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Monday, 04 May 2020


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Dickens' words are timeless. Come to think on it, one of the many themes of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" is just as timeless, there is evil in the world and evil must eventually be confronted and beaten.

In the years shortly after WW2, I heard adults in my family and neighborhood quietly talk about the "Red Menace" and the A-bomb. I didn't know what a Red Menace was until I was told about Red China. As far as they were concerned, this Red China needed a few "A-bombs" dropped on them sooner rather than later. I later understood why. Damned ugly business.

For the common man, nuclear weapons are the best thing since sliced bread. No longer could the world's national leaders send men off to die and expect to die in their own beds.

What a coincidence, I listened to an audiobook of a Tale of Two Cities recently and watched the 1935 film last weekend with Fluffbun. Both were awesome. I want to watch the 1958 one with Dirk Bogarde too in due course.

The audiobook was sublime. Can't remember the actor's name, but had that rich and resonant Shakespearean tone, throaty at one end and able to flit to delicate womens' voices at the other - and distinguishable shades thereof for the different characters. How do they do that?!

The 1935 film was great but couldn't quite capture the finer details, and although the people of a bygone age always look the part so much better than moderners, the acting had an outdated am-dram feel to it.
I'm hoping the '58 film might nail it somewhere in the middle.

Gotta love those romantic French Revolution morality tales. I've just done the glorious trilogy of a Tale of Two Cities, 1793 by Victor Hugo, and the Scarlet Pimpernel one after the other in audiobooks! Strong weypoints of right and wrong, good and evil, love and war, vengence and forgiveness, staked out like burning torches in a field where the players and plot dance like moths around the flames.

And it always ends just right. Not happy or sad, but both, both tragic and hopeful, and therefore realistic in spite of the romanticism, but still feeling wholly complete. The sensation of having been beautifully instructed without bossiness but rather with earnest love, for want of a better way of putting it. Very Stoppardian, in a way, actually.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”


"Scarlet Pimpernel" one of our favorites as well.

Why normal people hate the ruling class:

Exactly so, Whiters!

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