Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Notes on escape, ennui and the failure of love

"L'univers est une espece de livre, dont on n'a lu que la premiere page quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuillete un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouve egalement mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point ete infructueux. Je haissais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinence des peuples divers, parmi lesquels ja'i vecue, m'ont reconcilie avec elle. Quand je n'aurai tire d'autre benefice de mes voyages que celui-la, je n'en regretterais ni les frais ni les fatigues."
Le Cosmopolite, ou, le Citoyen du Monde, par Fougeret de Monbron. Londres, 1753

May 1. Weigh anchor from off Cape Janissary, anchor eight miles from Dardanelles
May 2. Anchor off Castle Chanak Kalessia (Kale i Sultaniye)
May 3. Byron and Mr Ekenhead swim across the Hellespont (lines "Written after swimming," etc)

'His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,
The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands,
Might shake the saintship of an Anchorite,
And long had fed his youthful appetite;
His goblets brimmed with every costly wine,
And all that mote to luxury invite,
Without a sigh he left, to cross, the brine,
And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central line."
Byron, Childe Harole's Pilgrimage, stanza xi

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy