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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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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.
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 3:10:54 AM
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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.
Ursus Minor
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:01:27 AM

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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'!)
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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Applause Applause
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!
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.
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 . . .

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.
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.
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.
Masonjohn
Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 2:35:47 AM
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I read it now.
jcbarros
Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 8:48:14 AM

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Alice in Wonderland (child and grown up);)
Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:54:41 PM
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Hey, Drago - if you happen to come back over here.

Since this thread I've moved house, and got a dog, so spend a lot of time walking said dog through a slightly different historical period: - where I was astounded to find, in what had unabashedly been built as an area of 2-up-2-down workers cottages....another couple of Burne Jones Windows!!

I asked why these weren't generally known about, and the Vicar/Priest/Whatever said mournfully it was because they aren't open very much these days - the basic High days & Holy days arrangement.

My suggestion that publicising them - offering tours - holding events - might bring more people (I utterly refuse to use 'footfall'!); but he explained he'd not enough helpers to do something like that.

EDITED because I didn't say they were in a Church. An absolute wonderful church.

towan52
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 2:09:52 PM

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I two began reeding from an erly aje - it helped with my writing and spelling :)

I liked Swallows & Amazons, The Green-Sailors (Gilbert Hackforth-Jones) and Biggles. Then in my teens, Hornblower! and Dennis Wheatley (pompous old Fart)
My aunts and uncles used to send Book-Tokens (remember those?)
Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:02:03 PM
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Towan
Y'know what? Been reading/hearing about them all my life - but still not entirely sure what they are/were?

Are they like Vouchers - you take them into the shop they're from and can buy anything to the value it specifies? Or did they allow you just to buy a specific book? Or was no amount stated and just whatever you fancied, no matter the price, was charged to the person who gives it?

It's not a point I've ever lost sleep over - but seeing as you're here.....?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:15:36 PM

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They had a cash value say £1.00, £2.00 or £5.00 that could be redeemed against the purchase of any book you like. It was a national scheme that meant you could spend them in any participating book shop WHSmith or a local independent store it didn’t matter,

They still sell them today in the form of a gift card.
https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/
towan52
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:22:01 PM

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Romany wrote:

Towan
Y'know what? Been reading/hearing about them all my life - but still not entirely sure what they are/were?

Are they like Vouchers - you take them into the shop they're from and can buy anything to the value it specifies? Or did they allow you just to buy a specific book? Or was no amount stated and just whatever you fancied, no matter the price, was charged to the person who gives it?

It's not a point I've ever lost sleep over - but seeing as you're here.....?


They were like a forerunner to gift cards and were exchangeable at bookshops or W H Smith's. They came in demoninations like half-a-crown or five bob. That dates it (and me) but you could get a couple of books for 5/-. They were like stamps enclosed in a little card. They're still in existance at a minimum value of £10.00
Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:43:07 PM
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Wow - a couple for 5/-...brand new? Seems everywhere I've ever lived, English books have always been expensive. Sometimes we'd peel back the local price sticker to read the printed price underneath in the UK and have fits. Consequently any I bought as a kid weren't just 2nd-hand, they were ancient. (Looking back that wasn't a bad thing at all.)

Thanks for the token-talk. An ancient mystery explained.
lazarius
Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2021 1:25:23 AM

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Romany wrote:
EDITED because I didn't say they were in a Church. An absolute wonderful church.

Wow! I thought they were in 2-up-2-downs.

-
Romany
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 6:51:32 AM
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Yeah - I'm always in a hurry on TFD! Makes for carelessness. Apologies.

But it gave me a laugh to think of a B.J. in a railway-workers cottage!!

What astounded me was the magnificence of this church which is jammed right into the middle of a seemingly endless row of what were once very humble cottages.

But now, of course, they're all being gentrified, so after nearly 200 years the Church fits in its surrounds...but as society has now become secular, the general population is still completely unaware of it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:43:28 PM

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Romany wrote:
because I didn't say they were in a Church. An absolute wonderful church.

Ah, that must be the "Church in the backstreets" as opposed to the "Cathedral in the Backstreets".
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2021 5:23:19 PM

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Just picked up T.S.Eliot's Collected Poems 1909-1962 from my bookshelf. Oh, Waste Land, Hollow Men, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, La Figlia Che Piange, Four Quartets, Whispers of Immortality...! I'm living my high school years again.

I've read Eliot's poems every other year since the 70s. Both in English and Finnish translations.
soybeans
Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:34:54 AM

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The Little Prince, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 7:17:37 PM

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I'm glad to see Little Prince is so popular in all our generations. I gave it to my elder granddaughter a couple of birthdays ago. Now it's THE BOOK to her little sister, too.

If I'm not all wrong, Little Prince is the most sold book worldwide, after Bible.
OliviaZ
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021 7:10:24 AM
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My favorite book when I was 13 would have to be the book Redwall by Brian Jacques. It's a classic example of an Adventure novel, but the writing is solid, and the descriptions are vivid. It's a book I've read 10 times, and have enjoyed to the full marrow of it.
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