the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

Nine More Things

superfoo and oursin each gave me five, but one of them was the same from both, so we have nine:
superfoo gave me these ones:

I love most dogs, but I think I love Beardies (Bearded Collies) best. It's funny. I'd never heard of the breed, then the woman I roomed with in Toronto, another dog lover and very cool person, who had a most beloved Kerry Blue, mentioned Bearded Collies. And I looked them up, and they looked like just the kind of dog I would love. Then I found out that they are just about the _nicest_ dogs around - they are happy and humorous and loving and just wonderful. They are high maintenance in terms of their coats and the amount of attention and exercise that they need, but oh, so worth it. My Cholmondeley will always be the first in my heart, but my Robinson is a darling, devoted, loyal, sweet boy and I love him to bits. I have been wondering if I will get another beardie after Robinson, but, you know... I think I will :)

If I run away from home, I sure as hell go as far away as possible! Effectively, that was what my trip to China was about. It was needing to get as far away as I could, but also taking advantage of an amazing opportunity. I taught there for nearly two years, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. But I don't want it to be like Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days," you know, "boring stories of..." I want to keep having amazing adventures and experiences. But anyway - China. I went on my own. I travelled up and down the country. I learnt the language, I ate the food, I lived the life. It was amazing. If you have the chance, do it.

Arthurian Legend
Funny thing is, that until I was in Grad school most of my exposure to Arthurian legend was through references in other works or in retellings. T. H. White first of all, then Mary Stewart, and then Susan Cooper. And in Grad school I read Malory. And of course I've read some other, lesser, reworkings, including the dreadful Marion Zimmer Bradley. There's something fundamental and compelling about the legends, and I love them. The tragedy of Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot, and all the love and betrayal. There's a kind of exclusive intertextual club of those who know all the details and the references and can appreciate all the endless themes and variations. And then there's Swinburne and all the other Victorian renditions. And the Pre-Raphaelites. It seems that so much that I love is bound up in the same topic.

Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron (they count as one because of the bedroom metaphor you gave) Hahaha. For the unitiated: my Romantic Poets metaphor was that they are like sex: Shelley is all foreplay, forever, Keats is the moment just before orgasm, and Byron is looking through the keyhole...
Anyway. I don't in truth have a lot of time for Byron, but I love Shelley and ADORE Keats. Keats is my hero and my darling and the one I would marry if I had the chance. All of them have that mad, wild, helpless, filled-with-longing, understanding of beauty and the transitive nature of existence and All That.

Youth hmmm. This is interesting. Is this something you (superfoo) associate with me?? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond... It's nice if that IS something you associate with me. I think I retain a youthful outlook on life, and I certainly enjoy the company of young(er) people, but I think the distinction is a false one. It's a matter of attitude and outlook... I don't believe that when you achieve certain age milestones you all of a sudden stop being interested in certain things, like watching Buffy or reading graphic novels or drinking beer or smoking pot, for that matter. I'm not, just because I'm 53, suddenly going to start wearing support stockings and stop liking Joss Whedon. On the other hand, I AM 53, and that brings with it some (god forbid) experience and insights and confidence, and I like that. As I think I've said before - I wouldn't be 20 again for anything, but I would kill for my 20-year-old body :)

And oursin gave me these ones:

My interest in the Bloomsbury group comes mostly via Virginia Woolf, who is one of my literary heroes. But I have also been interested in Carrington and Lytton Strachey and Vanessa Bell and Leonard Woolf... It was an extraordinary group of individuals. I would love to have been at one of their evening gatherings, though I think I would be afraid to get too close or too involved with them. I'm not sure I would have liked any of them, except possibly Leonard, but I admire all of them.

British children's literature
I've written about children's books in a previous post, but here I will address the British part. I have a collection of Puffins, all with "for copyright reasons, not for sale in the USA or Canada," all sent to me by relatives or friends in England. I think for me, and maybe for my mum, these books - the works of people like Arthur Ransome, Alan Garner, Phillipa Pearce, Penelope Lively, K.M. Peyton, Susan Cooper, and so many others - were a life-line. A way to hold on to a Britishness, a culture, a sense of belonging, that we had lost, here in exile in Canada. My mum wanted nothing more, and I share that great longing, to return Home. And I think those books kept the connection alive.

Ah, the movies! I think it was some time in the early 80's when I realized that movies were not just something I did for fun, but a passion, a source of endless delight. If I didn't know lidocafe I would claim that I was the most devoted movie geek in my circle. As it is, my geekery, my expertise, is only exceeded by hers (she is the undoubted expert and champion of my acquaintance). Movies are a source of delight - art, but also sheer entertainment, endlessly various and curious and enchanting. Light and shadow, sight and sound, motion and emotion.

a poet in the family
My uncle is, or was, the poet David Gascoyne. I met him once, when we visited England when I was 12, going on 13. He took me to see a movie. I remember sitting in my grandparents' back garden on a sunny afternoon on the IOW talking about poetry with him. He was sweet, and gentle, and lovely. I wish I could have known him better and not have had my childhood impressions coloured by my jealous and insecure father. As I've mentioned, one of my prize possessions is a limited edition of his early poems numbered and signed to me. I also have many of his books signed either to my dad or to other members of my family. It's odd, though, reading biographical blurbs of his that say "he grew up in Salisbury with his middle-class family" and that's MY family, my father and my other uncle and my grandparents... One of his poems was anthologized in our High School English text - I remember my classmates asking if he was any relation, and being able to say, well, "yes."

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