Saturday, July 27, 2013

Graffiti Castles

   Here are some photo's I took while wondering around the U-district. There is a building in the U-district which is designated for legal graffiti. It is a beautiful building and I have been wanting to take pictures of it forever!

   I recently listened to a good audio book called "The Keep" by Jennifer Egan. It is hot outside and the world is cheery with that happy summer-glow, so I should be in the mood for a sunny-themed book, but I'm not! When I decided to listen to 'The Keep' I was in search for a good old-fashioned Victorian Gothic full of suggestions of ghosts, ambiguous sanity, and dreary English women in black frocks. Usually it is not until Fall that I get a craving for a good Victorian Gothic. While searching for a book to fulfill my craving, I found 'The Keep.' It does not quite fit all the prerequisites I had in mind, but 'The Keep' was a wonderful read (or listen, in my case.). The themes in this book are ones common to many Gothic novels such as imprisonment, haunted pasts, and the fine line between sanity and insanity. Half of the novel takes place in a castle and there's even a mad women! But 'The Keep' setting is in modern days and definitely has a modern feel to it.
   The story is about Danny who is invited to stay at a European castle that his cousin has just bought and is converting into a strange hotel. Danny has a complicated relationship with his cousin due to an act of childhood cruelty that he perpetrated against his cousin. The incident scarred them both in different ways. The castle is an eerie place that seems to stir the pot of Danny's insecurities, causing him to question the motives of the people he shares the castle with. Danny's own sanity seems fragile which causes the reader and Danny try to figure out what is real and what is not.
   There are twists in this book too, but not the traditional (expected?) plot twists, like 'His sister is really his mom!' or 'it was the butler in the scullery with the noose!" I don't want to give anything away, but the twists work to shift our perception of the story rather then to shock us.
   I first heard about the author, Jennifer Egan when I was listening to the radio and one of her stories was read. It was about a family that goes on a safari (and the story is appropriately entitled 'The Safari".) It is a beautiful story! Shortly after I heard this story I began to hear a lot of hype about Egan's book "A Visit from the Goon Squad." So I checked it out with the good intention of reading it, but I never got around to it and I had to give it back to the library because a lot of other people had holds on it. I think that sometimes when a book has tons of hype, I feel less inclined to read it. Not in a hipster, 'not-wanting-to-like-something-because-it-is-popular' way. But when a book his highly lauded and critically praised I feel a lot of pressure to like the book and to get something deep and meaningful out of reading the book. Sometimes I just want to delve into a book and not worry about enrichment. If enrichment happens to come with the joy of reading the book, then all the better!  But now that I have read this book, I am more inclined to go back and read or at least listen to 'A Visit from the Goon Squad.' Although, I am still on my Gothic kick and right now I am listening to 'My Cousin Rachel' by Daphne Du Maurier. It is really good so far! Is cousin Rachel a kind, good-hearted woman or a greedy schemer? I just don't know! 


Marieken Hoefnagel said...

Daphne du Maurier is on my to-read-list. And I love your graffiti pictures. So much to see. Especially that face is amazing.

Amber @ Fauna Finds Flora said...

I've listened to three Daphne du Maurier books now and I've loved them all, especially 'Rebecca!'