Medea by Euripides

Medea is another ancient Greek play by Euripides, and yet, it is completely different from the other play I read last year. I read the Rex Warner translation in The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (seventh edition). As I haven’t read any other translations, all I can say is that this one was refreshingly easy to read. I loved it!

Part of what I loved was the character of Medea. She was a wronged woman, but ultimately a strong one. Medea had left her home to come to a foreign land, and now she was being cast aside.  Her husband Jason had not only cheated on her but had cast her away and married another, younger woman.

Medea’s reaction to the situation and her subsequent actions are extreme. Like Lady Macbeth, she casts aside her instincts of kindness and, particularly, her motherly love. She murders her own children. But unlike when I read about Lady Macbeth, I felt Medea was in the right. She is acting out of revenge, while Lady Macbeth had acted out of selfish desire for power. I was cheering for Medea as I read her story.Continue Reading

Christmas Countdown: Music Collections I Love

Chris at Book-a-Rama and Jason at Moored at Sea encouraged me on Twitter to try something different, so here we go.

Although I had energy last night to write my next review post, since yesterday’s obscure classic didn’t garner any comments, I figured I need something other than Euripides to garner a comment today. I keep saying I blog for myself and not for comments, but I’m starting to feel like my blog is dying a slow death, so I’d better write something fun today, for my sake, not just for yours.

You have to know that I love Christmas music. I don’t listen to music most of the time (I listen to books when I drive) but when I do feel like music, it tends to be (1) some kind of classical music, as in the opera I focused on in October/November or (2) Christmas music.

I am not one of those people who insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving or anything: I’ve been known to pull out the Christmas music in July or September if I feel like it! I love Christmas music because each musical artist captures a favorite song in a different way. And it makes me happy.

The order below is arbitrary, since I love each CD for different reasons and I’m horrible at picking “favorites.” I also couldn’t limit myself to ten as I’d intended. I’m a cheater, I admit.Continue Reading

Carmen by Prosper Merimee

I had previously seen the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, so I thought I’d revisit it on CD during my opera phase in November. When I listened to the commentary CD for it (produced by the Chicago Lyric Opera), I discovered that the story was originally a novella by Prosper Merimee, so I downloaded the novella and read it as well.

Because Merimee’s novella seemed short and superficial, I can’t say it was a wonderful read. That said, I could recall the music as I read and imagine Carmen dancing to it, so I did enjoy reading the story in the end.Continue Reading

November in Review + Reading Journal (2 Dec)

I feel I’m finally getting a balance back between reading and blogging. It felt very good to be unplugged for nearly five days, and I think I may have to do that more often. I’m also trying to shy away from challenges in the coming year. There are so many that have tempted me, but I think I’d rather have freedom to read whatever I want to once I close a book and want to pick up the next. I have enough structure as it is, with the Classics Circuit and book groups and so forth.
Continue Reading