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10th April 2014

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Box, directed by Takashi Miike, in Three Extremes (2004)

Box, directed by Takashi Miike, in Three Extremes (2004)

Tagged: filmmoviestreessnowlandscapeAsian cinemaTakashi Miike

24th February 2014

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The flutter of leaves

There was an overall smell but you could separate them out the way a prism separated light. There was a smell of bark, of green branches, of nettles, of dung, of fresh earth, and stinking earth, of fungi and the Elder flower that grew profusely and was one of the chief components for the home-made wine…

The flutter of the leaves brought on your trance. Hundreds of thousands of sycamore leaves all obeying the same wind, their wide green palms opening then tightening, letting in and keeping out the light changing the prospect from indoor to outdoor to indoor, forever altering. It was the most lonesome hour just before dusk with all the colours going, all the streamers, the pinks and reds, and violets and indigoes and blues, the lovely laneways of vanquishing light.

Edna O’Brien, A Pagan Place (1970). One of the best novels about childhood (and memory, and Ireland) that I’ve ever read.

Tagged: booksreadingIrelandIrish literatureliteratureEdna O'Briennaturetreessmelllight

25th October 2013

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When I was a girl

I remember when I was a girl and a young man fell in love with me, and he came and sang in the rain under an apple-tree outside my windows, and he caught tuberculosis and died.

—Nora Barnacle, quoted in Brenda Maddox’s biography Nora.

Tagged: bookstreeslovedeathsingingNora BarnacleBrenda Maddox

19th October 2013

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Egon Schiele, Autumn Tree (1912, oil on canvas, 80cm x 80cm)

Egon Schiele, Autumn Tree (1912, oil on canvas, 80cm x 80cm)

Tagged: arttreesautumnpaintingart historyEgon SchielenatureExpressionism

5th November 2012

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A History of Violence (2005), directed by David Cronenberg

A History of Violence (2005), directed by David Cronenberg

Tagged: filmsmoviesDavid CronenbergViggo Mortensenrunningtreesroad

25th June 2012

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Claude Monet and the budding tree

When Monet visited the Massif Central region of France, its bleakness and savagery instantly impressed him. He decided to paint the region around the River Creuse and try to capture that barren and dramatic landscape. When he started it was winter. To his horror, while he was still working on the details of a tree, spring arrived, causing the tree to bud. Unable to cope with his subject changing into a green and leafy tree, Monet paid the owner to strip the buds off. This demonstrates that Monet was perhaps not so receptive or reactive to nature as he would have liked his public to believe.

Vanessa Potts, Monet

Tagged: paintingartbooksFranceMonetVanessa Pottstreesnature

20th June 2012

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Childhood objects

How absurd our childish attachments are, how small and without significance. Why did that one, particular, willow tree arouse in me a sense of beauty almost too acute for pleasure, why did I want to throw myself on the grassy hill with an upwelling of joy that seemed overwhelming, oceanic, absolute? Because they were the first things, the incomparable things, the only things. It’s by adhering to the contours of a few childhood objects that the substance of our selves — the molten force we’re made of — molds and shapes itself. We are not yet divided.

Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation: Life in a New Language

Tagged: writingbooksEva Hoffmanchildhoodtreesnaturememory

22nd March 2012

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Princess Mononoke (1997, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

Princess Mononoke (1997, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

Tagged: filmsmoviesanimationHayao MiyazakiJapanfantasynaturetreesforestkodama