Sunday, June 17, 2012

This is a fun novel in which Christopher Moore imagines a rollicking tale that revolves around the Paris art scene, circa 1860-1870. The main character is the completely fictional Lucien Lessard, but he is surrounded by many real artists of the time--Pissaro, Cezanne, Renoir, Manet, Seurat, Monet, Degas, and especially Toulouse-Lautrec. The novel begins with the tragic death of Vincent van Gogh, which Moore infuses with mystery; in this novel, his death is not suicide.

Moore creates a magical, time traveling story about a colorman, a muse (who does indeed amuse), and the world's most famous artists that is both funny and inspiring--funny in its humor, inspiring in that it's made me want to read more about some of these artists. The last section Moore writes is Afterward: So, Now You've Ruined Art, in which the author conscientiously reveals to us the liberties he's taken with the characters and some of the research he'd done before penning this creative tome, and it's not to be missed.

Educational and entertaining! I enjoyed this very much.


Our latest Netflix movie was War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg. It's about a very charming, beautiful horse named Joey and his life during WWI. Ekim and I both found it to be overly sentimental, or as I'd put it, sappy. The photography is over-the-top beautiful, which actually seems ridiculous. I also object to the soundtrack. Some of the scenes were hard to watch, even though I know that no horses were harmed in the making of this film. Part of the problem, for me, is the historical backdrop: Joey is born in rural England, raised lovingly by a farm boy, and then claimed by the English Army as a war horse. Yes, the separation between Joey and the boy, Albert, is sad, but the given time is incredibly so!  Very bad things were happening to countless sentient beings all over Europe, but we're supposed to be focused on this one horse.  And of course I found myself caring very much about Joey, but there seems to be something wrong about the fact that men and other horses are dying all over the place, but they are only background. It's a film that certainly pushes people's emotional buttons, or it wouldn't be so highly rated, but--it's sappy. Just sayin'.

 In my little world news, I'm still at the same job, and have been for nearly four and a half years now. My, how time does rush by. My current co-tellers are pleasant, cooperative people, while our management has undergone some changes that we're all still getting used to. Head Teller Marilyn had to be moved to another branch because her boyfriend just became our manager. She seems to be taking this hard, since she never ever wanted to leave this branch, but if she wants to be promoted, she must go on rotation. This has created some drama between Marilyn and Esmeralda, one of our assistant head tellers, for some reason. They are supposed to be good friends, and are planning on going on a trip together next month, but they are not speaking now. Why? Because Marilyn emailed her boyfriend (our new boss), complaining about Esmeralda--it's something incredibly petty, but Marilyn accidentally also sent it to Esmeralda. Of course, Esmeralda's feelings were hurt, and Marilyn wasn't the least bit contrite about it. It would have been so easy to claim she was joking, but Marilyn did not do that. Meanwhile, Esmeralda has the Bahama trip all paid for, including airfare, and if Marilyn pulls out (her behavior is ambiguous), Esmeralda will have to change the name on one of the tickets (her boyfriend would be happy to go--what a better idea).  I'm finding Marilyn's wickedness fascinating because it's so unexpected. She is not a nice person, but to be this awful to a friend is just weird. If this is all about the fact that she doesn't get to be at our branch, she may as well quit. Since her parents have bought her a house, they'll probably support her while she looks for something else, too.

Esmeralda, Marilyn, and her boyfriend Manager Prince, were all spoiled, wealthy kids. Perhaps it's a culture I simply don't understand. Anyway, I'm strangely interested in who's going to The Bahamas with Esmeralda. It's a tricky situation, being on the outs with your manager's girlfriend. Hardly fair.

                                                            Perhaps I just miss sitcoms. 


Logophile said...

fascinating daytime drama... right before your eyes!

Doug Pascover said...

Every soap opera is a sitcom if you can watch it from the couch.

Anyway, that sounds like some true things.