음악과 오월의 가을을 도서관에서

가을이 깊어가고 있습니다. 크라이스트 쳐치의 가을은 항상, 그리운 이들이 더욱 더 보고 싶어 가슴 저리게 만듭니다. 올 단풍도 유난히 아름답게 물들었네요. 어제 내린 비는 아스팔트 위에 낙엽으로 수를 놓고 그 위를 걷는 나는 눈물 나게 행복합니다.

이번 달에 소개할 새로운 책입니다IMG_0982

인문학 명강– 서양고전은 서울대학교와 플라톤 아카데미가 진행한, ‘서양 고전, 인간을 말하다’ 강연을 책으로 엮은 것으로, 이 시대 대표 학자 11인이 직접 들려주는 명강의를 담고있습니다. 흥미로운 사례들을 통해 마치 강의하듯이 독자들의 눈높이에 맞춰 설명하고 있어, 서양고전의 핵심 사상을 쉽게 이해하기 위한 가장 완벽한 입문서입니다.

죽은 왕녀를 위한 파비안느는 박민규 작가 십여 년 전 무심코 던진 아내의 한 마디 “제가 아주 못생긴 여자라면 그래도 절 사랑해주실 건가요?” 라는 갑작스런 질문의 시작으로, 당시 작가는 못 들은 척하고 답변 없이, 그렇게 시간이 흘렀고 어느날 잠든 아내의 얼굴에서 십여 년 전의 그 질문이 생각이나 집필을 시작했다고 합니다. 라벨의 음악 죽은 왕녀를 위한 파반느를 들으며 보다 더 풍요로운 가을을 만드세요.

“쓰고 싶은 것을 쓰지 못하고 있다는 토로들에서 이 기획은 시작되었습니다. 눈에 띄는 금줄들이 걷혀도 눈에 보이지 않는 금줄이 부비트랩처럼 남아 있다는 고백들이 있었습니다. 익명성은 그리 새로운 아이디어가 아니지요. 꼭 소설이 아니더라도 다른 영역에서 비슷한 고민들이 있을 것이라 생각합니다. 그보다 이 기획을 통해 겨누고 싶은 것은 낡은 안전장치들입니다.” – 익명소설 기획의 말 중에서

오월은 NZ Music Month 입니다    크리이스트 쳐치 시립도서관에도 많은 행사를 준비하고 있습니다. 가족과 함께 가까운 도서관 뿐아니라 다른 크라이스트 쳐치 시립 도서관으로 음악과 함께하는 가을 여행을 떠나보세요.

Nancy Drew… 85 years young

Cover of The secret of the old clockIt seems hard to believe, but Nancy Drew, girl detective, turned 85 last week.

She was the creation of 24 year-old Mildred A. Wirt. Wirt wrote 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew books, the very first of which was The secret of the old clock, published on 28 April, 1930.

Wirt is described in Girl sleuth: Nancy Drew and the women who created her as “a convention-flouting Midwestern journalist”.Well, quite.

As a girl I enjoyed Nancy’s confident, curious sleuthing abilities both in book form (Password to Larkspur Lane being a favourite, if I recall) as well as the 1970s TV series which also introduced me to the charms of The Hardy Boys.

Cover of The hidden staircaseIt was unusual to find a female teenage protagonist who was so self-assured, knowledgeable, canny, and well-financed as Nancy Drew in the 1980s let alone in the 1930s. Apparently Wirt was not pleased with the “namby-pamby” style of books for girls at that time and was looking to create a somewhat more “feisty” character. This is almost certainly why Nancy and the series has continued to be popular.

Her influence on popular culture cannot be underestimated. The name “Nancy Drew” is nearly synonymous with “sleuth”, and I can’t help but wonder – without Nancy, would there have been any Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, or Scooby Doo’s Velma?

Cover of Nancy Drew, Girl Detective number 1, The Demon of River HeightsThe books have been ghostwritten by numerous authors over the years and are published collectively under the name Carolyn Keene.

As well as the original novels there are also Nancy Drew mysteries for younger readers and Nancy Drew graphic novels.

Read more about Nancy Drew’s interesting literary history –

Farewell Ruth Rendell, 1930 – 2015

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Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE was an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries.

Oh my WORD!

Cover of ReachThis morning in a café, three of my favourite things came together for a sort of a bookish group-hug.

First there was the cappuccino, then a book: Reach by Laurence Fearnley, and finally a delicious little custard tart. Life is good. Three ladies came across to find out what I was reading. I love when that happens. Then an elderly man joined in and said that he knew Laurence Fearnley and her parents but he didn’t like her writing. Mountain men don’t argue, he said of  The Hut Builder. She got it wrong. By now the whole coffee shop was becoming quite intrigued.

Cover of H is for HawkAnd that is is exactly the sort of thing that happens at a literary festival such as the up-and-coming WORD Christchurch Autumn Season from 13th to 17th May. That same shared interest in books, authors, reading and ideas. And it’s why I wouldn’t miss attendance for all the world.

This time, I’ve got my sights set on Helen MacDonald and her talk on her memoir H is for Hawk. This is a book about the author’s grieving for her father, a photographer, whose last photo was taken as he collapsed and died.

Grief stricken, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for GBP800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

Cover of The Year of Magical thinkingThe only other book that I have read which deals specifically with grief and grieving is Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. Both MacDonald and Didion, so suddenly bereft, embark on their own spiritual journeys to come to grips with loss. The first words Didion wrote after her husband’s death are:

Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant.You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

At the WORD Festival event I attended in Christchurch last year, I bought the first copy of Reach that had ever been sold. I know that because I was there when Fearnley told me, and inscribed those words in my new purchase.

Who knows what bookish joys await me at the WORD Christchurch Autumn Season this month. See you there!

 

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Whakataukī

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.
As an old net withers another is remade.

When an elder is no longer fit to lead, a healthier leader will stand in his or her place.

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Mea rawa.
Next minute.

Kupu (word)

ika
fish

He maha ngā ika ake o Aotearoa.
New Zealand has many native fish species.

Watch a video to learn how to use this kupu.
Maori

This week in Christchurch history (4 to 10 May)

4 May 1932
Christchurch Tramway strike. One of the bitterest in the city’s history, it lasted 16 days. There were many injuries and arrests among the strikers. The tram sheds were barricaded with barbed wire, and trams were fitted with wire mesh screens over their windows to ward off attacks.

Trams in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1931]
Trams in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1931]
CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0016
4 May 1981
New southern arterial (Brougham Street to Curletts Road) opens.

5 May 1863
Christchurch Gas Company formed.

Photo of Australasian tennis team in the international competitions [1905], Anthony Wilding is standing dressed in white
Australasian tennis team in the international competitions [1905], Anthony Wilding is standing dressed in white, CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0011
7 May 1917
Canterbury Aviation Company makes first flights from Sockburn Aerodrome, New Zealand’s first airport.

8 May 1975
New Zealand’s first mini roundabout in operation at the corner of Riccarton Road and Deans Avenue.

8 May 1987
Sir Neil Isaac, founder of Peacock Springs Conservation Park, dies.

9 May 1915
Christchurch tennis star (4 times Wimbledon champion) Captain A. F. Wilding killed in action in Belgium.

10 May 1975
Ms Vicki Buck becomes the city’s (and New Zealand’s) youngest ever City Councillor at 19.

More May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.