What is best about Jane Austen is that her description can always be manifest in people around you. Lizzy’s mother in Pride and Prejudice fits my grandma so well: “she was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous.” And Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park is the exemplar of the dominating and snobbish middle-class women: “---trying to be in a bustle without having anything to bustle about, and laboring to be important where nothing was wanted but tranquillity and silence.”About the deep and eternal happiness, Austen also gives us some light. It’s solitary walk, reflection, and appreciation of the beautiful nature that tranquillize our minds! And no quote on marriage is more famous than this: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
- Jul 28 Wed 2010 14:16
- Jul 28 Wed 2010 08:30
The nature of reflection is sadness. For a happy memory, we lament over its transitory existence ; for a sad memory, we experience again its heart-piercing pain. So, what’s the use of reflection? We reflect, as Roland Barthes claims, in order to be unhappy instead of being enlightened. Reflection is like vomiting; we throw up what is inside us, and then we calmly resume eating. And this is life!
- Jul 26 Mon 2010 14:22
中古騎士文學的要素，就主角而言，有高貴的國王、英勇的騎士、及美麗的落難公主。就結構而言，圍繞著追尋(quest)這個主題。騎士為表達對國王的忠誠，從家鄉出發，展開冒險之旅，一路歷經種種磨難，最後總憑藉著過人的勇氣與智慧，打敗敵人完成任務。騎士所追尋的目標，都是神聖而純潔的，不外是宗教或淑女。宗教指的是為捍衛基督教的神聖性，必須擊敗異教徒，尋回聖杯之類的宗教聖物；淑女指的是遭惡勢力囚禁的公主或皇后，要將她拯救出來，所象徵的意涵是對聖母瑪麗亞的崇拜。騎士的完美典範，屬亞瑟王傳奇中的第一武士Sir Lancelot。Lancelot武藝超群，冒險進入敵國，救出被綁架的皇后Guinevere，自此展開一段永恆忠貞的愛情。 英勇與真愛，便成了騎士文學的必要條件。「史瑞克」所戲擬的對象，正是騎士拯救落難美人的愛情典範。以下茲就其戲擬的情節，逐一闡釋。
- Jul 23 Fri 2010 09:31
- Jul 22 Thu 2010 09:29
片中有兩場主戲表現原著的意識流風貌。第一是水池畔打破花瓶的那一幕；第二則是在家中陰暗的圖書室角落。Briony 從她的房間無意中窺見姊姊(Celia)在僕人的兒子(Robbie)面前，脫衣服跳下水池。這個不尋常的舉動引起了她的不安與揣測；Briony從Robbie抬起手臂指向水池，和Celia慍怒的表情研判，她姊姊受到Robbie的脅迫。鏡頭隨後跳離Briony的觀點，而以Celia 和Robbie的角度切入。兩人是青梅竹馬的至交，但上了三年劍橋大學後卻變得生疏。Celia對於Robbie因階級意識而刻意保持距離十分惱怒，因此兩人言行中處處掩藏真實的感情而衝突不斷。Celia脫衣服入水池為的是撿花瓶碎片，但同時也是向Robbie宣告: 她不需要他的幫忙，也無視於他的存在，離家再去念六年的醫學院她也不在乎。而此刻的Robbie，一方面為自己的魯莽感到抱歉，另一方面，當他伸手撫平波動的池面時，不禁遐想Celia的憤怒是否意味著愛戀? 鏡頭重複了兩次水池場景，為的就是讓觀眾深入不同主角們的內心世界。
- Jul 18 Sun 2010 15:40
Morrie, a spiritual mentor in this book, says wise words as a parting gift to his student. Those are valuable lessons from someone who has lived a meaningful life. They are worth memorizing and pondering over again and again!
"Aging isn’t just decay; it’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die. It’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
He also mentions the essence of happy love and marriage: “If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise. . . . If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you. . . . If you don’t have a common set of values. . . “
- Jul 17 Sat 2010 15:49
I came across a passage by Kant, an inaccessible philospher in my view. I used to keep his writings at a distance, for they are too difficult for a simple mind like me. But this passage is so surprisingly comprehensible: “There is many a person whom one esteems much too highly to be able to love him. He inspires admiration, but is too far above us to approach him with the familiarity of love.”How true it is when I reflect on the love affair in my old school days. The boy I fell in love then has become a scholar now. He was, is and will be so far above me that I dare not appraoch him with love. No wonder Kant remains single all his life, for fear of the pollution from love?
- Jun 27 Sun 2010 20:40
Roland Barthes has a piercing insight on the nature of lovers' embrace:
Embrance, according to him, is a "motionless cradling" in which we are enchanted and bewitched. In such a state, we enjoy the "voluptuous infantilism of sleepiness." This is return to the mother's womb. By embrace, we experience two subjects at once, one the maternity and the other, genitality. A shocking yet precise comparison of a lover as a child getting an erection!
- Jun 27 Sun 2010 20:21
Buddha is a great Master of Life. What he teaches lightens up the darkness of my life:
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment.
The instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
- Jun 23 Wed 2010 16:06
I like this story. It illustrates how we should manage our time and what we should regard as our priority in life. If we ponder over this question, we will live a more meaningful life.
THE BIG ROCKS AND THE JAR
A science teacher wanted to demonstrate a concept to her students. She takes a large-mouth jar and places several large rocks in it. She then asks the class, "Is it full?" Unanimously, the class reply, "Yes!"
The teacher then takes a bucket of gravel and pours it into the jar. The small rocks settle into the spaces between the big rocks. She then asks the class, "Is it full?" This time there are some students holding back, but most reply, "Yes!"
The teacher then produces a large can of sand and fills up the spaces between the gravel. For the third time the teacher asks, "Is it full?" Now most of the students are wary of answering, but again, many reply, "Yes!"
Then the teacher brings out a pitcher of water and pours it into the jar. The water saturates the sand. At this point the teacher asks the class, "What is the point of this demonstration?"
One bright young student raises his hand and then responds, "No matter how full one's schedule is in life, he can always squeeze in more things!" "No," replies the teacher, "The point is that unless you first place the big rocks into the jar, you are never going to get everything in. The big rocks are the important things in your life--your family, your friends, your personal growth. If you fill your life with small things--as demonstrated by the gravel, the sand, and the water--you will never have the time for the important things.
So, what are the "Big Rocks" in your life? Spending time with your parents, your children, your spouse, your friends? Taking the seminar or class to get the information and perspective you need to succeed? Making the time to set goals, plan or evaluate your progress? When you are hassled because there is no time, remember the story about the Big Rocks and the Jar!
Here is a summary practice for this article:
The Big Rocks and the Jar is a story about time management that uses a glass jar, , pebbles, sand, and to illustrate how to prioritize your day. The represents time, and each item that goes into it represents an activity with a relative to its size. The general idea is to fill your glass jar first with . These represent the things in your life, such as family and friends. Next, fill in the space between the rocks with . These are next on your of priority and get done only after your number one priority 'rocks' have been . Each new item added to the jar is of lesser than the one added before.