Category Archives: Lorri’s Blog

Red Coat, Seals, Commorants

My love of photography is a passion I have had since I was a child. I am not a portrait photographer, but love to capture people during moments of quietude, that illuminate their passions.

red coat seals

I was looking out the window of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in Monterey CA, last November, and saw this woman photographing the scene in front of her. I just had to capture her photographing the black commorants and the seals on the rocks.

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Review: The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig

The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig is a combined study on human behavior and Austrian life. Each story examines behavior, with great detail within the boundaries of Austria’s social standards and mores.

The stories were not only period pieces, but social statements regarding ethics/morals, war and pacifism, and the living standards of the elite versus the poor. Most of the characters are depressed, stuck in a rote of life, and give off an aura of tragic lives lived. The stories are filled with melancholy and slices of drama. Drama played a major role in Austrian lives, and survival depended on roles played.

Pacifism is conveyed in the story entitled “Compulsion“. It involves an artist who receives orders to go to the Austrian consulate. His back and forth indecisiveness reflects those who do not believe in war, yet also feel they should do their duty to their country. Responsibility to his homeland is constantly questioned. Should he go, should he stay, should he go?

Religion factors into many of the stories, from Judaism to Catholicism. The individuals, family units and their beliefs are illuminated through Zweig’s writing. The treatment of Jewish individuals is written with insight and cognizance. Secular Jews were not necessarily considered part of the Austrian fold, depending on time frame and location.

The details within the stories are masterful and filled with perfection. The reader is exposed to the psychology of living in Europe during tragic and uncertain times. This psychology includes the poverty stricken individual’s struggle to survive in a world that looks upon them as less than desirable. Their very psyche is affected, in every aspect.

The bourgeois also strive to fit in. They feel somewhat above those who live in dire straights, but feel less confident than the well off elitists. They are the in between people. The elitists don’t necessarily fare better within their financial circumstances, as odd as that might sound.

Each story is a page-turner in its own right. Some of the characters have life-altering events, along with physical limitations, mindsets and philosophies, ideals, fears and struggles. The stories are not connected. Yet they share a time and place of prewar and war, and the situations that result due to war’s impact on citizens and their lives.

The stories cover the years from 1900 through 1935, with two additional stories having been unpublished until 1951 and 1987, respectively. This reader could see the author’s disintegration from society through the written prose. Zweig’s life was filled with disillusion, antiwar sentiment and a depressive state. So much is apparent in his writing, regarding his mindset, controlled by his dreary outlook on life. His work conveys much of his own thoughts, opinions and emotions, vividly. At least this reader thought so.

The film, The Grand Budapest Hotel is based on some of Zweig’s stories and novels. I can definitely see illuminations of that throughout this book. I have read two of his novels, but had not read this particular collection of works. The Post Office Girl is one of the novels, and the film is also based, in part, on this novel, according to the director, Wes Anderson (I saw it clearly).

Stefan Zweig is brilliant with his visuals, minute details, and in conveying emotional content. He was a masterful story teller, transporting this reader to Austrian life during the first three decades of the 20th century. The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig is a valuable collection of works within one book. The historical value is priceless, and I found the book to be a masterpiece.

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Sense of Calm

seascape1

I am finding that I need a sense of calm in my life, lately. Issues have been clouding my tranquility, so I have taken to posting some photographs that bring some serenity, while looking at them.

seascape2

It’s an unstable world out there, in many aspects. The rantings, ravings, and violence from just about every corner of the world are filled with hatred, prejudice, fear, destruction, horrific scenes, and human inequality and degradation. It isn’t isolated to one country, but basically a worldwide disorder. Chaos, tragedy and sadness fill the planet.

view2

I must remember to meditate this afternoon…breathe…inhale…exhale…listen to the silence… It helps, a little, in the daily scheme of things.

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Sunday Scenes: July 13, 2014

I like to fish. Fishing is always a way of relaxing.
-Tom Felton

fishing1

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
-Henry David Thoreau

fishing2

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
-John Buchan

The photographs above were taken by me last week. I have no idea who the man is, but liked the perspectives of him fishing.

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Morning Mist, Books

PCH

The photo above was captured while driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Carmel, CA. The morning mist surrounded the trees.

I have finished reading:

Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya
The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman
Love and Treasure, by Ayelet Waldman

I have a couple of e-books checked out from the local library written by Stefan Zweig to read. I need to download a few more in preparation for my four-day trip up north to visit my brother at the end of the month.

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Lake and Foam

lake foam copy

Many drops make a bucket, many buckets make a pond, many ponds make a lake, and many lakes make an ocean.
-Percy Ross

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