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 Post subject: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerome
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:07 am 
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Jerome K Jerome is an English humorist came before PG Wodehouse. I can see some influence on Wodehouse.

This book is pretty funny and the prose is great. He'll stick subtle humorous wordplay into these very well crafted sentences just like Wodehouse does. Beautifully descriptive but then he'll include something like "if that's your thing":

Quote:
It was a glorious morning, late spring or early summer, as you care to take it, when the dainty sheen of grass and leaf is blushing to a deeper green; and the year seems like a fair young maid, trembling with strange, wakening pulses on the brink of womanhood.



One section that got me chuckling was where the narrator, J, wants to pack because he's quite good at it. But he doesn't really want to do the packing himself. J and 2 of his friends (and the dog) are getting ready to embark on a week's long convalescence. Convalescing from physical ailments that none of them actually have.

Quote:
I said I’d pack.

I rather pride myself on my packing. Packing is one of those many things that I feel I know more about than any other person living. (It surprises me myself, sometimes, how many of these subjects there are.) I impressed the fact upon George and Harris, and told them that they had better leave the whole matter entirely to me. They fell into the suggestion with a readiness that had something uncanny about it. George put on a pipe and spread himself over the easy-chair, and Harris cocked his legs on the table and lit a cigar.

This was hardly what I intended. What I had meant, of course, was, that I should boss the job, and that Harris and George should potter about under my directions, I pushing them aside every now and then with, “Oh, you—!” “Here, let me do it.” “There you are, simple enough!”—really teaching them, as you might say. Their taking it in the way they did irritated me. There is nothing does irritate me more than seeing other people sitting about doing nothing when I’m working.

I lived with a man once who used to make me mad that way. He would loll on the sofa and watch me doing things by the hour together, following me round the room with his eyes, wherever I went. He said it did him real good to look on at me, messing about. He said it made him feel that life was not an idle dream to be gaped and yawned through, but a noble task, full of duty and stern work. He said he often wondered now how he could have gone on before he met me, never having anybody to look at while they worked.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:58 pm 
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Be sure to read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws a lot from this work and is a delightful read in its own right. Don’t let the SF label scare you off.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:40 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Be sure to read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws a lot from this work and is a delightful read in its own right. Don’t let the SF label scare you off.



SF labels never scare me.

Find the Bishop's Bird Stump.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:06 pm 
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Is there a separate book called "To Say Nothing of the Dog"?
Because that is the subtitle to the book I'm reading.


There's a laugh out loud part in this book where J is asked by Harris if he ever had gone through the Hampton Court maze. Harris brought his 'country cousin' to it to take him through the maze and to show this cousin how clever he (Harris) is:

Quote:
Harris asked me if I’d ever been in the maze at Hampton Court. He said he went in once to show somebody else the way. He had studied it up in a map, and it was so simple that it seemed foolish—hardly worth the twopence charged for admission. Harris said he thought that map must have been got up as a practical joke, because it wasn’t a bit like the real thing, and only misleading. It was a country cousin that Harris took in. He said:

“We’ll just go in here, so that you can say you’ve been, but it’s very simple. It’s absurd to call it a maze. You keep on taking the first turning to the right. We’ll just walk round for ten minutes, and then go and get some lunch.”

They met some people soon after they had got inside, who said they had been there for three-quarters of an hour, and had had about enough of it. Harris told them they could follow him, if they liked; he was just going in, and then should turn round and come out again. They said it was very kind of him, and fell behind, and followed.

They picked up various other people who wanted to get it over, as they went along, until they had absorbed all the persons in the maze. People who had given up all hopes of ever getting either in or out, or of ever seeing their home and friends again, plucked up courage at the sight of Harris and his party, and joined the procession, blessing him. Harris said he should judge there must have been twenty people, following him, in all; and one woman with a baby, who had been there all the morning, insisted on taking his arm, for fear of losing him.

Harris kept on turning to the right, but it seemed a long way, and his cousin said he supposed it was a very big maze.

“Oh, one of the largest in Europe,” said Harris.

“Yes, it must be,” replied the cousin, “because we’ve walked a good two miles already.”

Harris began to think it rather strange himself, but he held on until, at last, they passed the half of a penny bun on the ground that Harris’s cousin swore he had noticed there seven minutes ago. Harris said: “Oh, impossible!” but the woman with the baby said, “Not at all,” as she herself had taken it from the child, and thrown it down there, just before she met Harris. She also added that she wished she never had met Harris, and expressed an opinion that he was an impostor. That made Harris mad, and he produced his map, and explained his theory.

“The map may be all right enough,” said one of the party, “if you know whereabouts in it we are now.”

Harris didn’t know, and suggested that the best thing to do would be to go back to the entrance, and begin again. For the beginning again part of it there was not much enthusiasm; but with regard to the advisability of going back to the entrance there was complete unanimity, and so they turned, and trailed after Harris again, in the opposite direction. About ten minutes more passed, and then they found themselves in the centre.

Harris thought at first of pretending that that was what he had been aiming at; but the crowd looked dangerous, and he decided to treat it as an accident.

Anyhow, they had got something to start from then. They did know where they were, and the map was once more consulted, and the thing seemed simpler than ever, and off they started for the third time.

And three minutes later they were back in the centre again.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:00 pm 
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Yes, there is. An hilarious homage (as I've seen it called) to Jerome's 3 MEN. Much interconnection, but her own story, related to one of her own series.

She's an excellent SF writer, with a ton of major awards in the field,

I don't think Father likes as much of her work as I do, but we are agreed on this one.



p.falk wrote:
Is there a separate book called "To Say Nothing of the Dog"?
Because that is the subtitle to the book I'm reading.


There's a laugh out loud part in this book where J is asked by Harris if he ever had gone through the Hampton Court maze. Harris brought his 'country cousin' to it to take him through the maze and to show this cousin how clever he (Harris) is:

Quote:
Harris asked me if I’d ever been in the maze at Hampton Court. He said he went in once to show somebody else the way. He had studied it up in a map, and it was so simple that it seemed foolish—hardly worth the twopence charged for admission. Harris said he thought that map must have been got up as a practical joke, because it wasn’t a bit like the real thing, and only misleading. It was a country cousin that Harris took in. He said:

“We’ll just go in here, so that you can say you’ve been, but it’s very simple. It’s absurd to call it a maze. You keep on taking the first turning to the right. We’ll just walk round for ten minutes, and then go and get some lunch.”

They met some people soon after they had got inside, who said they had been there for three-quarters of an hour, and had had about enough of it. Harris told them they could follow him, if they liked; he was just going in, and then should turn round and come out again. They said it was very kind of him, and fell behind, and followed.

They picked up various other people who wanted to get it over, as they went along, until they had absorbed all the persons in the maze. People who had given up all hopes of ever getting either in or out, or of ever seeing their home and friends again, plucked up courage at the sight of Harris and his party, and joined the procession, blessing him. Harris said he should judge there must have been twenty people, following him, in all; and one woman with a baby, who had been there all the morning, insisted on taking his arm, for fear of losing him.

Harris kept on turning to the right, but it seemed a long way, and his cousin said he supposed it was a very big maze.

“Oh, one of the largest in Europe,” said Harris.

“Yes, it must be,” replied the cousin, “because we’ve walked a good two miles already.”

Harris began to think it rather strange himself, but he held on until, at last, they passed the half of a penny bun on the ground that Harris’s cousin swore he had noticed there seven minutes ago. Harris said: “Oh, impossible!” but the woman with the baby said, “Not at all,” as she herself had taken it from the child, and thrown it down there, just before she met Harris. She also added that she wished she never had met Harris, and expressed an opinion that he was an impostor. That made Harris mad, and he produced his map, and explained his theory.

“The map may be all right enough,” said one of the party, “if you know whereabouts in it we are now.”

Harris didn’t know, and suggested that the best thing to do would be to go back to the entrance, and begin again. For the beginning again part of it there was not much enthusiasm; but with regard to the advisability of going back to the entrance there was complete unanimity, and so they turned, and trailed after Harris again, in the opposite direction. About ten minutes more passed, and then they found themselves in the centre.

Harris thought at first of pretending that that was what he had been aiming at; but the crowd looked dangerous, and he decided to treat it as an accident.

Anyhow, they had got something to start from then. They did know where they were, and the map was once more consulted, and the thing seemed simpler than ever, and off they started for the third time.

And three minutes later they were back in the centre again.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:19 pm 
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The blitz pair confused me, and she phoned in her latest, but she has written many good books!

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:50 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The blitz pair confused me, and she phoned in her latest, but she has written many good books!



Haven't read her latest. I don't seek her books out unless there are reasons. Like cons or heavy recommendations. But I've liked all the 10 or so I have.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:17 pm 
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OK. You mean TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIVE AND TEN?

The setting means I'd give that a try. Woolworth's, 1960. Christmas. Touches a chord, that does, a long lost and deep one, that I've got only a whisper of the ghost of now. And further up and further in, memory. of the recent days past (just passed, by days). For many reasons, part of what I've lost. Woolworth's, Kress, Silver's and McCrory's. And all the things in the attic, which used to descend to the living room, to mark a season. Farewell to all that.

Hmm. I'll probably be disappointed. Wonder if the McCrory's will sell goldfish. Or parakeets. Or little green army men.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Be sure to read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws a lot from this work and is a delightful read in its own right. Don’t let the SF label scare you off.

It's great! :cloud9:

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:46 pm 
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I may be repeating a joke I've used here before, but this thread has got me thinking about it again, so here goes.

According to Groucho Marx, outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:49 am 
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St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:
I may be repeating a joke I've used here before, but this thread has got me thinking about it again, so here goes.

According to Groucho Marx, outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.


I have the tee shirt.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:31 pm 
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GKC wrote:
St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:
I may be repeating a joke I've used here before, but this thread has got me thinking about it again, so here goes.

According to Groucho Marx, outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.


I have the tee shirt.

+1.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:02 pm 
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St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:
GKC wrote:
St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:
I may be repeating a joke I've used here before, but this thread has got me thinking about it again, so here goes.

According to Groucho Marx, outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.


I have the tee shirt.

+1.



Got two related (sort of) tee shirts this Christmas: one with "I'm not a book worm. I'm a book DRAGON" lettered over a stylized dragon and a Samurai Classic Samurai Reading Books Library, in a traditional Japanese style.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:49 pm 
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This part is long.... but very funny and well worth the read through.
In a reflection on his past, J recalls an instance where he and his highly cultured friends and conversing and joking in a very refined and erudite manner. Their group includes two young men whom J informs us are out of place do to being so "commonplace".

Quote:
Speaking of comic songs and parties, reminds me of a rather curious incident at which I once assisted; which, as it throws much light upon the inner mental working of human nature in general, ought, I think, to be recorded in these pages.

We were a fashionable and highly cultured party. We had on our best clothes, and we talked pretty, and were very happy—all except two young fellows, students, just returned from Germany, commonplace young men, who seemed restless and uncomfortable, as if they found the proceedings slow. The truth was, we were too clever for them. Our brilliant but polished conversation, and our high-class tastes, were beyond them. They were out of place, among us. They never ought to have been there at all. Everybody agreed upon that, later on.

We played morceaux from the old German masters. We discussed philosophy and ethics. We flirted with graceful dignity. We were even humorous—in a high-class way.

Somebody recited a French poem after supper, and we said it was beautiful; and then a lady sang a sentimental ballad in Spanish, and it made one or two of us weep—it was so pathetic.

And then those two young men got up, and asked us if we had ever heard Herr Slossenn Boschen (who had just arrived, and was then down in the supper-room) sing his great German comic song.

None of us had heard it, that we could remember.

The young men said it was the funniest song that had ever been written, and that, if we liked, they would get Herr Slossenn Boschen, whom they knew very well, to sing it. They said it was so funny that, when Herr Slossenn Boschen had sung it once before the German Emperor, he (the German Emperor) had had to be carried off to bed.

They said nobody could sing it like Herr Slossenn Boschen; he was so intensely serious all through it that you might fancy he was reciting a tragedy, and that, of course, made it all the funnier. They said he never once suggested by his tone or manner that he was singing anything funny—that would spoil it. It was his air of seriousness, almost of pathos, that made it so irresistibly amusing.

We said we yearned to hear it, that we wanted a good laugh; and they went downstairs, and fetched Herr Slossenn Boschen.

He appeared to be quite pleased to sing it, for he came up at once, and sat down to the piano without another word.

“Oh, it will amuse you. You will laugh,” whispered the two young men, as they passed through the room, and took up an unobtrusive position behind the Professor’s back.

Herr Slossenn Boschen accompanied himself. The prelude did not suggest a comic song exactly. It was a weird, soulful air. It quite made one’s flesh creep; but we murmured to one another that it was the German method, and prepared to enjoy it.

I don’t understand German myself. I learned it at school, but forgot every word of it two years after I had left, and have felt much better ever since. Still, I did not want the people there to guess my ignorance; so I hit upon what I thought to be rather a good idea. I kept my eye on the two young students, and followed them. When they tittered, I tittered; when they roared, I roared; and I also threw in a little snigger all by myself now and then, as if I had seen a bit of humour that had escaped the others. I considered this particularly artful on my part.

I noticed, as the song progressed, that a good many other people seemed to have their eye fixed on the two young men, as well as myself. These other people also tittered when the young men tittered, and roared when the young men roared; and, as the two young men tittered and roared and exploded with laughter pretty continuously all through the song, it went exceedingly well.

And yet that German Professor did not seem happy. At first, when we began to laugh, the expression of his face was one of intense surprise, as if laughter were the very last thing he had expected to be greeted with. We thought this very funny: we said his earnest manner was half the humour. The slightest hint on his part that he knew how funny he was would have completely ruined it all. As we continued to laugh, his surprise gave way to an air of annoyance and indignation, and he scowled fiercely round upon us all (except upon the two young men who, being behind him, he could not see). That sent us into convulsions. We told each other that it would be the death of us, this thing. The words alone, we said, were enough to send us into fits, but added to his mock seriousness—oh, it was too much!

In the last verse, he surpassed himself. He glowered round upon us with a look of such concentrated ferocity that, but for our being forewarned as to the German method of comic singing, we should have been nervous; and he threw such a wailing note of agony into the weird music that, if we had not known it was a funny song, we might have wept.

He finished amid a perfect shriek of laughter. We said it was the funniest thing we had ever heard in all our lives. We said how strange it was that, in the face of things like these, there should be a popular notion that the Germans hadn’t any sense of humour. And we asked the Professor why he didn’t translate the song into English, so that the common people could understand it, and hear what a real comic song was like.

Then Herr Slossenn Boschen got up, and went on awful. He swore at us in German (which I should judge to be a singularly effective language for that purpose), and he danced, and shook his fists, and called us all the English he knew. He said he had never been so insulted in all his life.

It appeared that the song was not a comic song at all. It was about a young girl who lived in the Hartz Mountains, and who had given up her life to save her lover’s soul; and he died, and met her spirit in the air; and then, in the last verse, he jilted her spirit, and went on with another spirit—I’m not quite sure of the details, but it was something very sad, I know. Herr Boschen said he had sung it once before the German Emperor, and he (the German Emperor) had sobbed like a little child. He (Herr Boschen) said it was generally acknowledged to be one of the most tragic and pathetic songs in the German language.

It was a trying situation for us—very trying. There seemed to be no answer. We looked around for the two young men who had done this thing, but they had left the house in an unostentatious manner immediately after the end of the song.

That was the end of that party. I never saw a party break up so quietly, and with so little fuss. We never said good-night even to one another. We came downstairs one at a time, walking softly, and keeping the shady side. We asked the servant for our hats and coats in whispers, and opened the door for ourselves, and slipped out, and got round the corner quickly, avoiding each other as much as possible.

I have never taken much interest in German songs since then.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:15 pm 
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GKC wrote:
OK. You mean TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIVE AND TEN?

The setting means I'd give that a try. Woolworth's, 1960. Christmas. Touches a chord, that does, a long lost and deep one, that I've got only a whisper of the ghost of now. And further up and further in, memory. of the recent days past (just passed, by days). For many reasons, part of what I've lost. Woolworth's, Kress, Silver's and McCrory's. And all the things in the attic, which used to descend to the living room, to mark a season. Farewell to all that.

Hmm. I'll probably be disappointed. Wonder if the McCrory's will sell goldfish. Or parakeets. Or little green army men.

Crosstalk. 5&10 is a novella, and a pleasant one.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:17 pm 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Be sure to read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws a lot from this work and is a delightful read in its own right. Don’t let the SF label scare you off.

It's great! :cloud9:

It has a cat and an iceberg scene (sort of)! What more could one want?

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:52 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
GKC wrote:
OK. You mean TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIVE AND TEN?

The setting means I'd give that a try. Woolworth's, 1960. Christmas. Touches a chord, that does, a long lost and deep one, that I've got only a whisper of the ghost of now. And further up and further in, memory. of the recent days past (just passed, by days). For many reasons, part of what I've lost. Woolworth's, Kress, Silver's and McCrory's. And all the things in the attic, which used to descend to the living room, to mark a season. Farewell to all that.

Hmm. I'll probably be disappointed. Wonder if the McCrory's will sell goldfish. Or parakeets. Or little green army men.


Crosstalk. 5&10 is a novella, and a pleasant one.



Well, OK, then.

I think Kress was more pleasant than Woolworth. Silver's was a little more aged, but had the last grocery section on Main Street. McCrory's had the latest update and facelift and also sold hamsters.

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:59 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Norwegianblue wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Be sure to read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws a lot from this work and is a delightful read in its own right. Don’t let the SF label scare you off.

It's great! :cloud9:

It has a cat and an iceberg scene (sort of)! What more could one want?


:cloud9: :cloud9: :cloud9:

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'The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion.... Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals.'
J.R.R. Tolkien

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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:16 pm 
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::): ::): ::):

This writing in this book:

Quote:
We put the kettle on to boil, up in the nose of the boat, and went down to the stern and pretended to take no notice of it, but set to work to get the other things out.

That is the only way to get a kettle to boil up the river. If it sees that you are waiting for it and are anxious, it will never even sing. You have to go away and begin your meal, as if you were not going to have any tea at all. You must not even look round at it. Then you will soon hear it sputtering away, mad to be made into tea.

It is a good plan, too, if you are in a great hurry, to talk very loudly to each other about how you don’t need any tea, and are not going to have any. You get near the kettle, so that it can overhear you, and then you shout out, “I don’t want any tea; do you, George?” to which George shouts back, “Oh, no, I don’t like tea; we’ll have lemonade instead—tea’s so indigestible.” Upon which the kettle boils over, and puts the stove out.

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For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: "3 Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J.K.Jerom
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2022 3:56 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin
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Again... this hilarious contrast between a beautiful description on the nature surrounding them and then something to bring the story 'back to earth':


Quote:
As we drew nearer, we could see that the three men fishing seemed old and solemn-looking men. They sat on three chairs in the punt, and watched intently their lines. And the red sunset threw a mystic light upon the waters, and tinged with fire the towering woods, and made a golden glory of the piled-up clouds. It was an hour of deep enchantment, of ecstatic hope and longing. The little sail stood out against the purple sky, the gloaming lay around us, wrapping the world in rainbow shadows; and, behind us, crept the night.

We seemed like knights of some old legend, sailing across some mystic lake into the unknown realm of twilight, unto the great land of the sunset.

We did not go into the realm of twilight; we went slap into that punt, where those three old men were fishing. We did not know what had happened at first, because the sail shut out the view, but from the nature of the language that rose up upon the evening air, we gathered that we had come into the neighbourhood of human beings, and that they were vexed and discontented.

Harris let the sail down, and then we saw what had happened. We had knocked those three old gentlemen off their chairs into a general heap at the bottom of the boat, and they were now slowly and painfully sorting themselves out from each other, and picking fish off themselves; and as they worked, they cursed us—not with a common cursory curse, but with long, carefully-thought-out, comprehensive curses, that embraced the whole of our career, and went away into the distant future, and included all our relations, and covered everything connected with us—good, substantial curses.

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For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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