Showing posts from April, 2017

A Novel Experience...

“That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”   ― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Sometimes when life feels painful, overwhelming or difficult, or even just slightly dull, the only thing that can make it feel better is reading a book.  Immersing oneself into someone else's story, can sometimes be the only thing that allows you to get away from real life and enter into another world entirely.  Novels by Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Jane Howard or Mary Wesley are particularly interesting to me, and I always love reading a good murder mystery, especially from the 1930s and 40s.
Although I've been a bookworm for most of my life, in the last year when my life has been quite tough, I'…

Deep shame and wild abandon

I've recently become quite obsessive about the art of Auguste Rodin.  Luckily Southampton Art Gallery has several of his sculptures on show.  There is a work called 'Crouching Woman' which seems like an almost impossible figure. There is something almost frog like about the pose, although much like many of Rodin's female figures, there is something very earthy, uninhibited and intimate about it.  Its alternative title is 'Lust' and he does indeed seem to rejoice in the female form in a very real way.

Rodin's Eve, a version of which is also at Southampton, was modelled by his some time mistress and much underrated artist, Gwen John.  Unlike the majority of his female figures, this shows a different side to womanhood, a deep shame and sadness.  Eve is ashamed of our gaze at her naked body, she tries to hide herself.
There has been much discussion about the way women are portrayed in art,  where women are often seen as either saints or sinners, as pious or wa…