Tuesday, 11 November 2008

TAGGED AGAIN

Bela of Slap of the Day has tagged me as follows...

Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

I'm sure I've been caught with this one before, anyway, this time I grabbed one of the several books that I happen to be simultaneously reading at the moment..

It's entitled Casanova - A Study in Self-Portraiture and is the work of the 19th Century Viennese writer, Stefan Zweig. Here's the relevant passage from page 56...

Instead of wearing sackcloth and ashes, instead of lamenting over a misspent life which is ending in abject poverty and dependence, the toothless old rogue writes with delicious impudence:

"I should regard myself blameworthy if I were rich today. But I have nothing left, I have squandered all my possessions, and that is a great consolation to me."


He has laid up no treasure in heaven, has not refrained from indulging any of his passions out of regard for the dictates of morality or the welfare of his fellows; he has hoarded nothing, either for his own sake or for others'; and from his seventy years nothing is left to him save memories. Even those memories he would not hoard, but, to our good fortune, has squandered them on us. Surely, therefore, we should be the last to complain of his spendthrift ways...
Would we could all be so resignedly philosophic!

I think I've previously tagged several unfortunates with this self-same game, so - this time around - you are all excused! Unless, that is, you are sufficiently sadomasochistic as to do it simply for the hell of it - or simply want to impress us with what you are reading just now!!




13 comments:

Dragonaldy said...

Ha, I am lucky, the closest book at hand here at my desk is the Silmarillion, so I can flaunt my fandom! The second closest is a guide book on birds because I am working on a comic with animals, about Nature.

Both of the above are for research (for illustrations)
If I had to tell what I am actually reading I would have to look at my bedside table. There's quite a pile there, among which "The Children of Hurin", "The Toyminator" by Robert Rankin (Sequel to "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" highly recommended if maybe more for Buttons :)) and also "He Who Walked Among Us" by Norman Spinrad

Sheila said...

I'm reading 'Why study the past? The quest for the historical church', by (your friend and mine - the late Lady Margaret Hall) Rowan Williams.

I haven't got to page 56 yet and don't want to read ahead in case it spoils the plot!

Brian Sibley said...

I really ought to explain why Sheila writes about Rowan Williams (Archbish of Canterbury) as "the late Lady Margaret Hall" but it's more entertaining not to...

Boll Weavil said...

What happpens when you're cooking cabbage underwater"
"You try not to do it" he told her
"The smell hangs round quite a bit"

'On the Beach' by the master storyteller, Nevil Shute,

luinfalathiel said...

"Unferth, have I not said to look ever to the sea for our salvation?"

There's a half-hearted cheer from the people on the steps, then, but Wealthow does not join in, and Unferth glares suspiciously at Beowulf and does not answer his king.

Beowulf, Caitlin R. Kiernan

Not the best-written book, but a readable version based on the movie. I haven't time to deal with the original these days. :)

Brian Sibley said...

Such erudition and eclecticism!

David Weeks said...

"I used to use a set of Diminishing Cards at the conclusion of Cards to Pocket, two tricks which have fallen completely from favour. In all honesty, they were pretty well out of style when I was doing them, so you can appreciate my own sense of fashion and the tumultuous influence I've had in reviving these classics."

'The Conjuring Anthology'
by Jim Steinmyer
A great magical thinker, writer, and nice person.

Brian Sibley said...

I do wish you wouldn't give away these magic secrets, David!! ;-)

andy in greece said...

Brian, I read your extract from 'Casanova - A Study in Self-Portraiture'. I know you try not to involve politics in your blog BUT as I read it I could not help thinking, this could well have come from the yet to be published autobiography of Gordon Brown. Read it again with Mr Brown in mind and see what you think.

Brian Sibley said...

The idea of the Venetian libertine having something in common with the Calvinist Scot is quite brilliant! Thanks for pointing out the similarities, Andy.

Bela said...

Thanks for playing, Brian. I'm sorry I didn't check to see if you'd done that assignment before - and glad too because, otherwise, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of reading those few delightful lines.

In my mind, Casanova will always be Donald Sutherland (or is it the other way around?). Wonderful!

Brian Sibley said...

Ah, yes, Donald Sutherland! Well, of course, he also had another passionate moment in Venice in Don't Look Now...

Dragonlady said...

To luinfalathiel.
If you want a "readable" version of Beowulf, I'd rather recommend the version by Nicky Raven, and wonderfully illustrated by John Howe. (Templar publishing)

And no I don't get royalties from John for saying this ;)