Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sniffing the coffee beans:

If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily,
then in my torment I will shrivel up
like a piece of roast goat.

Mm, how sweet the coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have,
and if someone wishes to give me a treat,
ah, then pour me out some coffee!

(From JS Bach's Coffee Cantata)

Here is something I discovered only recently, while visiting the perfume counter at my local Yves Rocher. I noticed a jar of coffee beans standing there among the pretty bottles. I asked what they were for.

We all know that when we smell intense scents, our sense of smell can become saturated, fatigued, and we are no longer able to discern between fragrances. Apparently, sniffing the aroma of coffee beans clears our nasal passages, so we can actually smell a few scents in succession without one overwhelming the next one. It's like a reset button for the nose.

When I started this blog, I thought it would be a blog mostly about literature and poetry, occasionally interrupted by politics. I tried to maintain this regime for some time and then I just drifted away from it, under pressure of the events and the issues that came up and seemed more important to handle. I can't change it now, nor do I feel like I want to. But I do wish from time to time, to take a break from the intensity of discussing the wretchedness of this world and the wretchedness of some people in it.

I decided I'd take a coffee break every now and then, to smell the coffee beans, so to speak, by turning my thoughts to my most favourite of all subjects: literature, Jane Austen's books, the poetry of Lorca, and anything related in any way. This will hopefully act like the coffee beans act upon the beleaguered sense of smell, it will clear my mind and maybe help me keep a fresh perspective on things.

A cyberfriend has recently told me about a new series of television adaptations to Jane Austen's novels, about to start airing on PBS next month. Since I'm not patient when it comes to waiting for a favourite show and since I have collected most of the available adaptations of Austen's books, I decided to order the new DVD's from Amazon UK. They have been dispatched and I'm awaiting their arrival. I'll discuss each and every one of them as I watch them.

In the meantime, I'll post some of my thoughts about the older versions of Pride and Prejudice. In the following post.


At 10:37 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be some anti Americanism and/or perhaps snobbery, bigotry coming from the reviewers on


At 10:33 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Can you link to these reviews? I have developed a certain tolerance for British and Anglophile snobbery and often bigotry. They are just a rhetorical bravado, a noise.

At 12:11 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These were quite dreadful and very disappointing. I should have known ITV productions would not match up to anything produced by the BBC. I was fooled by Andres Davis' name!

As the reviewer before me stated, if this is indeed the caliber of programming that comes out of ITV, then no, it does not rival BBC...HOWEVER, I was actually relatively entertained by these programs (as well as the Persuasion movie that was part of this season that isn't included here). They weren't quite true to the novels, but overall, they were each worth watching all the way through. Perhaps it is because I'm a fan of cheesy romance films, but I give it 3 stars for being alright in my eyes.

At 12:47 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noga, when an American, exudes that pride and rhetorical bravado, it is often described as arrogance/exceptionalism whether it be accurate or not and is a linchpin of Anti Americanism worldwide.

Double standards.

At 5:52 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Truly, NWO, I can't see where your beef is with this comment. The viewer compares ITV productions with BBC productions, both British made.

Where do you see the snobbery and bigotry here?

The BBC's drama dept really does produce the best literary adaptations.

At 10:38 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops. I thought these shows were American productions.


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