Day: June 12, 2017

Review: And a Nightingale Sang…

Posted on Updated on

And a Nightingale Sang...Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to And a Nightingale Sang…, a play written in 1981 by Cecil P. Taylor.

When a man is torn between two women whom he loves, he cannot help but hurt at least one of them. In C. P. Taylor’s play “And a Nightingale Sang,” the character of Norman found himself deeply embedded in the predicament of having two such loves. When he finally made a decision about his feelings for the two women, Norman was forced to disappoint Helen, the woman whom he truly loved. Norman took on an excess of blame due to his choice, which made him look like a pathetic two-timer, when he was only trying to make the best out of a situation that happens to most people at some point in their life. Norman, being afraid of dying without love, did the best that he could, which is all anyone is humanly possible of doing.

After Helen and Norman got over their first few emotional encounters, the two paramours began to meet in the park. When Helen and Norman became close enough to take the next step in their relationship, it was revealed that Norman was already married to another woman. Norman claimed to no longer want to stay married to, nor love, his first wife. However, due to religious beliefs and society’s impact on love, Norman couldn’t end his marriage to his wife. Helen heroically suggested that they should get a small cottage together, which meant that they could be happy together when Norman was on leave from the war. His wife would never need to know what happened to him. However, a few problems soon caught up with Helen and Norman.

Norman’s guilt eventually wore him down, prompting him to reveal to Helen that he had still been going to see his first wife on his leaves from the war. To make matters worse, Norman and his wife had slept together and created a baby while he was still courting Helen. Helen was utterly devastated, but stood strong to get through the tragedy. Norman felt horrible, but his marriage wasn’t what is seemed to be, which was why he was able to still court Helen. He had been very young when he was drafted into World War II. At the time, he looked upon the entrance into the war as his march to death. Norman never wanted to die without the love of a good woman. When he was drafted, he didn’t have time to find love, which led to his shaky marriage with his first wife. It was never a marriage of great love, rather one of quick decision and great friendship. He loved his wife, but it was never a love that was matched with chemistry and lust.

Norman went to war as a boy, but returned as a man. Norman found real love when he visited Helen, which is why he kept pursuing her despite his marital status. Norman was just like any other man (or woman) on the planet. He simply wanted to be in love with someone who loved him back. Helen complemented him perfectly, which is why they couldn’t help but fall for each other. They were a perfect match, but they were not made to remain together. Norman never went after Helen with the intention of hurting her, but that was what came out of their relationship. Norman tried his best to let the guilt over his first wife go, but he felt an obligation to the past and to his duties, which was a respectable move in his case. He may have had some type of love for his first wife, but it was never comparable to the love he felt for/with Helen. After thinking over his life, Norman, as a man who had seen the effects of war, realized that he had to fulfill a man’s duties. He was married to his first wife, which meant that he had to support her. When Norman told Helen that he was leaving her and never coming back, she was strong enough to handle the situation. Helen had gained a strength from Norman and their relationship. He was only making up for his past mistakes and taking care of his duties as a husband and a father. Norman was a good man who had just strayed off course for a little while. He was afraid of dying without love, which is why he made the rash decision to get married despite being not truly in love with the woman. He cannot be faulted for being afraid for this. Many men (and women) have been in this position before.

Norman and Helen were a match made in heaven, but often things aren’t meant to be. The two lovers found love for a short while, but Norman belonged with his first wife and child. He never meant to make a huge mess of the situation, but he was human. He wanted to find love before he died, just like every other person on this planet. He cannot be faulted for trying to succeed at life. Helen was just caught up in the grand scheme of things, suffering some in the end. However, Helen too, will come out of this a stronger person. The follies of love are simply a force that constantly alters one’s state of mind, forcing humans to succumb to their passions. It’s just one of the punches humankind has to deal with on a daily basis. Norman, his wife, and Helen were three of these people who were forced to play a role in the follies.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Review: Waiting for Godot

Posted on Updated on

Waiting for GodotBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Waiting for Godot, written in 1952 by Samuel Beckett. Mankind in general is made up of both passive and active people. In Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot, there are four characters who can be directly compared to universal mankind. Estragon and Vladimir are considered passive people because they sit back and let life pass them by, unlike Pozzo and Lucky, who are active people because they live new adventures from day to day. Samuel Beckett’s play is a direct commentary on universal mankind and shows that the world is made up of “couch potatoes” and “Energizer bunnies” who have distinct differences.

Estragon and Vladimir are the passive people and could be considered the “couch potatoes” of today’s world. They sit around and do the same things day-in and day-out. “Couch potatoes” get up, watch TV, sleep, watch TV, eat, and rarely expend any energy. Estragon and Vladimir have daily rituals of removing boots, eating carrots, waiting for Godot, talking of beatings, and forgetting what they did the day before. Both “couch potatoes” and Beckett’s characters do absolutely nothing and as a result, the days run into each other with no boundaries. There is confusion and chaos everywhere. Throughout his play, Samuel Beckett’s characters portray elements of mankind who do nothing and live in a world of inaction and laziness. They are passive like Estragon and Vladimir.

However, Pozzo and Lucky show the active elements of universal mankind. They could be considered the “Energizer bunnies” of today’s world. Lucky runs around, foams at the mouth, recites incomprehensible speeches, and carries his master around subserviently like a true slave. From day to day they visit new places and meet with Estragon and Vladimir in different atmospheres. Pozzo also is very active like an “Energizer bunny.” He, as well as Lucky, “keep on licking and never take a licking.” Together they are constantly on the move from new place to new place. Similar to the real people of the world, Pozzo and Lucky are active. The active people will hop a plane to Paris one day and the next be swimming in Sydney, Australia. They live new adventures daily like Pozzo and Lucky. The characters in Samuel Beckett’s play are directly related to universal mankind who at times can be an active people.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Agamemnon

Posted on Updated on

AgamemnonBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to Agamemnon, the first of the Orestia plays written in 458 BC by Aeschylus. Peter Arnott, a noted scholar and critic, has stated that, “The Agamemnon is a bitter indictment of war, of the folly of bloodshed, of the hardships of fighting, of the misery at home.” I couldn’t agree more…

The Trojan War began when Paris and the married Helen ran back to Troy because Helen belonged to Menelaus. For over ten years Menelaus, Agamemnon, and their troops fought the Trojans to recapture Helen and punish her. However, when the war ended and Menelaus captured Helen, he looked at her and forgave her for the adultery. The whole Trojan War, caused by the adulterous Helen, only contributed to ten years of senseless murders, foolish bloodshed, and built up anger. As a result, Agamemnon gave up ten years of his life to help his brother. Upon his return to Argos, Agamemnon’s wife killed him for sacrificing Iphigenia, which he only did to leave for Troy. Thousands of men and woman suffered and lost their lives just so Menelaus could have his wife back. There must have been some kind of misery at home to make her need more love, lust and passion. If there wasn’t, she would not have run off with the handsome prince Paris. However, Helen did help make The Agamemnon a folly of bloodshed among innocent citizens. Adulterous Helen was a major element that also supports Arnott’s beliefs that The Agamemnon was an act of misery at home.

Although Helen was the primary cause of the Trojan War, the curse on the house of Atreus helped make The Agamemnon a bitter indictment of war. Ever since Atreus and Thyestes battled to inherit the throne from their father the family suffered at the hands of reciprocity. It was a game of one-up-mans-ship. It began when Atreus banished Thyestes from Argos and most recently ended when Thyestes’ son Aegisthus slept with Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra. Between these events were affairs, phony banquets of reconciliation, and the consumption of human children. In The Agamemnon, when Agamemnon returns, his wife Clytemnestra brutally murders him carrying on the family curse. This misery at home is because of the curse. Each generation of the house of Atreus murders another member and is then murdered himself. This offers support to Arnott’s claim that The Agamemnon is a bitter indictment of war and the folly of bloodshed. Again, the brutal murder of Agamemnon contributes to the folly of bloodshed. If Agamemnon did not help Menelaus, he would not have gone off to fight the war and then come home to suffer at the hands of a senseless curse. This curse also protrudes from misery at home. Each family member must have been miserable enough, angry enough, and vengeful enough to kill another.

However, the most contributing factor that supports Arnott’s claim is the sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis. When all the troops met at Aulis to set sail for Troy, the winds were not in their favor. In a rush to win back Helen, Agamemnon realized that he had to sacrifice his innocent daughter Iphigenia to get favorable winds from Strymon. He was forced to make a decision between killing his daughter and losing his respect and the war. This supports Arnott’s commentary that there were many hardships of fighting the war in The Agamemnon. It also shows that the shedding of Iphigenia’s blood was a foolish act only destined to happen for the sake of winning the war.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Aeneid

Posted on Updated on

The AeneidBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Aeneid, a classic work written in 17 BC by Virgil.

In The Aeneid, Virgil creates two vastly different archetypal heroes named Turnus and Aeneas. Aeneas is a Trojan prince who has hopes of finding a new Troy in the land of Latium, but he runs into an angered Turnus, a Rutulian prince that does not welcome Aeneas. Both men are equally strong, equally determined, and have equal and rightful claim to the land. However, Virgil creates this distinct difference and hatred between the men that leads to the profound greatness of Rome.

Turnus is a Rutulian prince who is planning on marrying Lavinia, the princess of Latium. He is courageous when he defends his people in the war against the Trojans (Book IX and X), brilliant in his plans to attack the Trojan camp (p.207), yet motivated to win for purely personal goals. Turnus sacrifices public welfare and the good of the state just to defeat Aeneas and win the battle and Lavinia. Aeneas is also a prince who is planning on marrying Lavinia. He is caring when he looks back for his late wife Creusa (p.57), respectful and loving when his father dies (p.80), and driven when he continues his journey to find a new Troy (p.103). However, unlike Turnus, Aeneas is truly unselfish in his reasons for wanting Latium. Aeneas wants to settle the land for his people and their families, to find a new Troy. Aeneas does not want the land to be selfish. Both Turnus and Aeneas have determination behind them, physical and mental strength behind them, yet most of all the gods behind them.

With the help of Juno, Turnus fights till the end avoiding several near deaths such as Pallas’ arrow and his jump into the Tiber River fully armored. Similar to Turnus, Aeneas’ mother helps Aeneas by giving him protection with the creation of the shield (p.198), and when she heals Aeneas’ wound with the special potion (p. 302). Turnus and Aeneas up until this point have no differences. They are identical in their strengths, weaknesses, and support. However, the one major difference between them is that Aeneas has destiny behind him. He is fated to take care of his Trojan people, find a new Troy, marry Lavinia, and bear descendants to establish the great city of Rome. Aeneas has no choice but to win the war and Lavinia’s hand in marriage. Turnus must lose and somehow suffer; He cannot escape his fate. Virgil makes use of the difference between the two heroes using antagonism, hatred and most of all the superiority of Aeneas to show the greatness of Rome.

At the time The Aeneid was written Augustus Caesar was in power and the Pax Romana was beginning. Rome was in a state of absolute reign and greatness. Virgil makes use of the character Aeneas to show the greatness of his friend Octavian or Augustus Caesar. He uses the difference between the two heroes to show that by destiny via Aeneas (an ancestor of Octavian Caesar) Rome will lead the world in philosophy, art, and intelligence, etc. Turnus is good, but Aeneas is better and so is the new emperor Caesar. With Octavian Caesar in control, Rome will become even greater than it is. Virgil accomplishes his goal of glorifying Rome and its leader Augustus Caesar.

Virgil creates a strong similarity between Turnus and Aeneas, however the major characteristic of these two heroes is that Aeneas is destined to win and Turnus to lose. This difference greatly surpasses the likeness between the two men and leads to the exaltation and glorification of Rome. If Augustus Caesar is anywhere similar to Aeneas, which he is as Virgil points out, he will lead Rome to the tops. And that is just what happens!



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 92 – 5W?-25% (Milestone?)

Posted on Updated on

5W?-25% (Huh Milestone?): a code meant to symbolize a few topics grouped together under a daily post using the basic information gathering or problem-solving technique of the five (5) “W” questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

5 q.jpg

For more on this technique, you can see it at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws

For the explanation of 5W?-25%, here goes… As I sat on the couch this morning to draft today’s post, two things occurred: (1) I realized I officially hit the 25% complete mark with the 365 Daily Challenge, as it’s day 92. I am very proud of my commitment to this effort and have enjoyed getting to know myself and all of you through these posts.  (2) I had a number of topics that I wanted to post on this week, but didn’t want to spam everyone with multiple short posts plus all the book reviews, so I combined it all together with the five (5) “W” questions. And without further ado, here we go?

 

WHO?

When I looked at my statistics today, I realized I hit a key milestone overnight: I have 555 followers on my blog. Seems like a nice round, well not-so-round, funny kind of number. But given I’m complete today with 25% of the 365 Daily Challenge, it sort of fits. I’m surprised but very happy with this progress. It means a lot to have some great e-friends and conversations here on WordPress. And between connecting with everyone over book reviews or the 365 challenge, it’s been an amazing journey.

555.jpg

 

WHERE?

As pointed out to me last week, some of my followers may not be as familiar with English, but they would still enjoy reading my blog. Marcelo reminded me that there is a widget for translating your blog into other languages. If you haven’t seen his site, please click his name to go check it out. But also, I’ve added the Language Converter widget to the right menu on my blog so that non-English readers or speakers can convert posts to their native language to make it easier. It’s only fair, and so now, almost anyone can read the blog from wherever they live and whatever language they speak. You can add it to in the Customize section of your blog; if you need help, message me.

language.jpg

 

WHEN?

A few weeks ago, I started the “What Book Do You Read By Genre and By Age?” series of posts.  I’ve published a few for mysteries and historical fiction, and then partnered with Nel for urban fantasies. Well… I need your help! I don’t read in all genres, and I am not familiar with every book. I’d love to partner with more people to add to the series for every genre and age group, e.g. romance or science-fiction or non-fiction. Any takers? Who wants to work on one with me, or write one up on your own blog and I’ll re-post to connect us? I think this is a great way to share books and determine when to read them! I want to post a new one every 7 to 10 days, so let’s get this scheduled! You’ll meet new bloggers, find more followers and share great book info.

books.jpg

 

WHY?

I’ve seen a few people post a useful tip on how to link and connect fellow WordPress follower’s blogs. When you link to the person’s home page, it is helpful because other people can visit someone else’s site. But if you are tagging someone, nominating them for an award or even just showing off someone else’s blog, unless they regularly read your site and see your post, they wouldn’t know you were tagging them. So, there’s an alternative method to ensure that person gets an email or notification, which means they’ll know you tagged them and will be able to participate or check it out. If you want to link someone, don’t just link their home page. Link to a post as that generates a notification or email, depending on what that person sets up. For example, to link me:

Isn’t that helpful? Now you know why it’s important to link to a post instead of a main page. Let me know if you need any help.

wordpress

 

WHAT?

And the last question represents what am I am about to accomplish:  all of my book reviews are 90% complete… and I expect to finish the remaining 50 within the next 2 weeks. By June 30th, I will have 500 book reviews available on my blog and site, in addition to all the other content: film and TV reviews, 365 Daily post, author spotlights, tags, awards, book bucket lists, age / genre series, etc. I’m so excited! Come check them all out.

 

Thank you very much to everyone. Hope you enjoyed today’s milestone 365 Daily Challenge post!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Antigone

Posted on Updated on

AntigoneBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Antigone, the third in a trilogy of Theban plays written around 441 BC (yes, almost 2500 years ago) by Sophocles. In my junior year of high school, our Advanced Placement English teacher assigned all three Theban plays. This is a mini-review on the final one, Antigone, which was my second favorite — Oedipus Rex was of course, my favorite. In this Greek tragedy, Antigone, Oedipus Rex’s daughter, fights to have a proper burial for her brother. She is strong-willed, determined and forceful, yet respectful and fair in her arguments. What I love about these plays is that ability for the characters to call on your emotions, logic and your intelligence. The plots are incredibly complex and shocking, but the players are what help you fall in love with Sophocles as a writer. Given its 2500 years old, and a translation, there are a number of areas where might not fully understand, especially if you aren’t familiar with your Greek Gods and Goddesses. The words themselves are beautiful. The images you see are intense. It’s a fantastic read. But read them in order. And think of Antigone as your very own Wonder Woman.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Posted on Updated on

Uncle Tom's CabinBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe. For some reason, we didn’t read this book in high school; possibly an excerpt or two was thrown in front of us, but I honestly don’t really remember reading it until freshman year of college. Prior to reading it, the silly and uneducated man I was thought Ms. Stowe was an African-American telling the story about slavery in America, not all that different from The Underground Railroad stories. Please forgive me, as I had difficulty reading books that showed the harsh slices of life and cruelties people suffered. It just doesn’t cross my mind that I could ever treat someone differently because of what they look like or where they came from… and the immature part of me avoided reading about those who did. But it’s important to read these types of books as sometimes it is the only way to open another’s eyes.

Then it was listed on our syllabus to read in our spring semester for an English course. And I dove in since it was required. As I got into it, I realized how great the book actually was. And you know what, that’s not the story at all. Ms. Stowe came from a Puritanical and religious family. She was an abolitionist. She wanted to fix the situation. And this book was one way she attempted to do so, by showing how any Christian could not believe in slavery. Though some of her ideas were a little too vague, and at times, she may even cross the line by doing a few of the things she tells people not to do…. the book really shines a necessary light on what people were thinking at the time. I feel like we might need to read this book again as a country… to figure out what the hell we’re doing going back 150 years in time. But I don’t get political, so enough of that.

With this book, you need to have some understanding of society, religion and culture in America’s history. I wouldn’t take it on without have a decent background in knowing how things came together from 1776 to 1856. Those 80 years were very strong but also very disparate… two countries were forming, not one in America. Having some knowledge of Puritan life is helpful too. Perhaps reading The Scarlet Letter first might give you some background. Everyone needs to read this book just to see what was going on in some folks’ minds at this time. It may not change your views on the entire situation, but it will give you more to think about when it comes to religion’s place in government, society and daily life. And I mean that as a philosophical and sociological discussion, not placing blame or positives and negatives on different groups of people. It’s just the kind of book to get you talking about something which needed to be radically changed and fixed.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews