Had my second final of the semester today – ‘Fundamental Steps in Western Literature’, basically we have spent the year reading A LOT of classics, discussing and analyzing them. Among the texts we read: The Odyssey, The Iliad, parts of the Bible, parts of the New Testament, parts of the Qur’an, The epic of Gilgamesh, The Peloponese Wars, Plato and Aristotle, The Divine Comedy, Decameron, The Prince, The Canterbury Tale, Don Quixote and King Lear – and this list is still missing a few titles! Did I mention that was some crazy schedule? It was. Utterly crazy. But I enjoyed every minute of it. I think taking a course like this in University is a chance of a lifetime to read these ancient classics, which otherwise I would probably never have gotten around to, despite the best of intentions.
I spent the couple of hours prior to the test sitting in the cafeteria, sipping coffee and doing one last, slightly frantic revision. The cafeteria is on the ground floor, and has large windows looking out, onto a small garden. The sunlight was streaming in, and a tabby cat sprawled himself on the grass right outside the window. Don’t you find cat-watching to be such a stress relieving activity? It certainly made me smile.
As I studied I listened to my new favourite thing – instrumental mixes on 8track, these consist both of classical music, and contemporary music from movie soundtracks – Harry Potter has a fantastic score, and apparently so do a lot of other movies! The score in movies was never something that I paid much attention to, but now I am falling in love with these mixes. They give me a magical feeling, as though for a few hours I am transported with them to a magical world; I sit and study and imagine that I am in the library at Hogwarts. Well, I always was such a Hermione.
Here are a couple of my favourites:
1) http://8tracks.com/theelephantschild/make-believe – short and sweet
2) http://8tracks.com/thegirlnamedjedrzejko/ultimate-study-playlist-i – very long, six hours, I think? perfect for a long, serious study session!
3) http://8tracks.com/mhaigheo/hogwarts-library – this is the first of a three-part series called Hogwarts Library, just the name makes me happy 🙂 it is ultra short but I like hearing it on repeat
I finished the book I was currently reading on the train back home, ‘The Art of Hearing Heartbeats’, by Jan-Philipp Sendker. It was a wistful love story, light and sad at the same time. A very quick read, perfect for reading after a strenuous test. It dealt with that old idea of true love, absolute love, transcending time and distance. The only power stronger than fear.
The next book I have picked out to read is the aforementioned Gogol, or more precisely – Petersburg Tales, a collection of short stories including such classics as The Nose, Diary of Madman and so on. I have never read Gogol before, but he is considered to be a genius, so I am excited to see how I will like it!
It is past midnight and everyone is sleeping, the AC is turned on, transforming my room into an icy cold haven (it is dreadfully hot and humid in Israel this time of year), curled in the thick blanket, my furry white cat sitting in my lap and purring, now is the perfect time to read and dream of Russia, and bid you adieus!
All my love, Leore-Joanne