Archive for January, 2009
I enjoyed The Sun Also Rises but I can’t really can’t point to any one feature of the book that made it outstanding. It’s more of a gestalt feeling that raises The Sun Also Rises above any number of other books with similar stories to tell. The book is well written and justly famous for Ernest Hemingway’s clear and concise prose. The greatness of the plot is harder to pin down.
I think the most important characteristic of The Sun Also Rises is empathy. I was drawn in because I found myself empathizing with the characters on two sides of the love triangle (more like a hexagon) that is at the center of the book. I have, at various times, played the role of ‘best friend who will never be a lover’ and the lost puppy being lead around, ultimately to be left behind when something new comes along. All of the characters in the love triangle are archetypal caricatures that most of us can relate to, at least most of us who have felt the bitter sweetness of love.
I did notice that while The Sun Also Rises is famous for it’s depiction of bull fights and the running of the bulls in Pamplona these events are only briefly described and are almost not described. It reminds me of how famous the white whale of Moby Dick [confusion.cc] is despite the fact that the whale manages to appear on only a few pages of the novel.
I did not have the snake… but as we are in Taipei today we went to Snake Alley for dinner and my birthday cake.
I just saw a dog in a dipper… A. Dog. In. A. Dipper. Yep. I was just walking back to the hotel from the office and—Boom—doggy in a dipper trotting across the street. Do what? What’s wrong with Taiwanese?
I originally drafted this post in May ’08—more than 5 month after the trip—and now it’s January ’09. So not only am I a slacker, I’m a world class slacker. But without further sarcastic self-deprecation here is a brief overview of Candice & beggs adventures in Rome [wikipedia.org]!
Rome was the last big stop on our delayed honeymoon trip to Italy. The Eternal City deserves to be the icing on the cake. I mean, this was home to Julius Caesar [wikipedia.org], Cicero [wikipedia.org], a whole list of other famous Romans [wikipedia.org], not to mention The Roman Republic & Empire [wikipedia.org]! Few places rank this high on the history scale.
As with everywhere else we went in Italy the choice to go in November was a bit of a cramp—sun sets too early. But most of the big sights in Rome were within easy walking distance of our hotel on the forum side of the Quirinal Hill [wikipedia.org]: Trajan’s Forum [wikipedia.org], the original Roman Forum [wikipedia.org], The Colosseum [wikipedia.org], The Trevi Fountain [wikipedia.org], The Pantheon [wikipedia.org], and a ton of other things too numerous to mention let alone visit in the short time we were in Rome. (Add to that the Vatican which will be separate post and the amount of sightseeing you can do in Rome is awe inspiring and mind numbing.)
Two slightly annoying things; the Spanish Steps were covered in scaffolding. And, the number of people was amazing, I can’t imagine visiting at the height of the tourist season if late November is so crowded!
On the non-sightseeing side of things; we stayed in a very nice hotel, great view of the tops of the building leading down the Quirinal Hill to Trajan’s Forum. It was the best hotel we stayed in while in Italy, save the best for last. Most expensive too. We found a couple of brilliant places to eat, great Italian food and we at Euro-infected Chinese food at a small place near the Trevi Fountain, but off the beaten path.
Rome is definitely a city I could live in for a long time and not get tired of; the food the sights! Oh man, and the people are not as obnoxious as the Parisians. But I think Florence just beats out Rome in my list of dream cities to live in. Just walking around the streets in Rome is amazing, the palpable history and the wonderful feeling the mix of buildings give you is amazing.
You can see the whole Rome, Italy, November 2007 photoset on Flickr [flickr.com].
And here’s why:
I—: Mornin. Is sunday busy in little india?
I—: Thanks man. Opted for red dot and sleepy arab 1/4. Which reminds me, you given any further thought to full beardiness? Mullah Beggerly has a certain ring to it.
beggs: Haha. You have to clear it with the wife—but I guess being a mullah means the wife does not get a say.
I—: sure enough.
beggs: I could be Mullah beggs the militant vegetarian atheist.
I—: As a career move i think we’re on to something. allow me to offer my services as your agent. Motivational speaking at weddings, bar mitzvahs, beheadings, etc.
beggs: given the current economic situation I’ll have to seriously consider it.
Of course I don’t really believe in hell so… I guess it’s like going to beautiful northern New Jersey—don’t believe it, doesn’t exist, can’t go there.