jueves, 21 de marzo de 2013
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
lunes, 18 de marzo de 2013
When we start reading in English – because we want to improve our language skills or simply because we enjoy reading – there are some names we cannot skirt: Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf, for example. But in fact, there are some sentences that for their witty, work-of-art, amazing construction become a part of the language they were written in and even though we might not have read the book, they’re always there to remind us of that lack on our general knowledge.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
As foreigners we may not even recognise the sentence, but I can assure you that only a few British wouldn’t be able to repeat by heart the first line in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Maybe it’s the amazing writing, maybe the almost human characters, probably the sense of humour. Reality is that the allure of this book is still another “truth universally acknowledged”. And it is 200 years old.
I decided to write this post as a reminder of that event.
Can I ask you some questions you can answer on the comment box? They’re pretty plain, don’t worry.
- Does the name Jane Austen ring a bell?
- Have you read Pride and Prejudice?
- Have you seen the film or the 1995 BBC award-winning series?
- Have you ever fallen in love with Lizzie or Darcy?
I could go on and on about it, I could; however I don’t want to bother you or cause that you close the page. So, if you allow me, I’ll give you – at the end - some links where you could go on reading (if you choose to do so), but I firmly advise you to become a part of this amazing world Austen invented for us all, by reading the book (hopefully), watching the BBC series or even watching the adaptations may them be from Hollywood, Bollywood or BBC itself.
* “The library held all the Eng lit classics […]. I had no idea of what to read or in what order, so I just started alphabetically. Thank God her last name was Austen…”
In Winterson, Jeanette Why be happy when you could be normal?, Vintage, London, 2012, pg. 37.