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Juy Hepner

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Joie de vivre

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-2020

Filth is sanctified by love of life. Syphilis around every corner. Respect and desire for whores and princesses without discrimination.

Rama is loveable but Hanuman is reliable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-05-2020

Ram Dass is obviously passionate about Rama and it shows in his intonations as he reads the various characters, and what his voice lacks in melody is made up for by the ring of truth. The story of a super god that forgets his true identity by being incarnated as a human is very exciting. It seems that the son of god theme, not the tripartite godhead theme is not just in Christianity or in the Greek demigod spawn of Zeus, but Rama is almost like a cross between Christ and Hercules...he is a mixture of hero and compassionate king. The best twist for me was (rather like Slugworth in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Ravenna turns out to love Rama. I guess a similar character is Judas in the bible, without who’s betrayal Jesus couldn’t have fulfilled his destiny. I also enjoyed the relationship between Rama and Hanuman. There is a great scene where Hanuman actually chides Rama about despairing and saves him from quitting his path. I’m interested to read more about the fight between Rama (as Narayana) and Garuda that cursed him to always lose Lakshmi. Does anyone know if there are other texts that expand on this??

“A Canadian poured a beer in my saxophone”

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-04-2020

This is a true depiction of so many characters at the beginning of the war seen through Pickwickian eyes of a man who finds the goodness in the absurdity of life. Whenever I get depressed I listen to Spike he shows me how to laugh again. There are also subtle allusions to the darker sides of war but he deliberately suppresses despair and marches on, drinking and playing jazz and laughing at fart jokes. If I had to go to war I’d love to be stuck in a trench with Spike.

A new understanding of the myths

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-2020

I’ve only read Herodotus and Ovid and Hesiod and Homer, and those writers do not include so many of the stories found in this book. It seems that there are many more sources and as though Stephen Fry, like a Delphic Oracle, has a mainline into the true story. He does put a fun spin on the characters of the heroes but that is a gloss over some very dark tales - and makes light of situations such as the murders committed by Heracles and the horrible labours of Theseus, without trivialising the horror. He thus puts his own stamp on the oral tradition. Also Fry has a good voice for gods and heroes - deep and powerful.

Uncle Monty on steroids

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-09-2019

The simple deconstruction of this 3rd volume of Proust is that the elite upper class is very similar to the lowest and most insular examples of the superstitious peasant, insofar as they are set in their ways, of which there are scrupulous rituals for everything; are mistrustful of outsiders, superficial, and, as is outlined by the obsession with the polarising effect of the Dreyfuss case and the old French aristocracy’s embracing the lie in order to cozy up with the nationalist movement - unethical. In the midst of this surgical separation from the Name with the Reality, Proust reveals the phenomenon of the “Salon”, which at its epitome housed the paragon of taste and fashion, but above all, in the Geurmantes salon - wit! From out of the clash of characters such as the ominously anti-Semitic German Prince Fon; the sleazy diplomat Nompoire (who is just like a modern politician), and various other sub-characters who populate the Salon, the outstanding personalities are the Duke De Geurmantes, his brother the Barron De Charlus, and the great Lady of the age Orianne - the Duchess De Guermantes. She is without doubt the most fleshed out duchess in literature, and possibly one of the great women characters in literature. She is so complicated. For one thing she is strong, and unlike, for example, Anna Karenin, is self-determined. It would take a whole essay or a book to really discuss Orianne. My personal favourite is the gay brother!! If anyone is a fan of the film Withnail and I, then the Barron De Charlus in Guernantes Way will be easily recognisable as Uncle Monty. The comedy is multiplied by the fact that the “and I” character (presumably Marcel but in similar fashion to the movie he is never named) is a young, handsome naïf who is the subject to the comic advances of a ludicrous seducer (whom, to be fair to the character of Charlus, tried to use every psychological trick in the book of seduction without actually coming-out, in a time where homosexuality was still known as “the love that dare not speak its name). The absurdist comedy culminates in the shredding of the Barron’s silk hat, and the less-than-subtle band hidden in the next room that stricken up Beethoven on queue...baring in mind there were no record players or remote controls. The performance by Neville Jason is so convincing that I feel he should get an award. His perfect intonation if what are frequently impossible sentences with multiple layers of reference, requiring up to a dozen voice modulations in order to catch the meaning as it is written, is the best I’ve ever read. Actually the more complicated the thought process embodied in a sentence the less room there is for interpretation, and so in 99% of Proust there is simply no scope for interpretation- it needs to be read just-so. This can not be done except through an utter devotion to the work and an implicit understanding of the characters. Jason has truly mastered it. For this Australian listener in 2019 (I have read Proust several times and never got as much as through listening to Jason) the existence of Neville Jason is just as critical as the existence of Moncrieff and Marcel Proust himself.

To see a world in a grain of sand

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-2019

Neville Jason must have read through it all a few times before recording this as he channels the closest match to what must be what some call the “ring of truth” in his reading of Marcel’s voice - albeit in English, and just as in the way in which the text describes the relationship of the names of things to the objects to which they refer, the very sentence-structures fall like drops of water which, circling out from themselves, trace the widening arcs of their own ripples as they describe the impressions and repercussions made by the softest footprints, such as the memory within a memory in the frozen moment of the fairy forest, in front of the talking Hawthorn bush, in the company of fairies and with a profound quietness, that is laid out like a blanket woven in a spell of language, then to a vortex of feelings that sublimate, pack up and then unpack the ocean, the cathedrals, grandmother and servants, in the moment of a kiss. It is the ultimate expression of art for art’s sake, as though the world has no greater possibility of meaning than to have life breathed into every moment with flowers and art and faces. There is no political message or sociological. It is how beautiful the material world can be when the eye of god slows down time and shines a bright light on a small area.

A lot of the spider and not enough of the bee

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-2019

Neitzche advises rejecting the creation and gives us a superman who is more like Zod. Powerful...yes, but all destruction without creation. Anyone can destroy. It is an act of desperation, not contemplation. Arrogant and difficult to learn from. The best thing that can be said is that he advises us to reject superstition and to question authority. It’s quite sad to hear his yearning for eternity in a world where he values nothing except power. Even the Eagle that he thinly claims to love is a barren symbol in that it’s nobility is not expanded upon except for its remoteness from the world and its freedom from company. Despite his low regard for us shopkeepers and householders he nevertheless tries to sell a product...but unfortunately it’s a selfish one, like a gold backscratcher. Does he like Mozart? With his intellect he may have unearthed and fashioned a superman like that but instead decided to be so esoteric and spiteful that he didn’t create one superman beyond himself, and, like Wilde’s Remarkable Rocket, his genius blazed friendless in a field, in a day that was like a starless night.

1 person found this helpful

Claire brings pathos to the Odyssey

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-07-2019

There’s not much for me to add by way of commentary to the story, except to say that spinster Athena must be more interested in promoting revenge and helping Odysseus get away from Circe and Calypso than seeing him return to Penelope, though she would have respected her long standing chastity. It’s this Athenian character that comes through in the reading of the beautiful Claire Danes, who might as easily played Helen as Juliette. There is in her voice the intimation of those alternate emotions exhibited by the goddess - the sparkling eyes that foretell great action and sadistic vengeance and bloodshed, and the outrage of a woman to spur on the man when he loses faith. Her voice is the strength of the passion of woman when it rises up in protective rage for her man. Penelope is passively charged and sly like her husband and Claire captures that voice as well. She well captures the contrast between Athena and Penelope- the contrast of the empowered and disempowered woman. Her only weakness is the male voices. She should have a go at Emily Bronte or Christina Rossetti.

2 people found this helpful

Ritual over philosophy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-06-2019

Prof. Rendsburg gives a good introduction to the Essenes and a comparative view of the theology of the Qumran group vs the Pharisees and Sadducees as well as Christians. He likes to use the word “fascinating”, and I would like to hear more about these items, such as the opposition views on life after death, angels, the role of the messiah in different Judaisms. What is meant by “purification” and how does impurity travel upstream? Is John the Baptist an Essene? I’d like to hear more about the apocalypse. I could easily listen to more. He’s a plain-speaker

1 person found this helpful

More conscience literature

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-06-2019

Dostoyevsky makes conscience the sword of god again. The narrative is at once mostly political and spiritual - political in that the elder Karamazov, who is murdered, is an archetype of the negligent father, whom, as is articulated in the closing arguments of the defence, is owed no loyalty by his son, since his long time misdeeds have rendered him unworthy of the name of “father”. There is an intimation of a responsibility which might well be extrapolated to the Tsar. Also the Elder, who IS a true father, is in the reverse or inverted position of being, like Christ, beyond the understanding of his flock, which is illustrated by the scene when his corpse begins to stink in the coffin, causing a number of pedantic and misguided monks to tear down his memory - these are failed children. So there is an imperative for children and parents to fulfil their roles. Clearly Dostoyevsky sees children as being very pure and only corrupted by the parent at first failing in their responsibilities. On a spiritual level the 3 brothers represent the worldly path, the academic path and the ascetic path. The worldly path (Dimitri) is beset with women (who are mostly depicted by Dostoyevsky as compassionate hysterical trouble makers), money and violence. The academic man (Ivan) is ultimately faced with insanity, as the pinnacle of knowledge, in the absence of living compassion, leads only to the Devil. Finally there is the hero Alliosha, who is a bit like Christ it Brian (life of Brian) - a pure lover of the good wandering around a hateful world trying to save everyone from themselves and only really finding meaningful labour in teaching children, to stamp out wrongful convictions before they take hold. The courtroom scenes are remarkably realistic because of a couple of points. Firstly no one knows what the final decision will be. Secondly there is a ton of missing evidence. Thirdly because the lawyers believe their own version of the truth intrinsically. God there is so much more to say....Ivan’s conversation with Satan as well as his poem the Inquisitor and Christ is unique in all literature, although perhaps somewhat copied later by Bulgarkov. The fierce characters of the young boys is Dickensian. Their bravery is best captured by the one who lies between the train tracks to prove his courage....it’s interesting how Dostoyevsky, like Tolstoy uses the train as cataclysmic physical forces in parallel to the forces of god and human inner nature. Here the train is conquered by the child - in Anna Karrenin it is the instrument of death.

1 person found this helpful