Monday, December 15, 2008

factory, emoticons, paths

Posted by Picasa The Christmas card factory. End of the production line.

Above my gmail window, there appears an icon signifying emoticons. Click it, and you have a whole library of these little symbols. At first, I resolve to neglect them. I have no time for ready-made slogans and jokes such as you see on cards and sometimes on to the rear window of cars. I would rather put a sentiment in my own words than use, second hand, someone else's wit and ingenuity. But I find myself making an exception for these, little sweeties. And, I have to admit that I have already popped one or two of them into emails.

While reading the massive French novel Les Thibault, by the novel prize winning Roger Martin du Gard, I come across a passage, where a professor of literature shows Antoine Thibault, one of the central characters, a missive from his brother, who has gone missing. The missive consists of a poem by Walt Whitman. "My English is not up to this," says Antoine. So the professor translates the poem off the cuff. Suddenly I have to look for my copy of Whitman's poems. And I realize that, by such hap hazard procedures, has my reading progressed throughout my life. This is no plan and very little purpose, except that of self-indulgence and satisfying my curiosity. So I recently I began to read Montaigne only because Flaubert, whose letters I was reading at the time, praised him constantly. And now I am reading the journals of the Goncourt brothers because they knew and constantly gossiped about Zola, another novelist with whom I had been absorbed. And now back to Whitman, the first of the beat poets, I always thought, though he wouldn't have known it.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful cards! How did you make them? This is the first year in a long time that I did not make my own cards.

Unknown said...

Fairly simple this year. I use the Paintshop Pro 8 program, which allows you to format a photograph in the required dimensions on to a page. This year I get two cards to an A4 page. I do the same with the print, which has to go on to the reverse. I always have problems getting the print in the right place on the card which has to be folded. Following the example set by the French Revolution, I use the guillotine finaly to trim the cards,

Roderick Robinson said...

I'm going to have to stop reading your blog. You're giving away the plot of Les Thibault and I am 600 pages adrift,