Don’t wonder that the picture above is in French. Since my childhood, I have known Santa Claus as Papa Noel! Maybe because French significantly influences our Persian language.
I was unsure if I could post anything this weekend, but I know that I will be in Spain next weekend! 😮 Therefore, I try to do something. Oh yes! My adorable and crazy wife had dared to keep her habits (travelling in every condition) and booked a flight to Lanzarote; even though there is big chaos in the world, let’s see. Life is not that easy, and we must make the best of it.
Of course, I will try to share my experiences and give a travel report if all goes well, and wishing you all my friends a nice, cosy, and warm-hearted celebration with all my heart.
And I’ve just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on. One more hour and my life will be through, hold on! With love. 🙏💖🙏💖
I have always been excited about ticklish or prickly stories or movies. Therefore, I have seen all the Alfred Hitchcock’s, almost all the movie seriesDracula’s and many other creepy films, and read a lot of thrillers like Agatha Christie’s or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s.
I am amazed at how many women there are as thriller authors, Agatha Christie (as mentioned), Dorothy L Sayers, Ann Cleeves, Ruth Rendell, and many others for sure. Even Metta Fuller Victor’s The Dead Letter, published by “Seeley Register” in serial form between 1866 and 1867, is widely recognised as the first detective novel written by a woman. And, of course, I must add J. K. Rowling to this list.
As we read; She was favourably compared to Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.
Sheffield Hallam student Alex Csurko, who is embarking on a PhD into Ethel, believes her father’s invention may have been the genesis of her brilliance.
“The amazing thing about Ethel is that, despite writing all her life, she wasn’t truly recognised until she was in her 60s,” he said.
“Maybe it took her move to London before she was introduced to the right people?” “We know from the 1911 census that, aged 35, she was still living at home with her parents – by which time she’d already had dozens of poems and short stories published in the press – over 100 in her lifetime,” he said.
That is something that seldom happens to men; I might not wonder? Since when did it all go wrong? I can still remember it!!
She was not so successful as Agatha Christie, may because she was, as Mr Csurko said: “Ethel simply wasn’t prepared to play the fame game which made stars of other writers. “In an interview with critic Peter Cheyney, she said: ‘I was not born. I have never been educated and have no tastes or hobbies. This is my story, and I’m sticking to it.” He said that in many reviews, Ethel was alternately described as “spikey”, “witty”, and “sarcastic”. By 1938 she hit stardom when Alfred Hitchcock chose to adapt her detective thriller The Wheel Spins – about a young woman on a train and her missing companion – into his film The Lady Vanishes. “The Lady Vanishes was Hitchcock’s last British-made film, and I think it’s fair to say it was the one which made Hollywood studios sit up and take notice of him. Said Mr Csurko.
However, while the legacy of other writers such as Agatha Christie has lived on, Ethel’s reputation has faded into the background.
“I think there is an easy explanation for this,” said Mr Csurko. “Ethel simply wasn’t prepared to play the fame game which made stars of other writers.
“She was brilliant in her own time, but when you consider the likes of Agatha Christie started a decade before her and carried on until the 70s, there’s just not the volume of work to compare them fairly,” Mr Csurko said.
Ethel would have two more novels adapted for the big screen – Midnight House was filmed as The Unseen, and The Spiral Staircase was based on her novel Some Must Watch.
Ethel died of ovarian cancer in 1944. Intriguingly and quite macabrely, her will demonstrated her lifelong fear of being buried alive, which can be read in her 1935 novel The First Time He Died.
The will read: “I give and bequeath unto Annis Dora White [her sister] all that I possess on condition she pays a qualified surgeon to plunge a knife into my heart after death.”
Thanks, this girl and the others, for giving us men something to consider!
PS: Next week is the birth of an extraordinary one. Therefore, I must see if I find an opportunity to post something new… Have a great time, everyone. 🙏💖👍🙏💖
That was in the early 70s when I read “Dubliners.” A collection of James Joyce’s short stories from 1914. Of course, it translated into the Persian language because my English was not so good so far as now is (if we’d call it good now!), and I was thankful for that.
One exciting thing that I can mention here about Iranians is that despite the majority of the population being illiterate, we had a significant part in one of the most famous streets in Tehran, full of bookshops. All the books from everywhere globally, written by well-known or known or unknown writers, and all translated!
To translate books is an art in itself; The excellent translator must have many abilities to do their job: Knowing both languages perfectly and having enough writing skills. We had a few of that kind and many who were not convincing. And this Dubliners was, unfortunately, one of the latter.
I know reading Joyce is not easy; maybe that’s why the good translators didn’t want to try this one. Notwithstanding, I have read it, excruciating but to the end. Of course, it is a great book, as I reread it in the original language some years ago. One of the stories is “The Dead“. It is by far the most extended story in the collection and, at 15,952 words, is almost long enough to be described as a novella.
The name: “The Dead” is an interesting choice by Joyce; I mean, the story could have another name: a family fiesta, or the people among themselves, or whatsoever. It deals with themes of love and loss and raises questions about the nature of the Irish identity. But he has chosen this name for it. He could want to show us how people are so busy with their everyday lives that they forget there might be an end! At the end of the story, Gabriel Conroy’s wife, Gretta, tells him about a boyfriend from her youth and his early death, and Gabriel has an epiphany about life and death and human connection.
T. S. Eliot called “The Dead” one of the greatest short stories ever written. And Joyce biographer and critic Richard Ellmann wrote: “In its lyrical, melancholy acceptance of all that life and death offer, ‘The Dead’ is a linchpin in Joyce’s work.
Anyway, my purpose is that I have recently watched the made movie from the story.
In 1987, it was adapted into the film The Dead, directed by John Huston, starring Anjelica Huston as Gretta Conroy and Donal McCann as Gabriel Conroy. One can expect an excellent adaptation from Huston, who had many brilliant works, like The Misfits, The Man Who Would Be King, Moby Dick, etc.?
Lately, when I suggested to my wife that we’d watch this movie together, she was confused and thought it would be all about dying, but it wasn’t that gruesome, and she liked it. Anyhow, it is highly recommended, and you might like it too.
I’ve just thought that I’ve shared some of my inner feelings and complaints about the conditions these days lately (I heartfelt thanks for your supports); I might tell you that I have always been in that way! Of course, it was my brother Al who opened the door of my locked soul with his own rebellion.
He is Sagittarius, could have already on December 9th his 69th birthday, and he’s a typical Sagittarius, with all his pride, intelligence and firmness. He started his revolt from childhood when he started building his world. I was still dumb!
As I remember, we played downstairs, and our father was working (writing) upstairs, and when we became louder than usual, he came downstairs from his room and beat Al with his belt. I don’t know why he did nothing to me, only Al. Then, Al had beaten me as revenge! I was the latest child, and there was nobody else after me. Therefore, I learned to forgive.
My rebellion began after our father’s death when I found out that my mother had kept it secret from us almost a year later. I was skin and bones those days, and one could see and count my ribs. Then I began to eat! I have had many competitions with the adults and always won! Of course, I got rounder but stopped in my puberty because the girls didn’t like it. 😉😁
But the proper outbreak happened many years later when Al and I were often alone at home, and we had some long conversations on our different views of life. Honestly, I had no idea or opinion; my problem was Al’s unusual behaviour towards the world, which confused me. Al had not many chances to cause me to understand his view of life; (I was so dumb!). Therefore, he only told me that his world is full of mad people! One day, the turning point came when I was under the shower: ‘Eureka! Eureka! I cried out like Archimedes and jumped out of the bathroom! Of course, it was not the number Pi that I found out, but only that I didn’t know! I just have found out that I was still not understanding Al’s world, but it’s a challenge for me to think about it. That was my first step!
For sure, it is a never-ending way to get knowledge and to understand everything. But I am so thankful to take the first, and in my opinion, the hardest, step.
I have written the rest of my protesting time in my blogs: here and here. If one is interested.
Anyhow and in fact, I have deep gratitude to Al, who never stopped believing in me and let me suffer in my ignorance until I forced my brain to work. Happy and glorious birthday, buddy.
Finally, I would like to share two enjoyable songs from a Master of “Jazz/ Blues Fusion”; John Mayall, with whom we have had a lot of joy. This LP is more remarkable because there is no drummer in this album. Have a peaceful weekend, everybody. 🤗💖🙏🙏
This linen canvas, known as the “Lady of the Vatican”, belongs to a particular type of female burial shroud. There are only six known specimens dispersed in various museums. The portrait of the deceased is not limited solely to the face but instead depicts the full life-size figure of the woman. She is reclining, as may be seen by the position of her feet, which are elongated and rest on a cushion. She wears jewellery, executed in relief using plaster and gilded. The figurative panel is divided, in the upper part, by a series of concentric frames and friezes and, in the lower part, by a frieze divided into rectangular areas with figurative illustrations, of which two are conserved: in the first, there is a scene of philosophical instruction with a teacher and young pupil, probably the deceased herself; in the second, of a doubtful interpretation, there is what appears to be a fight between a young man and a lion. The shroud was discovered in 1900 by Albert Gayet in the site of Antinopolis and donated to Pope Leo XIII in 1902 by Émile Guimet, along with the corresponding mummy. The archaeological context of origin and an iconographical study of the portrait would date it from the third century A.D. The robe and jewels are typical of the Roman context, and the hairstyle, in particular, is inspired by the fashion of women of the Severian imperial house.
Here is a brilliant description of the find and its story by Marie Grillot. 🙏💖🙏
“It is the first mummy with a painted portrait that M. Gayet brought back from Antinoe. I thought it was Christian, and I gave it to the Vatican Museums with all the fabrics with Christian symbols around it. “indicates Emile Guimet in” The portraits of Antinoé at the Guimet Museum “.
This is how this fragmentary shroud, 1.73 m high, 13 to 52 cm wide, representing a lady of good Roman society from the beginning of our era, took, in 1902, the route of the Holy See, under the pontificate of Leo XIII. She was then, in a beautiful way, “assimilated” to her new “home” since she was very quickly called the “Lady of the Vatican”.
The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century A.D. J.-C. Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902 – Photo of the Museum
“She is part of a typology of female funeral canvases of which only six examples are known in museums worldwide. The portrait of the deceased is not limited to the face, but the woman is represented life-size, full-length. . She is stretched out, as can be seen from the position of the feet stretched out and resting on a cushion. She wears jewellery, made in relief, in plaster and gilded, “specifies the Museum …
Her face, of beautiful symmetry, is lit by large eyes edged with kohol. The iris, round and black, stands out against the white of the eye, which seems wet with tears. The eyebrows are nicely arched, while light circles mark the lower eyelid. The nose is small. The palate is small, with a marked cupid arch and slightly raised corners.
Her brown hair, styled in a short “square”, is separated by a central part and adorned with a pearl tiara. The hairstyle slightly returned to the back, revealing beautiful pendant earrings adorned with pearls.
The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century A.D. J.-C. Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902
She is wearing a purple-orange tunic embellished with a thin white border at the neckline and purple clavis that: “fall on her forearms and reach just above the knees; the one on the right is stopped on the dress by a pin. The nails go down from the arms and delimit the central part, occupied by a shawl. At the height of the belt, the abdomen and the legs up to the knees are, in fact, covered with a rectangular fabric or fringed and with two large purple medallions applied to the centre, “says Lorenzo Nigro in his excellent study” The portrait of the ‘Lady of the Vatican’ on the linen cloth by Antinoe: a new interpretive analysis after the restoration. “
Necklaces of gold and precious stones adorn her neck; her wrists also are adorned with bracelets embossed in gold leaf. We admire the elegance of the gesture she sketches with her hand with long tapered fingers, which perfectly highlights the ring she wears on her left ring finger.
“The presence of the ring is particularly significant because this attribute indicates with good reliability the belonging of the woman to an aristocratic family. In fact, it is not a simple personal ornament. Still, an indicator of the social rank of The set of precious ornaments described makes the ‘Lady of the Vatican’ one of the most richly decorated female figures in the available presentations of the same series of works, in particular, thanks the jewellery is worn around the neck “(Lorenzo Nigro).
The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century AD. J.-C. Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902 published in “Les portraits d’Antinoé au Musée Guimet”, Emile Guimet, Librairie Hachette et Cie, Paris
The rest of the canvas, unfortunately incomplete, presented one: “series of frames and concentric friezes and, in the lower part, a frieze divided into small rectangular panels, of which only two are preserved: in the first one we have to distinguish a scene of philosophical instruction with a master and a young pupil, probably the deceased herself; in the second, less readable, one indicates a fight between a young man and a lion “.
The hairstyle, clothes and adornments have made it possible to date this shroud from the 3rd century, particularly from the Severan dynasty, founded by Septimius Severus in 193 AD. J.-C …
The city of Antinoe where it was discovered is located in Middle Egypt, on the eastern bank of the Nile, 300 km south of Cairo. The city already existed in the New Kingdom, but Hadrian renamed it in the 1st century from the name of his handsome lover Antinous. Its ruins today extend into a village called Sheikh ‘Abade.
Illustration representing Albert Gayet’s excavations in Antinoopolis (published in the Petit Journal – 1904-686)
From 1896, in agreement with the Direction of the Antiquities Service, Emile Guimet will become, for many years, the patron of the excavations directed by Albert Gayet. This Dijon Egyptologist arrived in Egypt in 1881 with the Permanent French Archaeological Mission in Cairo created by Gaston Maspero. This last will push him towards “a direction still little known: the archaeology of Egypt of late antiquity”. This is how he will become a specialist …
Antinoé will reveal the secrets of his necropolises throughout the missions: painted portraits and fabrics and clothes are certainly their most beautiful treasures. They make it possible to “revive” a whole cosmopolitan society rich in various influences; this “lady” is a perfect example …
Anonymous, Monsieur Guimet reading an Egyptian inscription Ink on paper – Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
How not evoke this excellent analysis made by Emile Guimet? “Was the ‘Vatican Lady’ ‘idolatrous’ or was she ‘Christian’? We won’t know. She was a bit isiac (of or about the goddess Isis or her worship), because of the Egyptian temple door that surrounds her face; she was a bit Buddhist, by the windings which adorn the medallions of her dress; she was a little Syriac, by the miniature painting which adorns her shroud and represents two figures seated to the right and the left of the tree of life; she was a little Christian, by the gesture of her right hand which the lady with the golden cross will imitate, by her spiritual aspirations, by the symbols spread on the fabrics found around her. Ensured all paradises “.
The “Lady of the Vatican” was registered at the Museum, which gave her name under the inventory number 17953.
A short but deeply tribute to the best composer, musician and human of all time: John Lennon. As you all know, an ill-minded person, a product of a poor-minded society, shot him forty-one years ago. Though, He and his works will remain alive in our minds forever. Happy Christmas, everybody.
It was Thursday early in the morning when I woke up at 5,30 AM to prepare myself to get to work; suddenly, the telephone rang unexpectedly. Usually, I ignore the ringing phone because nobody wants to speak to me, and all calls are for my wife, Regina. But at that time, she was still sleeping, and I picked the phone up quickly not to disturb her.
“Hallo Aladin, that is me, Manfred”, said at the other end. I knew him. He’s a fellow teacher of the same school as my wife. I greeted him back and asked what was wrong? As I could guess, something must be wrong. He said it was urgent, and if Regina awoke? I told him it was too early for her, but it seemed necessary to wake her up.
She jumped out of bed when I opened the sleeping room door and grabbed the phone. I didn’t listen to them anymore cause I had to go on with my own mess. After that, when she ended the call, she was so excitedly running back and forth that I had to ask her what was going on? She told me that in their routine Corona testing on children, it seems that yesterday one of the samples turned out positive. Therefore, she must call every parent to say that their child has to stay home until the laboratory finds out which child is infected. I wished her good luck and went out to work with an ulterior motive (worry) that what should happen next.
Anyway, when I came back home, she told me she had reached all the parents in the evening, and she, with all others, had to wait until tomorrow, Friday, for the results from the laboratory values. And after discovering which child was infected, all the teachers had to give a PCR test! I must confess here that I have never seen such fatigue and worry in the eyes of my lovely wife. She noticed my worries and told me that she had to cancel all her plans for the weekend because the test would take two days to show the result, and it sucks!
What we could do, was to take it “somehow” easy and try to get relaxed. On Friday, the following day, she woke up early to get the necessary connections to the colleagues for further underactions. And at half-past eight, on the same Friday, in the early morning, the news from the school’s secretary came that all results were negative and there was just a failure from the laboratory! Don’t worry and be happy. Error is human!!
I was just watching her face with joy, how her eyes got pacified.
Today, I want to share with you my idea, which I’ve got in my mind since my youth, about philosophy as I believe it is the primary thought of our life. As I wrote once, I got knowing philosophy from Socrates through Plato. However, history shows that society accepted Aristotle’s philosophy more plausible. What a pity! I think it’s because Aristotle had better understood humans with greed, envy, and lust of power.
Oh yes! As most people know Plato’s name in the “platonic relationship”, Plato was more preoccupied with the human soul. He might be a dreamer, as I think the philosophers must be. And I believe following his lessons would make a better world for us all to live in.
Of course, if we try to understand his thoughts, we will find that it is not so wrong or illusive:
Plato is also considered the founder of Western political philosophy. His most famous contribution is the theory of Forms known by pure reason, in which Plato presents a solution to the problem of universals known as Platonism (also ambiguously called either Platonic realism or Platonic idealism).
Here is a declaration of “blind man” who is quite noticeable these days.
And as we look at it more deeply, that is a psychological observation of the man’s soul. Here is a brilliant description of Plato’s definition of the soul. I hope you have enough time and joy to read this good article.
Desires and Pleasures in Plato’s STATE: Man, Lion and Monster
According to Plato, the three parts that make up the soul are the desirable, the thymic and the mental.
The desired part of the soul expresses the bodily or “horse desires” of man, such as the body’s needs (hunger, thirst, erotic mood, etc.). It is the seat of desires, multifaceted and polynomial. The realization of these desires is a pleasure, which, however, according to the philosopher, is apparent and superficial. If, for example, you are hungry and eating, you have simply satisfied your desire to stop being hungry and nothing more. There can be no substantial pleasure from the desired part of the soul but mere satisfaction of a bodily, equine need.
Higher than desirable is the thymic part of the soul. It is the fighting element or, in other words, the radically volitional element. It is about satisfying your need to be recognized as dignified and honest by other people. The thymic part of the soul can lead to ruptures and battles to defend your honour. It can make you seek positions and greater recognition. It is not related to material goods but to protecting your “being”.
The third part of the soul is the accounting or mental. According to Plato, this should “rule” the soul with the consent of the thyroid and the voluntary submission of the desirable. The mental part “houses” the proper judgment and is attracted by the pleasures provided by mental employment and knowledge.
According to the philosopher, the pleasures from the satisfaction of the mind are the only true and accurate. Their pursuit offers permanent relief from the vicious circle of desire and its fulfilment, since the objects of philosophical knowledge will not disappear, as do, for example, the foods we eat, but, as unchanging and immortal elements, will offer a stable filling status.
Plato uses an image to show the inner battle being waged in man between the three parts of his soul. In this battle, the accounting part is represented by man, a lion’s thyroid, and a multi-headed beast’s desirable. If a man lets the lion and the beast become more assertive at the expense of the accounting, then they will fight fiercely, leading him to a sinful life, the slave of his opposing desires and passions, as well as the outbursts of his rage. But suppose a man (accounting) manages to tame the beast (voluntary) with the help of the lion (thymus). In that case, he will be able to discipline his desires and uproot his passions to enjoy the pleasure of harmony in his soul.
But it would be wrong if this view concluded that man can, or should, try to exterminate the beast or lion within him. On the contrary, Plato proposes man satisfy his desire in moderation so that he is not passionate about either deprivation or overfilling. Thus, he leaves the accounting part of the soul devoted to its search in a state of calm. Knowledge is the supreme pleasure.
When the accounting part reaps the pleasures it seeks, all soul aspects will be satisfied. At the same time, if the happiness of another part prevails, then the whole order of human life will be disturbed, so no interest will be satisfied as it deserves.
PHILOSOPHICAL LIFE: The ideal life, according to Plato and how it can be achieved
The three parts of the soul and their predominance in every human being determine all three types of life he can have: an intellectual life for the man who is dominated by accounting, dignified life for the one who is overwhelmed by the thymic and profitable life for the one who is overlooked from the desired.
It may seem to all three categories of people that the most hedonistic life is theirs. Still, in reality, only the philosopher knows that his own life is the most hedonistic because he has experienced the pleasures of the other two, while the others have not been able to meet his own. The philosopher also can value his life as a “whole” and reach his superiority over the lives of others, using his experience and logic, something that others are not able to do.
According to Plato, three essential virtues characterize a virtuous life: prudence, bravery and wisdom. If we add to them a fourth, justice, which corresponds to the balance of the whole, then we have a just man, a man who has managed to harmonize the three parts of his soul under the hegemony of the mental.
With the supremacy of the mental, man can control his desires and, with restraint and wisdom, transform his passion into bravery. In other words, by ruling the other parts, reason offers man happiness, as it eliminates internal conflicts and the harmonious relationship between the features of the soul.
Plato calls “friendship” the ideal relationship between the parts of the soul, as it does not describe a state of uninterrupted repression but a discipline in which the just man finds pleasure. The kind part of the soul, having achieved this “friendship” with the other two pieces, comes in contact with knowledge, the “really being”, and then the conjunction “mind and truth” is born, where “mind” is the accounting part of the soul and “truth” the “really being”. Neither the “truth” exists before its coupling with the soul nor the “mind” before its collar with the truth. Only union gives substance to the two parts of marriage, and only with marriage does man acquire fundamental knowledge.
Happiness does not depend on the existence of a specific favourable environment (from others or on circumstances) but on ourselves. We can create it, developing the “logic” and making us righteous.
The pursuit of spiritual pleasures, according to Plato, offers permanent relief from the vicious circle of moving bodily needs. Since thanks to the greater degree of reality, the objects of philosophical knowledge will not disappear, like the foods we consume. Still, they will keep the philosopher in a steady state of filling.
Man, free from inner compulsions and impulses, therefore enjoys the feeling of permanent fulfilment and, unmoved devotes himself to the further search for wisdom that offers the ultimate sanctity and goodness in life.