May session: May 25th

Dear Readers,

Our next session will be next Wednesday, May 25th, starting at 3:15.

Update: What shall we read after “Wind, Sand and Stars”? One member requested something by Bernard Malamud, and I mentioned “The Natural”, the only story by Malamud that I know. However, I don’t think I officially announced this. In the meantime, that member recommended a short story by Malamud called “Rembrandt’s Hat”. I will bring copies of this to our next session. I hope not everyone has already bought “The Natural”.

We will discuss the last 3 sections of St. Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars”:

  1. Chapter IX, pages 174-189 – the Spanish Civil War
  2. Chapter IX, section VI pages  215-224.
  3. Chapter X – conclusion.

A request:

I had to re-install my computer’s OS last weekend (what fun!) and I have lost all my email addreses. Could I trouble you to send me an email? Thank you in advance.

Through the Sapphire Sky: Alike in composition, unlike in meaning

A long time ago now (it seems), in our Reading group we discussed dragons as possibly universal archetypes and their different meanings in Western and Eastern cultures/literatures. Well English Lady Blogger Through the Sapphire Sky has written a very interesting and colourful post on this very subject. Please consider, “Alike in composition, unlike in meaning”:

When I saw this beautiful painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770) on Aputsiaq ‘s blog, I doubted if the lady riding or standing on the dragon was really the Virgin Mary. I at first thought that She can’t have ridden such a creature by any means, for as far as I know, dragons have always been considered evil beings in the West. However, because of the title of the painting, The Immaculate Conception, I reconsidered and I came to believe that the lady must be Mary.

I could not understand why she rode or stood on the dragon for a long time. The painting remained a mystery for months. Recently, I realized that I had been completely mistaken by reading some articles about Marian Art and some Biblical passages and I finally figured out what this piece means. She is not riding or just standing on the dragon but instead she is stamping it down and triumphing over the creature, which is a metaphor for the devil.

via Through the Sapphire Sky: Alike in composition, unlike in meaning.

April 27th session report

Rifuan, April 6th, 2011
Rifuan, April 6th, 2011

We are still working our way through an English translation of St Exupery’s “Wind Sand and Stars”.  In today’s session, we read through and discussed sections 4-6. Our next session will be May 25th.

  1. uillaumet lost in the Andes – chapter II, section II, page 30-40 (end of chapter II)
  2. Chapter IV (pages 48-62) – the cyclone
  3. Chapter V, section II, pages 68-74 (end of chapter V) – night in the Sahara
  4. Chapter VI, pages 76-82 (end of chapter VI) – the snakes under the table
  5. Chapter VII, section I (pages 85-90) – the gazelle in the Sahara
  6. Chapter VII, section V pages 106-119 – Bark the slave
  7. Chapter IX, pages 174-189 – the Spanish Civil War
  8. Chapter IX, section VI pages  215-224.
  9. Chapter X – conclusion.