[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 38, Issue 5_Haag's Many Alexandrias_ "painted in smoke and lightning flashes"_Vintage Alexandria

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Thu May 6 11:07:09 PDT 2010

Charles, thank you for your expansive response and Hardy's poem. I have seen 
some of the poems of Cavafy.

Bruce, thank you for the information on Anna Bajocchi.
I have been thinking about a suitable publication on Tagore with which you 
could begin. At the moment I am still groping for one which covers what I 
have broadly described as "the mixed world of high Bengali culture and 
British colonialism in Kolkata during the early twentieth century in India."
Tagore's novel "Ghare Baire" ("The Home and the World", Macmillan, Penguin) 
deals with social situations of his time. But for Tagore's poems, I suggest 
the translations by William Radice which were available in a publication by 
Penguin. You could also visit his website http://www.williamradice.com/. A 
scholar of English, Radice spent time in India and learned Bengali and 
dedicated himself to translating the poems of Tagore. Ketaki Kushari Dyson 
is another accomplshed translator of 
You could also see 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0140449884/?tag=amazonsite-20#reader_0140449884 and 


> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 05 May 2010 10:10:37 -0400
> From: Charles Sligh <Charles-Sligh at utc.edu>
> Subject: [ilds] "painted in smoke and lightning flashes"
> To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Message-ID: <4BE17C5D.2080708 at utc.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

> Balcony portraits such as these are eloquent, little essays in
> perspective, suggesting far more than they show.
> Bruce senses something Keatsian there in the photo, as do I. The
> photograph is a frozen moment from a lost world and a lost time. What
> happened then, just then, in the mind of the photographer and the subject?
> A certain sort of poems--the poems of Hardy or Cavafy come to mind--and
> certain novels of Lawrence Durrell, carry the same promptings. /Ubi sunt/?
>>         The Photograph (Hardy)
>>         The Afternoon Sun (Cavafy)
>>        > With old pictures and poems of lost people and lost places in 
>> mind, I
> think here, quite opportunely, of the second movement of /Balthazar/,
> with Darley's /ekphrases/ upon Keats' "faded flashlight" photographs.
> Or, later within the same novel, Darley's speculations upon the
> photographs enlarged for the investigation:
>>     Blown up to such enormous size the pictures suggested a new
>>     art-form, more macabre than anything a Goya could imagine. This
>>     was a new iconography--painted in smoke and lightning flashes.
> Keats the poet gave our tradition its most singular adverb, "still."
> That single, crucial word can evoke a spatial quality, as does the photo
> of Anna. At the same time, with greatest effect, "still" prompts us to
> meditate upon the remembrance of things past, and the tenuous,
> perishable film-like tissue of those memories. "/They must still be
> around somewhere, those old things/."
> An experiment: if you have access to an electronic text of /Justine/ or
> /Balthazar/, run a search for Durrell's "still" moments. The results
> will surprise.
> Better, if you have Durrell's books "still knocking about" the house,
> try jotting down all of the instances. You will perhaps need more than
> one piece of paper.
> C&c.
>>   >
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 07:45:18 -0700
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [ilds] Vintage Alexandria
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> Message-ID: <047678E1-4971-4E3E-AFEC-2C65F39F1214 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Sumantra,
> Perhaps you can recommend a book by or on Rabindranath Tagore, one that 
> describes "the mixed world of high Bengali culture and British colonialism 
> in Kolkata during the early twentieth century in India."  I regret to say 
> I have not read Tagore and know very little about his poetry and culture.
> Rose de Menace and Anna Bajocchi belonged to Alexandria's high Jewish 
> culture.  Eve Cohen did not; her family was middle class.  In the 1950s, 
> after Egypt changed its policy towards its Jewish citizens or residents, 
> they all left Alexandria and moved to London.  Rose died in the 1970s. 
> Eve died a few years ago.  Anna married a Greek and still lives in London, 
> I believe.  Michael Haag knows her.
> Bruce

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