Weekly Photo Challenge: CULTURE

This challenge has made me think of a subject I shot a week ago. It is the old National and University Library of Croatia (most of us know it by this name) that was turned into Croatian State Archives some years ago. The library itself has been moved to one of those plain-looking steel and glass buildings in a newer part of the town, and I am not sure how well it is attended. I can say I was privileged to be a student in the late 1980’s when we had no computers, and sometimes had to roam the entire city in search of our text books. On one occasion I entered that old building and spent the entire afternoon there soaking in the atmosphere of old books and library lamps. The silence was overwhelming.

The building which used to host the national library dates back to 1913 and pertains to Secessionist architecture. The outer columns were decorated with owl figures, symbols of wisdom. You can see one of them zoomed in the photo below as well as its southern facade in the bottom picture.

Recently, I have found out that hubby’s great grandfather was in charge of putting the roof on the building when it was first built :).

This is my entry for Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture. Check out the other entries here.




SUNDAY POST: Collectibles

This photo should have turned out differently in my head, but something was against me today, and my obsessive nature told me to wait no longer and after all the effort (obsessing), and thought I had put into it I had to publish it. So, here it is – a photo of my most treasured collectibles – books, that have made me company my whole life. I am sure all of you book worms out there will understand the connection between a reader and their books.

And here follow some quotes about books… I am curious as to which one of the following reflects best your relationship with books:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

“Clearly one must read every good book at least once every ten years.” ― C.S. Lewis

“Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.” ― Alberto Manguel, A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader’s Reflections on a Year of Books

“Life is too short to read books that I’m not enjoying.” ― Melissa Marr

“Maybe reading was just a way to make her feel less alone, to keep her company. When you read something you are stopped, the moment is stayed, you can sometimes be there more fully than you can in your real life.” ― Helen Humphreys, Coventry

“I have always been passionate about travelling. Credits to the books for they were invented. If not, I might not be able to reach my dream.” ― Haidy Santos

“Each time we come to a book we give it a different reading because we bring a different person to it. It is not you who reads the book, the book reads you” ― Jack Lasenby, The Shaman And The Droll

I feel closest to Manguel’s and Lasenby’s sentiments. How about you?


And now a shot of a small part of my collection 😉

Timbuktu by Paul Auster (another book review)

Using omniscient third-person narrative voice but through a point of view of a dog Auster gives us an account of a personal tragedy of a dying vagabond schizophrenic poet Willy G. Christmas and his only friend and confidant Mr Bones, his old faithful.

The novella opens with Willy’s imminent death and a struggle to find his old schoolteacher to entrust her with his writing and to ask her to find Bones a new home.

None of his efforts, however, yields success; Willy passes on leaving Bones on his own.

In this both funny and heartbreaking story we see Bones wandering about streets, change homes, adopting new owners.

Auster’s honest and authentic doggy’s voice offers a sharp depiction of society, its cruelty and hypocrisy.

It is a masterfully written fable that reads like a social drama where dog is really the underdog, a happy family a utopia, and true friends a rare commodity.

Will Bones trade his freedom for a comfort of a home or join Willy in Timbuktu “Where the map of this world ends, that’s where the map of Timbuktu begins”?

I enclose a passage from the book that tickled my linguistic appetite:   “Mr. Bones understood. He always understood what Willy said to him. This had been the case for as long as he could remember, and by now his grasp of Ingloosh was as good as any other immigrant who had spent seven years on American soil. It was his second language, of course, and quite different from the one his mother had taught him, but even though his pronunciation left something to be desired, he had thoroughly mastered the ins and outs of its syntax and, grammar.”