentences: “small waves collapsing at her feet” and “blinding glare of summer sun that struck silent and brilliant on the surface of the water”.

“Among the Bumblebees” is a very important memory to the narrator. It describes one of her favorite memories with her father. Every summer, they go in the garden and he catches bumblebees, hold them inside of his hands and then let them go. The first time, Alice realizes that he is ill and it actually is serious is the fact that one summer he cannot go in the garden with her.
“Bumblebee” could also be a symbol for the father. Bumblebees are big, mad and for the most, very angry. They can sting and bite but also be very gentle and harmless if you treat them nicely. Furthermore, it is also known that scientists use alcohol to kill a bumblebee for scientific reasons and examinations. Here is also a similarity between the bumblebee and the father. When Alice walks around in the living room, where the father is lying, there is a strong and sweet smells of alcohol – the father passes away right after this.

In this short story, there are several things which can be drawn to Sylvia Plath’s own life and childhood. Therefore she beautifully shows how a young girl (herself) deals with the reality of death, losing a loved-one and how it affect one’s childhood and adolescent life.

Field Guide to the End of the World

Field Guide to the End of the World
by Jeannine Hall Gailey

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4-stars

Thanks to Poetic Book Tours!

”Field Guide to the End of the World” is a poetry collection written by Jeannine Hall Gailey.

How do I even start? How can a string of words make you not able to express a single word? Well, I’ll try anyway.

This poetry collection is brilliant. It’s fascinating and it truly defines modern poetry. When you start reading it, you are introduced to different glimpses of everyday-life, but it is so much more than that.  Jeannine Hall Gailey creates a perfect setting for us, where we can read, reflect and develop ourselves. In a way, Jeannine Hall Gailey really gave me hope. She lets the words explain the simplest things yet the most deep and powerful ones. How we should not settle with life if we wish more of it, how we should see life as a journey and not only the result of it and at last; life is worth living to the fullest, and there is always hope no matter which situation you find yourself in.

“with games, whistling in the dark. You and I
pass the crayons back and forth, telling each other
once more the story of creation, stories of genomes

while the kind rabbits scramble over hills out of the sun.
Squabbing, we’re in a hurry to reach the end of our journey
settle down in our final destination”

There is so much to write about this poetry collection. Yet, I don’t want to spoil your reading experience, but it is fascinating how Jeannine Hall Gailey has created her poetry. Each poem is filled with symbolism, sensuous language, metaphors and hints that make us reflect, and think about life, death, dreams, goals and identity.

The titles open up to an entire story, and even before you start reading the actual text, your mind is exploding with descriptions and associations. There are no borders in contemporary literature and Jeannine Hall Gailey truly exemplifies this in her poetry. An example of this is the different scenarios presented in the poem  “Yearbook: Not pictured”, which presents reminiscence, memories and possible “what if’s”-situations.

Some of the poems made me wonder and reflect. Others in a way seemed too simple and anonymous but once in a while, a poem truly broke me. So in a way, the “simple” poems were good because I wasn’t forced to blink my tears away after every poem J

Especially this poem really got to me:

“I can’t write you a note about this, I won’t say
So long, farewell, like I’m going on a trip
All I can do is capture these reminders, frame by frame
these calls to life, to bleeding and feeding and ferociously
taking up space and time. Here, these flowers say, here we were”

With these beautiful lines I will end this review and get ready for the next precious moment in my life. I can’t thank you enough, Jeannine Hall Gailey.

The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos

The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos by Anne Carson

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3 stars

First of all, the form and structure of the poetry collection consist of dialogue, fragments of flashbacks and memories, journal form, letters and literary references. As Carson truly possesses the art of writing, she does not reveal everything, so the reader is left with questions and in some instances confusion.

 Although, Carson’s literary universe is filled with symbolism, metaphors and literary references, her poetry appears readable because it consists of everyday-language. The language is only simple on the surface because it deals with universal paradoxes and issues of human life. As mentioned, certain elements in language create meaning.

The question is now; how does one classify Anne Carson’s poetry? There is no doubt that she is experimental in relation to form, structure and the general idea of poetry. She breaks away from traditional poetry and creates unique and experimental poetry.

Carson challenges our expectations of the form of traditional poetry. Would her experimental literary work be considered as poetry, novels or another un-defined medium? After showing several examples of how Carson differentiates from the traditional form, it is obvious that her literary work is poetry, prose and is influenced by other mediums, e.g. journal form, flashbacks and memoirs that decide the pace of the literary work.

From a contemporary point of view, one might say that the idea of poetry is not only based on structure, genre and discourse, but rather sensuous language, feelings, the reading experience and the subjective experience that it is to read a lyrical and creative piece of poetry. A modern reader would most likely base a reading on his or her own feelings, experience or status in life, and thereby; not supporting the formalistic approach to the analysis of the text. Another important aspect of a modern reading would be Sten Pultz Moslund’s (2015) emphasis on sensuous language and the effect of poetry on the senses of the reader. Terry Eagleton claims that it is a matter of value and “the fact that we always interpret literary works to some extent in the light of our own concerns” (Rice, 2001: 402).

For the modern reader, it is important to be able to identify, emphasise and put oneself in the main character’s position.
Contemporary literature is without boundaries or borders. In 2015, literature is allowed to differentiate, mix several genres or the language can be filled with slang or internetlanguage. Even though, Carson’s work was published earlier, a modern reader would define it as experimental, modern and a renewal of the traditional form of poetry.

Skyggesider

Skyggesider af Christina Bonde

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Skyggesider af Christina Bonde er én af de mest spændende, nervepirrende og rørende bøger, som jeg har læst i år. Efter lang tid med stress og negative ting i min hverdag tog jeg på en solo-rejse i januar. Dér kastede jeg mig ud i denne roman efter at have hørt mange positive ting omkring den. Jeg hørte dele af den som lydbog og flere gange fangede jeg mig selv i at bide negle.

Genren vil nok defineres som thriller, men samtidig er der også mange elementer af psykologisk drama. Der er ofte cliffhangers, som efterlader én med følelsen af at man bare bliver nødt til at vide mere. Forfatteren har sproget i sin magt og har i den grad læseren i sin hule hånd. Allerede i prologen skabes der undring og der præsenteres spørgsmål, som man ønsker svar på.

“Så blev der stille. Tricia standsede op. Døren var pludselig foran hende, og de blå bogstaver der hang på dørens hvide dørflade trak hendes blik imod sig. “Silas?” Hun stirrede på de fem bogstaver der dannede et helt andet navn. Hendes søsters navn- Emily”.

Jeg var imponeret over historien og hvordan Christina Bonde med lethed formåede at drage læseren ind i sit litterære univers. Sproget er fængende, symbolikken er stærk og det er så nemt at blive trukket med ind i historien. Karakterne, særligt hovedpersonen Tricia, var fascinerende at følge på deres rejse. Tricia er i høj grad mærket af psykiske traumaer og sin spiseforstyrrelse. Det kan ofte være hårdt at læse disse linjer. Det er nemt at føle sig indespærret i følelsen, som hovedpersonen har i sig, fordi sproget er så stærkt og rammende.

“Sulten var forfærdelig. Som en dyb, flående smerte voksede den sig stærkere time for time og opslugte mere og mere af hendes selvkontrol. Men det hun hungrede efter var så uhyrlig en tanke at hun kæmpede imod trangen og forsøgte at dæmpe den med alt andet”.

Med disse mørke monologer eller dialoger rammer forfatteren i den grad sin læser med den afmagt, som Tricia føler. Ofte var der mange elementer i plottet, monologerne og dialogerne, som forblev usagte. Dette gjorde romanen endnu mere spændende og det gav læseren mulighed for at reflektere.

Der ligger et gennemarbejdet stykke arbejde bag denne roman. Det kan ofte være kompliceret at skelne mellem fantasi og virkelighed. Denne blanding er utrolig spændende at følge og jo længere romanens plot glider frem, jo sværre bliver det at differencere mellem disse. Den virkelighed, som vi præsenteres for synes ofte langt fra den virkelighed, som vi kender til. Samtidig med Tricia føler sig fanget mellem to verdener, så gør man det også som læser.

Jeg har aldrig læst en bog som Christina Bondes ”Skyggesider”, og jeg var virkelig imponeret.

Den er bare… Hvad kan man sige? … Anderledes end hvad jeg nogensinde har læst. Den fuldføres med en intensitet, som virkelig kryber ind under huden på læseren. Den skræmte og dragede mig ind i sit litterære spind. Desuden omhandler den forskellige temaer som: eksistentiel krise, kærlighed, relationer, afmagt, psykisk ustabilitet, spiseforstyrrelse og fortidens traumaer. Med et stærkt plot, som altid efterlader læseren undrende og fascineret, så har Christina Bonde skabt en fantastisk roman, som jeg stadig den dag i dag drages af.

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(Billedet er fra fantasyfestival i Esbjerg 2016, hvor jeg var så heldig at møde Christina Bonde!)