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Still-favourite books from our youth Options
Romany
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 3:57:29 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Hey, Sherlock!

I had the same book - but in English. Those illustrations are part of what interested me in Art from my childhood on, I think. Aren't they wonderful?

Btw - there is a church nearby whose stained glass windows were done by Burne-Jones. They are breathtaking and even survived the bombing in WWII.
221BBaker
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 7:12:27 AM

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Hi Drag0nspeaker,

Of course, good translations do exist, specially in prose; they provide a glimpse of the genius, of the soul I'd say, of a literary work. And for a novel or a short story, they allow us to explore the most approximate version possible. However, it will always be like a version. It may be very close to the original story, but a version nonetheless.
I believe most of the magic is impossible to translate, even in prose. When it comes to poetry, it's even clearer to me that only poems in its original language are the original work.
It's the sound of the words, the rhythm and cadence of the sentences… Puns are always ‘lost in translation’, and metaphors may or may not work in another language.

Don't take me wrong: I do read translated literature. I can't read in every language I would like to; I can't even buy a glass of wine in Danish, let alone read Andersen. I am not making a negative statement here. I want to underline the benefits you reap from making an effort and trying to read in its original language a book you liked in translated version. Even if it involves a lot of looking words up, and posting questions in a forum such as this…

In a certain way, I'm talking about my own experience: I started by reading Stevenson's ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’—which is even shorter— and thoroughly enjoyed them. Later on, I've read many more novels; started reading a little poetry… I'm glad I did!
221BBaker
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00:07 AM

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Romany wrote:
Hey, Sherlock!

I had the same book - but in English. Those illustrations are part of what interested me in Art from my childhood on, I think. Aren't they wonderful?

Btw - there is a church nearby whose stained glass windows were done by Burne-Jones. They are breathtaking and even survived the bombing in WWII.


Of course they are! I started making pen-and-ink drawings because of my fascination with Rackham's work. I think he is one of the best book illustrators ever.
As for the window, do you mean the one in Chelsea? I googled stained-glass windows designed by Burne-Jones and I thought you might be referring to that one in London: the east window in the Holy Trinity Church, at Sloane St.

http://www.victorianweb.org/victorian/art/architecture/trinity/5.html

What caught my attention is that there's another window, also designed by Burne-Jones, at another Trinity Church, but this one is in Boston, in the States. Where about is the window you are referring to?

Cheers


Romany
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 11:58:38 AM
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No. I live in Brighton - and I can't remember the name of the Church. I used to pass it often but now I've moved to the other side of town.Some of the pre-Raphaelites used to live around here - all mixed up with Kipling and Virginnia Woolf and a couple of other villages that became inhabited by artists and writers.

The church in question has some very early stained glass too - and simply studying the use of the different colours between those and the Burne-Jones work is an eye-opener. There is a St. Martin (I think) all blond locks and close-fitting silver armour, that is my favourite.
Hush
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 1:05:25 PM

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Location: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
I was told I started to read at four years old. I am not sure about it, because my memory does not go back so far. The only thing I know for real is that I was always reading "every book written under the sun", if that sentence is accurate.

Non-English versions, of course, but Enid Blyton´s group of cousins and the mystery´s youngsters were my favourites.

Sir Walter Scott with Kenilworth and Ivanhoe; Cervantes with all of his tales, because Don Quixote is only one of his many characters, (I see a Knight´s pattern here, sorry), Little Women, Ben-Hur, Strogoff; old science fiction, where Asimov´s and his Three Laws created a new world; those books were added when I was growing up, and as my knowledge in English was also increasing, first by obligation, later by hobby, I found interest in classics like Austen, Wilde, or, very lately, Wordsworth and Coleridge...

I will stop my writing here, because my list is losing value without including a certain bard whose complete books I read in my teenage years, so I would not mention him. Nor I will say anything about some crazy author who foresaw a space mission more than a century before his age, or that other old man who wrote about a French Revolution and two men so similar and so distant..

But I will never stop my reading, or so I hope.






Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 5:47:26 PM

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Hello Victorian!

We have a very similar history!

Feel free to write more - it is fascinating.

The children were called (in English versions) "The Famous Five" and "The Secret Seven" - I think that the Famous Five were all cousins/brothers/sisters.

Hi Romany - I guess it is Saint Michael and All Angels, Brighton - "the cathedral of the backstreets".
I couldn't find a picture of St Martin (in fact most of the photos are pretty awful!) this 'flier' is the best I could see.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 3:10:54 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Drago - Yes, that's it! Good of you to play detective.

And the pictures, of course, don't do justice to the totality of the experience, of course, but they do give an idea.

(The cathedral in the BACK STREETS makes it sound like it's wedged between a sex-shop and a mini-mart, don't you think? Instead it is in a rather up-market area of beautiful old Victorian, and some Regency, town houses and rather self-conscious pubs.)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 12:31:12 AM

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I just re-found this thread by accident (looking for something completely different).

There are some 'newer' members who may wish to add their tales.

I re-read what I'd said and thought "How could I have missed that one?" several times.

The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart (and the sequels)
Magic Kingdom For Sale Sold - Terry Brooks
Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

There are also some "young adult books" which I didn't read as a youngster, but later
The Andrew Wiggin books (Ender's Game and the whole set) by Orson Scott Card
The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix ('older young adults' maybe - a bit difficult to understand at times)
Anything by Anne McCaffrey or Zenna Henderson
The Artemis Foul series by Eoin Colfer - a brilliant concept of 'the little people' in a tech age, and very funny.

I could go on - and on.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Ursus Minor
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:01:27 AM

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Location: Inozemtsevo, Stavropol'skiy, Russia
We used to read Robinson Crusoe with my granny.
We built a raft and travelled along the river.
I couldn't read myself at that age, but I remember
the plot and every character.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 5:04:03 AM

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Hello Ursus Minor.

For some (unknown) reason, I didn't read "Robinson Crusoe" until I was grown up.
(Your 'avatar' looks more like 'Canis Minor'!)

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Ursus Minor
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 5:26:45 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hello Ursus Minor.

For some (unknown) reason, I didn't read "Robinson Crusoe" until I was grown up.
(Your 'avatar' looks more like 'Canis Minor'!)


There's a latent bear in every cat.Anxious
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:39:40 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Applause Applause

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Shulamit
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2016 3:04:06 PM

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I learned to read early, like many of the posters here. By the time I got to kindergarten I really reeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted a copy of "Dick and Jane" for my birthday. I have an older sister who read rapaciously and FAST. She whipped through the Oz Books one after the other at jet speed. It was very intimidating, notably because she crammed her superiority down my tiny throat. I've always been a slow reader, not methodical, but careful. Even as a child I read for the sound and rhythm of the words, the choice of words. The kiddy books, my mother would read to me and, just as so many kleyne pishers do, I had her go over and over them until I'd memorized them completely.

But for my own reading, I always went to my parents' bookshelves. This is how I came across my favorite childhood book when I was four: The Agony in the Kindergarten, by William Steig (yes, the cartoonist that drew for the New Yorker (before Tina Brown renovated it). Not much of a typical children's book, but it honestly spoke to me. I delved into that book as I would a Bible. The illustrations were typically Steig, but all of children and their dilemmas, their confusion, things overheard that the grown-ups said about them, verbal abuse (which wasn't recognized as abuse then). It was very powerful stuff. But I took solace in it and honestly it did give clarity to my nascent understanding of life. The other significantly influential book I read at 9 was, The Diary of Anne Frank, which started me keeping a journal, which I still keep.

And then, for the fun stuff, my parents also had a copy of, The Best Cartoons from Punch, probably from the late 1940s. Oh LAUGHS LAUGHS LAUGHS. I still have those books. They were my advisors when raising my kids.

As for reading while growing up, the simple answer is that I didn't. I wrote instead. I started reading non-assigned books (i.e., books of my own choice) at about 40. So sue me.

Terrific topic, DragOnspeaker!

Variety is the spice of life. Lack of variety is the spouse of life.
Shulamit
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2016 7:49:33 PM

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Oops. I beg your pardon. I owe you all one of these: )

Put it where it belongs in my above post.


Variety is the spice of life. Lack of variety is the spouse of life.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 2:43:34 AM

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Thanks for the smile!
I'd never heard of The Agony before . . .



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
kdabber
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016 7:38:53 AM

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I fell in love with all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery books at the age of 9. When I was 10 and 11, I discovered Edgar Allen Poe (and my all time favorite romantic novel)- 'Jane Eyre'.

I did (and still do) gravitate to murder mysteries and the supernatural- as well as Gothic themes.

Illegitimi Non Carborundum
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016 8:17:58 AM

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Wow! Poe is a bit 'dark' for a ten-year-old . . .

Mind you, 'fairy tales' of grannies being eaten by wolves and maidens by dragons are not exactly mild, either.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
March Hare
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016 2:18:18 PM

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The first really memorable book I read was The Lord of the Rings trilogy, when I was eleven. I was completely blown away by it. Cried when Gandalf fell in the mines of Moria, was overjoyed when he turned out to be alive, and was scared to bits when Frodo and Sam went into Shelob's lair. I read it again a couple of times over the years, and for a long time it was my all-time favourite, but I have to admit that by now my love for it has faded somewhat.

The best children's books I can think of now are the Harry Potter books. I've read those more times than I can remember, and I still think they're absolutely brilliant.
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