Saturday, April 18, 2009

Under the Tuscan Sun IV: First Paragraph

I am about to buy a house in a foreign country. A house with the beautiful name of Bramasole. It is tall, square, and apricot-colored with faded green shutters, ancient tile roof, and an iron balcony on the second level, where ladies might have sat with their fans to watch some spectacle below. But below, overgrown briars, tangles of roses, and knee-high weeds run rampant. The balcony faces southeast, looking into a deep valley, into the Tuscan Apennines. When it rains or when the light changes, the facade of the house turns gold, sienna, ocher; a previous scarlet paint job seeps through in rosy spots lke a box of crayons left to melt in the sun. In places where the stucco has fallen away, rugged stone shows what the exterior once was. The house rises above a strada bianca, a road white with pebbles, on a terraced slab of hillside covered with fruit and olive trees. Bramasole: from bramare, to yearn for, and sole, sun: something that yearns for the sun, and yes, I do.

Under the Tuscan Sun III: First Sentence

I am about to buy a house in a foreign country.

Wuthering Heights: Why I Quit

The dialect. I quit reading because of the dialect. Bah. Humbug!

Under the Tuscan Sun II: The Choice of Place

For me, house, set in its landscape, always has been crypto-primo image land. Bachelard pushed me to realize that the houses we experience deeply take us back to the first house. In my mind, however, it's not just to the first house, but to the first concept of self. Southerners have a gene, as yet undiscovered in the DNA spirals, that causes them to believe that place is fate. Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.

Under the Tuscan Sun I

Whew! It has been a long, long time. I'm sorry. I've been reading...just not blogging about it. So sue me! Hah.

I have been reading Under the Tuscan Sun and loving it. Frances Mayes' descriptions...her vivid language, verbs, adjectives....her observtions of Italian life and consequently, American's been great.

It's nothing like the movie. I like the movie, but the movie is no Citizen Kane or Little Women. It's not a watch-again-and-again movie, if you get my drift. But the book! It's been good, good, good to read a book 'thats more setting than plot.