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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.


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February 01, 2013


I was in Istanbul in October. It's a deceptive place- much of it is quite ordinary not particularly exotic at all on the surface but the longer I stayed, the more unfamiliar it became. I've travelled a lot in my lifetime but Istanbul remains inscrutable. I expected it to be a bit like Italy but it's not at all.In fact, it's not like anywhere else I know.

I like your blog- free flowing and wonderfully eclectic. I'll be back/

Thanks so much, Ned! Do come back, I'm very glad to hear you were here, and to read your impressions of this city that's always seemed enigmatic to me at a distance. I'm actually glad to know it doesn't lose that quality.

Ross Thomas, frequently confused with Ross McDonald, and therefore almost unknown even in America where he was born and worked. Now dead these last two decades and thus ashes blowing in the wind.

I come on to Cassandra Pages and drop studied hints about Joyce, Proust and Musil but at home, in the secrecy of my own bath-tub, I am a fraud. Yet again I've just finished re-reading RT's almost-complete oeuvre (about twelve books) as I rest from more taxing authors. A quote, probably from the NYT, on the front of one says it all: "Ross Thomas never writes the same book twice." and I am seized by the fact that there are four other titles I do not own though I may have read. A trawl through ABE reveals all four at second-hand book shops in Tennessee, Idaho, etc, which means a long wait and extortionate p/p costs but I don't care. I need comfort in my bath-tub. The titles provide a clue: Twilight At Mac's Place, The Fools In This Town Are On Our Side, Out On The Rim.

What are they about? The grubby side of US politics, scams in the Phillipines, delicate corruption in small towns.

But if I cannot tempt you (and I shouldn't really try since I suppose RT qualifies as a guilty admission in some respects) let me recommend Alfred Brendel's two books of essays now combined into Alfred Brendel on Music: Collected Essays. Proof if any were needed that serious classical pianists of his stature are not over-paid for what they do. That three pages may be devoted to one caesura in one LvB sonata and that testing his theories about its authenticity at the keyboard can take months if not a professional lifetime. Thorough? I guess you could say so. But witty with it.

Dear Roderick, on the contrary, I can be tempted! I don't know anything about Ross Thomas but will investigate, on your recommendation. The Brendel books are on my list, a ways down, but definitely in the plan-to-read category, since I do play the piano and admire him greatly. In-between services today (Wm Byrd, Mass for Five Voices in the a.m., a "big sing" Victorian Magnificat and Nunc by Lang in the afternoon, sandwiched between two modern settings of the Prayer of the Venerable Bede, all this for Candlemas, during which processional I managed not to set my hair on fire) I went to the Bibliotheque nationale and took out the following three books, which will probably amuse you: John Banville, "The Sea," Thomas Mann, "The Beloved Returns," and "Midnight in Paris," by Alan Furst. My current audiobook is "The Life of Pi," and in progress on the nightstand are Robert Graves, "The White Goddess,"(that one will take a while) and Ryszard Kapuściński's "Imperium. You can guess which ones will make it into the bathtub.

Good review Beth! Also liked your poplars! A note re Istanbul—the city is anything but ordinary or inscrutable. The delicious, perfumed air from the sea, and the warm, open, unspoiled Turks make this city a truly exotic delight!

hi i guess i can help to you.i live in istanbul but i've been Antalya so many times.firstly you can visit both of the ceitis in 8-9 days.and if you book the tickets earlier, it'll be very cheap.i think it's the best choice travelling both of them.cause both of them have unique places to visit. in Istanbul you can see lots of historical places, museums and especially you can see the gorgeous bosphorus.and there are so many beautiful cafes and restaurant near the sea.but there is one thing that you should know is you should be careful while you visit the historical places because the location is not so safe and there are so many tourist right there and they can try to rob.actually like everywhere.but you can be relax when you're at the's really safe. well in Antalya, you have see lots of excellent beaches and also you can see some different places like Dim River,the intersting one Dim Cave, waterfalls(Dfcden,Manavgat,Kurşunlu) and you're right Antalya's really really touristy.and there is a website you can search to where to visit and get more information. i hope i could help you.if you have more questions, you can ask me.

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