Menabilly, My Love - Part One: 'Into the Woods'
‘I edged my way onto the lawn, and there she stood. My house of secrets. My elusive Menabilly… The windows were shuttered fast, white and barred. Ivy covered the grey walls and threw tendrils round the windows. The house, like the world, was sleeping too. But later, when the sun was high, there would come no wreath of smoke from the chimneys. The shutters would not be thrown back, or the doors unfastened. No voices would sound within those darkened rooms. Menabilly would sleep on, like the sleeping beauty of the fairy tale, until someone should come to wake her.’ (from ‘The House of Secrets’, ‘Rebecca Notebook’, Daphne du Maurier)
Menabilly, My Love... Part Three: 'An Appalling Tragedy'
'‘An appalling tragedy,’ she was saying, ‘the papers were full of it of course. They say he never talks about it, never mentions her name. She was drowned you know, in the bay near Manderley…’’ (‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier)
Menabilly, My Love… Part Five: ‘The Cottage in the Woods’
‘The sea was glass. The air was soft and misty warm and the only other creature out of bed was a fisherman hauling crab pots at the harbour mouth. It gave me a fine feeling of conceit to be up before the world. My feet in sand shoes seemed like wings. I came down to Pridmouth Bay, passing the solitary cottage by the lake, and, opening a small gate hard by, I saw a narrow path leading to the woods.’ (‘The Rebecca Notebook’, by Daphne du Maurier)
A House with a ‘Benefit’ – a Saga of Dealing with Henri-Louis Maunoir.
This piece is a continuation of the Part 1 — Once Upon A Time I Moved to Geneva... As we have learnt from our Swiss friends, in Geneva, when in trouble inflicted by one’s landlord one goes to ASLOCA, a non-for-profit organisation that was established in 1942 in order to protect tenants’ rights and represent their interests.
‘Oh, My Poor Lola… - Lolita Revisited’
I have recently come across an article in Russia about the long-suffering book ‘Lolita’ (1955) by the Russian-American novelist, poet, and translator, Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977). The long-suffering epithet assigned to the book is not mine though. It is Vladimir Nabokov himself who said so, as he was witnessing criticism of his book. The book was published in 1955 by Paris based Olympia Press, specialising in erotic and avant-gard literature. The fact that did very little good to the book, apart, of course, from making it popular.
I’ve Got a Cactus From the Dead…
Some four and a half months ago, right before the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the sky, my mother had got a present… from the dead. Literally. She did not like it, and even hated it. Nevertheless, she kept it for some days on her windowsill. First, in the full view. Then, hidden behind the curtain. When in the full view, the cactus stood there irritating and annoying her, reminding of something deep inside her that she struggled to comprehend and make peace with. After two days of struggling, my mother took the cactus, put it into the black bin bag and through it into the rubbish pipe. It spiralled all way down and hit the bottom. She leaned closer to the gaping hole of the rubbish pipe, and listened. Yes, it did hit the bottom, the pot hopefully going into pieces. She then went inside her flat, happy with herself and the solution she had come with.
A Dying Male Paradigm of ‘Money, Career, Sex’…
In life, we play certain roles without even being aware of it, as they have become such an integral part of our Self. Some of these roles we have assigned to ourselves by ourselves but some have been adopted by us or even imposed on us. We, as individuals, have a free will to choose a certain role or not. Even the imposed or forced one.
‘Me Before You’ (2016) vs ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)
Four years ago, when I still headed a literature club in Geneva (Switzerland), we had the book ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes read and discussed. The discussion coincided with the release of the movie of the same title. I remember the heated discussion that went around the subject of true love and whether Will loved Clark. Apart from myself and another woman everyone else thought that it was a tragic but romantic story and a true love. At the time, I could not convince those ladies that they were mistaken for the author would not have titled the book ‘Me Before You’ if the story was simply a tragic-romantic one. The title of the book as well as the movie bares a deeper thought and reflects on the old male paradigm. The very same paradigm that was applied in the movie ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990).