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Last week I picked up a box of fancy chocolates for a couple I've never met. M and I got the tickets for a concert they weren't able to attend. We were listening to Gershwin, Ravel and Scriabin and enjoyed it immensely. Ravel's piano concerto was played by a Czech pianist Igor Ardašev. What I found particularly beautiful was the way he treated the piano. It was as if his instrument was a human being. So, the chocolates were sort of a logical conclusion. Although there's no logic in it, really. I had a quarter of an hour of my lunch break left to kill, so I decided to go to a bookstore, just to browse. There's no logic there either. My eye was caught by a David Gorssman novel, Look Under: Love. I've never read Grossman. My watercolour guru recommended him to me a couple of times but up till now I never acted on it. According to the blurb on the back cover, the book sounds promising. On my way to the-lady-who-takes-my-money (read cashier), I saw a poetry collecti…

The Ghosts of Lost Ships

Sometimes the moths remind me of ships, invisible, silent ... lost in blue oblivion.

Nočni metulji me včasih spominjajo na ladje; nevidne, tihe in izgubljene v modri pozabi.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

The novel opens with a series of e-mails Jerome writes to his father Howard Belsey. Jerome is in London, working for Monty Kipps and living with his family. The problem for Howard is that Monty is his academic rival. They both teach art history, both are specialized on Rembrandt, only Monty published his book, while Howard still struggles with his. Another problem is Jerome turning to Christianity, which Howard as a liberal doesn’t approve. Monty on the other hand supports traditional values, which appeal to Jerome. With the approaching school year Monty and his family arrive to Wellington university where Howard teaches. Howard’s wife Kiki befriends Monty’s wife Carlene, Jerome returns to university in another town to avoid Monty’s beautiful daughter Victoria, he was in live with while being in London. The lives of both families intertwine, despite their different values and life.
I quite liked this book. At first I found it slow paced, but it didn’t bother me. I think it’s written in…

More Than 2000 Years Ago

When I was a kid I was fascinated by ruins. The older, the better. I always tried to imagine people living there: who were they, what they were doing and how they looked like. When I was in fourth grade my teacher took us to see an exhibition on roman artefacts found in Ljubljana and I remember being mesmerised by thin glass object, lachrymatories, into which the mourners dropped their tears. I imagined people crying into these vessels and the image in my mind was otherworldly. After the exhibition, with my head full of stories concerning tears in various forms, we went to see the archaeological park Emona.
After too many years M and I decided to see the ruins again. On previous occasions we found the park closed, but last Sunday we were lucky. We were met by a young student, bored enough to eagerly explain how the system works.
"Do you guys know how this works?"
"Um, no ..." How what works? Where will we be transported to?
Apparently nowhere. He just explained what we…

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Julia and Valentina, twin sisters living in America, inherit a appartment in London from their aunt Elspeth. They decide to move to England and live in the apartment just across the road from Highgate cemetery. Julia and Valentina are 21, but they seem like they are twelve. They dress in matching clothes, they do everything together and appear to be helpless in everyday matters. Most of the people living in the same building as the twins are weird. Robert was Elspeth’s lover. He works at Highgate cemetery and in a way deals with death every day. Martin suffers from a severe case of OCD and refuses to leave his apartment. His wife Marijke left him and returned to Amsterdam. Elspeth still lives in her apartment even though she is dead. She finds a way to communicate with the twins and Robert. Valentina would like to break free from Julia, so she and Elspeth hatch a plan into which they manage to drag Robert. It’s when weird turns into twisted and dark becomes even darker.
The title remin…

Prussian Blue

"Nothing is perhaps more peculiar than the process by which one obtains Prussian blue, and it must be owned that, if chance had not taken a hand, a profound theory would be necessary to invent it."
Prussian Blue The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair 

Sylvia by Leonard Michaels

Sylvia is a fictionalized memoir / short novel about a couple living in New York in the 60s. The narrator (Michales) meets Sylvia through a friend he visits soon after he returns home from college. Sylvia is mentally ill, although she refuses to see a doctor and is never properly diagnosed. Judging by what he says about her college activities, she is quite an intelligent woman. He ends up marrying her even though he's not certain it's what he wants to do. He expects his father would oppose the marriage, however he just points out his son’s duty not to abandon the poor orphan girl. They live in a tenement they share with cockroaches and an occasional rat, which they don't seem to mind. Their life is full of quarrels, drugs, jealousy and emotional blackmail. I didn't like Sylvia and I didn’t like the narrator for various reasons I am not going to go into to avoid spoilers in case you didn't read the book and would like to. Even though I didn't like Sylvia I some…