Friday 25 August 2017
Weekend Blog Hops - 25 August 2017
Have you ever read a book written in a foreign language you might be fluent in, and then read the same book in English?
Actually, for me it tends to be the other way around. I've read a number of books in translation, only to read them in the original language later. I have studied a few foreign languages, but I'm only proficient enough in French and German to read novels with any degree of ease. I will occasionally attempt something lighter in Italian, Czech or Danish, but I need a dictionary to hand for those and it takes a while to get through a story. I think the only time I read anything in the original language and then in English was Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther.
At seven o'clock on a January morning, as the sky over London was growing light, a row broke out in a bedroom between a husband and wife.
From page 56:
Pepys was not accustomed to failure--he was the success of the family, the boy who did well and won scholarships--and the separation from Elizabeth, which lasted for many months, was terrible to him.
My Current Read
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
For a decade, beginning in 1660, an ambitious young London civil servant kept an astonishingly candid account of his life during one of the most defining periods in British history. In Samuel Pepys, Claire Tomalin offers us a fully realized and richly nuanced portrait of this man, whose inadvertent masterpiece would establish him as the greatest diarist in the English language.
Against the backdrop of plague, civil war, and regicide, with John Milton composing diplomatic correspondence for Oliver Cromwell, Christopher Wren drawing up plans to rebuild London, and Isaac Newton advancing the empirical study of the world around us, Tomalin weaves a breathtaking account of a figure who has passed on to us much of what we know about seventeenth-century London. We witness Pepys’s early life and education, see him advising King Charles II before running to watch the great fire consume London, learn about the great events of the day as well as the most intimate personal details that Pepys encrypted in the Diary, follow him through his later years as a powerful naval administrator, and come to appreciate how Pepys’s singular literary enterprise would in many ways prefigure our modern selves. With exquisite insight and compassion, Samuel Pepys captures the uniquely fascinating figure whose legacy lives on more than three hundred years after his death.