As Seen On …
- Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales
- Translation of Sainct Didier’s Drawing the Sword
- Pacific Dawn Cruise (5-12 Jan 2013)
- The World of the Troubadours
- Table of Defenses Actions in Dall’Agocchie
- Notes on Dall’Agocchie’s Days One and Two
- Review: A Canticle for Leibowitz
- The Schwarzeneggar Bible
- Next: Giovanni Dall’Agocchie
- Translation of Henri de Sainct Didier’s General Essay
- Learning Sidesword Fundamentals
- The Dusack’s Agricultural Origins
- My French Exam – DELF B1
- gmail contacts wont sync on android phone
- Sword Fighting Versus Fencing
- Meyer’s Rapier and Dagger (and Cloak)
- My Historical Fencing Gear
- Eating National Animals
- Homemade Dusacks
- The Dusack’s Agricultural Origins
- Flames of War – US Rangers
- A New Sidesword for Me!
- Meyer’s Rapier: In the Onset
- Thomas the Capitalist Lackey
Arts Reviews Archive
Posted on 4 March, 2013 | No Comments
Continuing my delving into medieval Italian literature, I came across this gem. Il Novellino is a collection of short anecdotes and popular stories written around 1250-1300. Most (semi-?)educated people of the time knew these tales and would recognise them if heard told. Many are familiar to us as forming the basis of the stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. As there’s no easily obtainable copy of this public domain text, I’ve formatted the text into ePub and PDF formats.
Il Novellino is one of the first works extant in the developing Italian language. Latin at this time is slowing losing its dominance […]
Posted on 17 December, 2012 | 1 Comment
Title: The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300
Author: Linda M Paterson
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1995
This is a book of lists which concentrates on the topics of:
- the nature of feudalism and vassalage in Languedoc and Provence
- medieval medicine and surgery and their Arabic influences
- the place and role of women in society which contrasts sharply to the north of France
- religion and heresy, especially the reasonably well-known Albigensian Crusade and the Gregorian Reforms
Scholarship in English on the south of France in the high medieval period […]
Posted on 26 November, 2012 | No Comments
Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
Author: Walter M Miller, Jr
Paperback: 368 pages
A wholly remarkable book but not for the reasons usually trotted out by its fans:
- it is not about Catholicism or the benefits bestowed by religion,
- it is not about trite clichés such as ‘those who do not listen to history are doomed to repeat it’ or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’,
- it is not about power of faith in the face of destruction.
The novel outlines a thesis which describes humanity as fundamentally and irredeemably broken. Humanity, after global nuclear war brought it to […]
Posted on 19 November, 2012 | 1 Comment
Imagine this. It’s sometime early in the ninth century and you’re a scribe. Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, has just given you the task of making a copy of the bible in Old Saxon to convert to Christianity the pagan tribes on the other side of the River Elbe. How do you translate the Gospel’s message of peace and salvation in terms those battle-loving barbarians will understand?
One answer is the Heliand, a wacky paraphrase rather than translation of the Gospel in the form of a Norse or Germanic saga written around AD 825. Here’s the scene […]
Posted on 15 October, 2012 | No Comments
I saw a great French coming-of-age movie called MaRock over the weekend. It’s the story of a teenage Moroccan Arab girl who falls deeply in love with a Jewish boy and although it was billed as a Romeo and Juliet story it really isn’t.
It has plenty to recommend it as a version of the classic star-crossed lovers: Jews versus Arabs, street car racing through Casablanca instead of public duelling, a radicalised Muslim brother who would make a very good Tybalt, nightclubs, a guy whose homosexuality is an open secret who makes a perfect Friar Lawrence and post-sundown family feasting during […]
Posted on 3 September, 2012 | No Comments
The Odyssey of Homer is fascinating in a number of aspects. The plot is remarkably modern in outline, pacing and development and the insight into the domestic life of (pre-) Dark Age Greece cannot be underestimated. Yet for all this I didn’t like the book and was glad to be finished and rid of it. Where the Iliad is grand in scope and deals with characters struggling with ethical and social conflicts, the Odyssey forces heroic characters to wallow in the tedious and the mundane.
I guess we need a couple of paragraphs to get my reaction to the story […]
Posted on 27 August, 2012 | No Comments
Title: The Trial of the Templars
Author: Malcolm Barber
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1978 (Second edition 2006)
Although the Trial of the Templars is now more than thirty years old, it is still the best study of the period written in English. This is a period, a long with the Crusade against the Cathars, which is well known and studied in French but for which very little English material of any quality exists.
In this book, Barber has presented documentary and other first hand evidence of the arrest, trial and […]
Posted on 6 August, 2012 | No Comments
Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (2010)
Language: The finest English
A great novel or the Greatest Novel?
So far this year, I’ve read the book again, listened to an audio dramatisation and watched a couple of versions on video. This book hits all my buttons. It’s got a murder, hints of the supernatural, the relentless march of scientific logic and is possibly the best Scooby Doo mystery ever.
Here is a quick list of the aspects of it which tickle my fancy. Below […]
Posted on 22 July, 2012 | 3 Comments
We’ve all read The Iliad, right? If you haven’t, you should. It’s the first piece of western literature and sets the shape and style of pretty much everything which has been written since. At a little under 3,000 years old, this is something of an achievement. I’ve just re-read it as part of the Literature of Western Myth reading list I posted a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s a brief guide on how to read The Iliad, keeping the essentials of the story and cutting out lots of the waffle. While I love the book, it’s long (waaaay to long) […]