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Beauty and the Beast Ponderings

This is not a book, I know. The only way I can think of linking it into my aim for this blog is that Belle is a book-loving princess?

I’m not going to do a review of the film (although I must admit that after going in with low expectations I was pleasantly surprised), but I had some stray thoughts while watching it and wondered if anyone else thought the same.

Please also note that there will be spoilers ahead and, whilst much of the film follows the beats of the original, there are some changes which I comment on below.

The Beast likes books
The fact that Beast couldn’t read never made sense to me. Before being turned, he was an 11 (?) year old born into royalty, so surely he must have been taught to read at some point?! I know that in the original film Belle and the Beast bonded when she taught him to read, but I think that Belle discovering someone else who enjoys reading seems like a more organic way to have her warm to him.

Also, surely in all that time he would have read as a form of entertainment? 10 years is a long time alone in that castle with such a big library!

The dance sequence
This was beautifully done as expected, if not quite as technically groundbreaking as the original. However, due the heavy use of CGI on the Beast, I could not quite suppress the image of Dan Stevens wearing a green body suit whilst dancing and staring romantically into Emma Watson’s eyes.
Please tell me that this is how it was filmed and please let there be footage somewhere.

Gaston doesn’t get a chance to remember 
So at the end of the film we learn that Belle’s quiet village was also put under the curse and had forgotten all about the castle and their loved one’s who worked there (as is evidenced by Mr & Mrs Potts’ reunion. So what about Gaston? Maybe Gaston really had a lady love or family in the castle whom he forgot. We will never know if Gaston’s true self was perhaps a little less self-centred and perhaps he was lonely all this time!

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Inspiration from my bookshelf

pile books

I suck at keeping diaries.

It’s true! Again and again, all of the diaries, journals, and even previous blogs I’ve tried to keep over the years have all been abandoned, replaced with hobbies, studies, work, or just given up on due to a simple lack of inspiration

So what’s new?  
A: The need for some creativity in my life.

Since graduating last June I have been working as a freelance translator, and constantly translating, editing, and proof-reading the words of others has made me realise how much I miss expressing myself and using my own thoughts and feelings to produce my own original material. Sure, in translation I get to exercise my writing skills. I get to play with words and phrasing, exploring ways to make target texts as idiomatic as possible, and in this I get to play with different styles, journalistic when translating news articles, informative when detailing product descriptions, persuasive when working on non-profit pieces, but they are not my own creations. I never truly think of them as my work. So now I’ve started this blog as a way to produce my own material and write about what care about.

Why High Piled Books?

Aside from it being a reference to my second favourite Keats poem (my favourite being ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ for any Keats enthusiasts out there), it literally refers to this huge pile of books I have to get through (see above).

LOVE books. This love was the driving force behind my decision to study  languages, and the reason I hope to pursue a career in publishing in the future.

I read all the time and always have a book close at hand, I once even had one tucked in my bag in a night club (it is way less pathetic than it sounds when given the context of the situation), but unfortunately, with work and other things occupying my time, I haven’t been able to read as often as I’d like to recently, yet have continued to buy more, and more, and more books, resulting in this endless tower I now have to find a way to get through. It’s a mixture of books I thought looked interesting on the shelf, ones I’ve been meaning to read for years, and books I have already begun reading but have not yet managed to finish due to time constraints.

Despite having to put my favourite hobby on the back-burner, the plus side is that this Jenga tower of books did provide me with the inspiration for this blog.

I’ve no illusions that the ramblings of a 22-year-old may be of any interest whatsoever to the people of the internet. Hell, there are already so many blogs, vlogs, and twitter accounts that detail the daily lives of unknowns, that another is barely making waves.

Therefore I decided that I wanted to create something that might be of use to others in some way. After finishing a book I love discussing it, what I enjoyed, what I thought the writer did particularly well, how it compares to previous titles in the series/by the same author. I often note down in a journal those I’ve particularly enjoyed, my own kind of personal book review of sorts, and I figured I may as well publish them online where they can act as a reference for the poor soul that happens to stumble across this page and might be interested in reading them.

And so this is what to expect, a book-review blog…sort of.

I won’t be reviewing all the latest releases (as you might be able to make out from the photo, some of these have been out a pretty long time now, give or take 150 years), and they won’t be super-objective critical writings, just my own personal take on the book, what I enjoyed about it, or what I didn’t so much. It also won’t be purely book reviews, there’ll most likely be a mixture of any book-related news or random facts I find interesting that I hope you will too. I’m open to any suggestions of books you’ve enjoyed, although it may take me a wee while to get around to reading them!

Well, here goes.

Fingers crossed I keep it up! 

(the blog I mean, not the book pile, fingers crossed that goes down quickly to make room for more!)