“The Blake Edwards‏ Days”

“People don’t belong to people”. Holly Golightly

“Shame is an unhappy emotion invented by pietists in order to exploit the human race”. Blake Edwards

Blake Edwards (born William Blake Crump, July 26, 1922 – December 15, 2010) was an American film director, screenwriter and producer.

Edwards, the step-grandson of prolific silent-film director J. Gordon Edwards, married his first wife, actress Patricia Walker, in 1953. They had two children, and divorced in 1967. She appeared in the comedy All Ashore (1953), for which Edwards was one of the screenwriters.

“I have always felt alienated, estranged from my own father, Jack McEdwards”.  Blake Edwards

After attending grammar and high school in Los Angeles, he began taking jobs as an actor: “I worked with the best directors – Ford, Wyler, Preminger – and learned a lot from them. But I wasn’t a very cooperative actor. I was a spunky, smart-assed kid. Maybe even then I was indicating that I wanted to give, not take, direction”. Blake Edwards

He soon turned to writing screenplays and radio scripts before turning to producing and directing in film and television.

In the 1954–1955 television season, Edwards joined with Richard Quine to create Mickey Rooney’s first television series, The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan, a sitcom about a young studio page trying to become a serious actor. Edwards’s hard-boiled private detective scripts for Richard Diamond, Private Detective became NBC’s answer to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, reflecting Edwards’s unique humor.

Edwards also created, wrote and directed the 1959 TV series Peter Gunn, which starred Craig Stevens, with music by Henry Mancini. In the same year Edwards produced, with Mancini’s musical theme, Mr. Lucky, an adventure series on CBS starring John Vivyan and Ross Martin. Mancini’s association with Edwards continued in his film work, significantly contributing to their success.

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His best-known films include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Days of Wine and Roses, and the hugely successful Pink Panther film series with British comedian Peter Sellers. Often thought of as primarily a director of comedies, he also directed dramas and detective films. Late in his career, he transitioned to writing, producing, and directing for theater.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on the novel by Truman Capote, is credited with establishing him as a “cult figure” with many critics.

“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing”, and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself”. Paul “Fred” Varjak to Holly Golightly

Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

“This, in its own terrifying way, is a love story”. Tagline

Days of Wine And Roses, a dark psychological film about the effects of alcoholism on a previously happy marriage, starred Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.

“Thanks for the compliment, but I know how I look. This is the way I look when I’m sober. It’s enough to make a person drink, wouldn’t you say? You see, the world looks so dirty to me when I’m not drinking. Joe, remember Fisherman’s Wharf? The water when you looked too close? That’s the way the world looks to me when I’m not drinking”. Kirsten Arnesen Clay

“Perhaps the most unsparing tract against drink that Hollywood has yet produced, more pessimistic than Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend”.

“Being thrown out of this place is significantly better than being thrown out of a leper colony”. Blake Edwards

The Pink Panther

“You may rest assured that there’s trouble, because Inspector Clouseau is on the case…That’s the trouble!. Tagline

Edwards is best known for directing most of the comedy film series The Pink Panther, all of those starring Peter Sellers as the inept Inspector Clouseau. It was considered a fruitful, yet complicated, relationship between the director and the lead actor, with many disagreements during production. At various times in their film relationship, “he more than once swore off Sellers” as too hard to direct. However, in his later years, he admitted that working with Sellers was often irresistible:

“We clicked on comedy, and we were lucky we found each other, because we both had so much respect for it. We also had an ability to come up with funny things and great situations that had to be explored. But in that exploration there would oftentimes be disagreement. But I couldn’t resist those moments when we jelled. And if you ask me who contributed most to those things, it couldn’t have happened unless both of us were involved, even though it wasn’t always happy.” Blake Edwards

Edwards’ second marriage from 1969 until his death was to Julie Andrews. Andrews had a daughter from her previous marriage, and the couple adopted two orphans from Vietnam in the early 1970s, Amelia Leigh and Joanna Lynne. Andrews appeared in a number of his films, including Darling Lili, 10, Victor Victoria and the autobiographical satire S.O.B., in which Andrews played a character who was a caricature of herself. In 1995, he wrote the book for the stage musical adaptation of Victor/Victoria, also starring Andrews.

“It has been difficult for many critics to accept Blake Edwards as anything more than a popular entertainer. Edwards’ detractors acknowledge his formal skill but deplore the absence of profundity in his movies. Edwards’ movies are slick and glossy, but their shiny surfaces reflect all too accurately the disposable values of contemporary life”. George Morris

 “For someone who wants to practice his art in this business, all you can hope to do, as S.O.B. says, is stick to your guns, make the compromises you must, and hope that somewhere along the way you acquire a few good friends who understand. And keep half a conscience.” Blake Edwards

“It’s been my experience that every time I think I know where it’s at, it’s usually somewhere else”. Blake Edwards

“Women & Mastroianni”‏

“Woman is the sun, an extraordinary creature, one that makes the imagination gallop”. Marcello Mastroianni

Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni, (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo mastroˈjanni]; 28 September 1924 – 19 December 1996) was an Italian film actor. His prominent films include La Dolce Vita; 8½; La Notte; Divorce, Italian Style; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian-Style; A Special Day; City of Women; Henry IV; Dark Eyes; and Stanno tutti bene. His honours included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival and two Golden Globe Awards.

“Theater actors like to change character roles. They don’t like to always do the same thing”.  Marcello Mastroianni

Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri, a small village in the Apennines in the province of Frosinone, Lazio, and grew up in Turin and Rome. He was the son of Ida (née Irolle) and Ottone Mastroianni, who ran a carpentry shop,and the nephew of the Italian sculptor Umberto Mastroianni (1910–1998).

“When I was young, life seemed long and endless to me”. As quoted in “Latin Lover”? No? How About Lover Of Life?” in The New York Times (13 August 1999), p. 116

During World War II, after the division into Axis and Allied Italy, he was interned in a loosely guarded German prison camp, from which he escaped to hide in Venice.

Mastroianni made his onscreen debut as an uncredited extra in Marionette (1939) when he was fourteen, and his first big role was in Atto d’accusa (1951). Within a decade he became a major international celebrity, starring in Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958); and in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vitta

“Each year we look for a big name that is attractive to the public and pleasant for the girls”. Marcello Mastroianni

His other prominent films include La Notte (1961) with Jeanne Moreau; Pietro Germi’s Divorce, Italian Style (1961); Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian-Style (1964), A Special Day (1977) and Robert Altman’s Ready to Wear (1994), all co-starring Sophia Loren; Mario Monicelli’s Casanova 70 (1965)

 Stay As You Are (1978) with Nastassja Kinski; Fellini’s City of Women (1980) and Ginger and Fred (1986); Marco Bellocchio’s Henry IV (1984); Nikita Mikhalkov’s Dark Eyes (1987); Giuseppe Tornatore’s Everybody’s Fine (1990); Used People (1992) with Shirley MacLaine; and Agnès Varda’s One Hundred and One Nights (1995).

“To be a Latin Lover a man, above all, has to be a great fucker — he has to be infallible and I’m not that. I often foul it up”. ( In 1977, to Dick Cavett while accompanied by Sophia Loren; quoted by French Film Stars Database, which sources it to his obituary in The Guardian)

Mastroianni married actress Flora Carabella (1926–1999) in 1950. They had one child together, Barbara (born 1952), and eventually separated because of his affairs with other women. Mastroianni’s first serious relationship after the separation was with Faye Dunaway, his co-star in A Place for Lovers (1968). Dunaway wanted to marry and have children, but Mastroianni, a Catholic, refused to divorce Carabella. In 1971, after three years of waiting for Mastroianni to change his mind, Dunaway left him.

Mastroianni had a daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, with actress Catherine Deneuve, his partner for four years in the 1970s. During that time, the couple made four movies together: It Only Happens to Others (1971), La cagna (1972), A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973) and Don’t Touch the White Woman! (1974).

“Woman is also an element of conflict”. Marcello Mastroianni

“With whom do you argue? With a woman, of course. Not with a friend, because he accepted all your defects the moment he found you. Besides, woman is mother-have we forgotten? ” Marcello Mastroianni

According to People magazine, Mastroianni’s other lovers included actresses Lauren Hutton, Ursula Andress, Anouk Aimee and Claudia Cardinale.

Around 1976, he became involved with Anna Maria Tatò, an author and filmmaker, although they did not form an exclusive relationship until the early 1980s. They remained together until his death.

“Jules Renard & the Mistery of Life”‏

“We spend our lives talking about this mystery. Our life”. Jules Renard

“Don’t tell a woman she’s pretty; tell her there’s no other woman like her, and all roads will open to you”. Jules Renard

Pierre-Jules Renard or Jules Renard (February 22, 1864 – May 22, 1910) was a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt, most famous for the works Poil de carotte (Carrot Top) (1894) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Nature Stories) (1896). Among his other works are Le Plaisir de rompre (The Pleasure of Breaking) (1898) and Huit jours à la campagne (A Week in the Country) (1906).

“Words are the small change of thought”. Jules Renard

The child of François Renard and Anna-Rose Colin, Renard was born in Châlons-du-Maine, Mayenne where his father was working on the construction of a railroad. Renard grew up in Chitry-les-Mines, (Nièvre). He had three older siblings including Amélie (b. 1858), who died at a young age. A second sister was also named Amélie (b. 1859). A third child, Maurice, was born before Pierre-Jules in 1862.

Renard’s childhood was characterized as difficult and sad (“un grand silence roux” or “a great ruddy silence”).

Although he decided not to attend the prestigious École normale supérieure, love of literature would eventually dominate his life. From 1885–1886, he served in the military in Bourges.

Writing is the only way to talk without being interrupted”. Jules Renard

“Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money”. Jules Renard

On April 28, 1888, Renard married Marie Morneau. He and his wife lived at 43 rue du Rocher in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris.

“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties”. Jules Renard

“The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse”. Jules Renard

Jules Renard wrote poems, short stories, short plays, novels and his famous Poil de carotte.

“Look for the ridiculous in everything, and you will find it”. Jules Renard

Novels

Crime de village (1888)
Sourires pincés (1890)
L’écornifleur (1892)
La lanterne sourde (1893)
Coquecigrues (1893)
Deux fables sans morale (1893)
Le coureur de filles (1894)
Histoires naturelles (1894) (text)
Poil de carotte (1894) (text)
Le vigneron dans sa vigne (1894)
La maîtresse (1896)
Bucoliques (1898)
Les Philippe (1907)
Patrie (1907)
Mots d’écrit (1908)
Ragotte (1909)
Nos frères farouches (1909)
Causeries (1910)
L’œil clair (1913)
Les cloportes (1919)

“I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries”. Jules Renard

Plays

La demande (1895)
Le plaisir de rompre (1897)
Le pain de ménage (1898)
Poil de carotte (1900)
Monsieur Vernet (1903)
La Bigote (1909)
Huit jours à la campagne (1912)
Journal
Journal, 1887–1910 (1925)

“As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more”. Jules Renard

“I am never bored anywhere; being bored is an insult to oneself”. Jules Renard

“If I were to begin life again, I should want it as it was but I would only open my eyes a little more”. Jules Renard

“Carrey on”‏

“Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them”. Jim Carrey

“I really believe in the philosophy that you create your own universe. I’m just trying to create a good one for myself”. Jim Carrey

James Eugene “Jim” Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a Canadian Americanactor, comedian, and producer.

“My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh”. Jim Carrey

James Eugene Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, to Kathleen (née Oram), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey (1927–1994), a musician and accountant. He has three older siblings, John, Patricia, and Rita. He was raised Roman Catholic. His mother was of French, Irish, and Scottish descent and his father had French ancestry (the family’s original surname was Carré)

“My father was a musician who got a “regular job” to support his children. When he lost his job that’s when everything fell apart. We went from “lower middle class” to “poor”. We were living out of a van. I quit school at age 15 to begin working to help support my family as a janitor. I’d have a baseball bat on my janitor cart because I was so angry I just wanted to beat the heck out of something”. Jim Carrey

“I know this sounds strange, but as a kid, I was really shy. Painfully shy. The turning point was freshman year, when I was the biggest geek alive. No one, I mean no one, even talked to me”. Jim Carrey

“I praticed making faces in the mirror and it would drive my mother crazy. She used to scare me by saying that I was going to see the devil if I kept looking in the mirror. That fascinated me even more, of course”. Jim Carrey

“For some reason I did something where I realized I could get a reaction. That was when I broke out of my shell at school, because I really didn’t have any friends or anything like that and I just kind of was going along, and then finally I did this zany thing, and all of a sudden I had tons of friends”. Jim Carrey

While Carrey was struggling to obtain work and make a name for himself, his father tried to help the young comedian put together a stage act, driving him to Toronto to debut at comedy club Yuk Yuk’s. Carrey’s impersonations bombed and this gave him doubts about his capabilities as a professional entertainer. His family’s financial struggles made it difficult for them to support Carrey’s ambitions. Eventually, the family’s financial problems were resolved and they moved into a new home. With more domestic stability, Carrey returned to the stage with a more polished act. In a short period of time, he went from open-mic nights to regular paid shows, building his reputation in the process.

“Before I do anything, I think, well what hasn’t been seen. Sometimes, that turns out to be something ghastly and not fit for society. And sometimes that inspiration becomes something that’s really worthwhile”. Jim Carrey

A reviewer in the Toronto Star raved that Carrey was “a genuine star coming to life”. Carrey was soon noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who signed the young comic to open his tour performances. Dangerfield eventually brought Carrey to Las Vegas. Carrey soon decided to move to Hollywood, where he began performing at The Comedy Store and, in 1982, appeared on the televised stand-up show An Evening at the Improv. The following year, he debuted his act on The Tonight Show.

“Creative people don’t behave very well generally. If you’re looking for examples of good relationships in show business, you’re gonna be depressed real fast. I don’t have time for anything else right now but work and my daughter. She’s my first priority”. Jim Carrey

“Maybe other people will try to limit me but I don’t limit myself”. Jim Carrey

Despite his increasing popularity as a stand-up comic, Carrey turned his attention to the film and television industries, auditioning to be a cast member for the 1980–1981 season of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Carrey was not selected for the position, although he did host the show in May 1996, and again in January 2011. He was cast in several low-budget films, including Rubberface (1981), in which he played a struggling young comic, and Copper Mountain (1983), in which he played a sex-starved teen.

“I think I could go away tomorrow. I’ve already accomplished something. It’s such a selfish business that sometimes I get sick of myself”. Jim Carrey

“I love playing ego and insecurity combined”. Jim Carrey

“I really want to love somebody. I do. I just don’t know if it’s possible forever and ever”. Jim Carrey

Carrey has been married twice. His first marriage was to former actress and Comedy Store waitress Melissa Womer, whom he married on March 28, 1987. Their daughter Jane Erin Carrey was born September 6, 1987. Jane was a 2012 contestant on American Idol. The two divorced in 1995. A year later Carrey married his Dumb and Dumber co-star Lauren Holly, on September 23, 1996; the marriage lasted less than a year.

“I’m so wrapped up in my work that it’s often impossible to consider other things in my life. My marriage ended in divorce because of this, my relationship with Holly has suffered by this”. Jim Carrey

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carrey was involved in a series of relationships, including Laurie Holden, January Jones, and Anine Bing. In addition, Carrey had a much-publicized yet short-lived romance with his Me, Myself and Irene co-star Renée Zellweger, whom he dated, and at one point was engaged to from 1999 to 2000.

“I’m a hard guy to live with. I’m like a caged animal. I’m up all night walking around the living room. It’s hard for me to come down from what I do”. Jim Carrey

Carrey met model and actress Jenny McCarthy in 2005 and made their relationship public in June 2006. In April 2010, the two ended their near five-year relationship. Despite the split and media circulations, McCarthy stated in October 2010 that, “Jim and I are still good friends”.

“I refuse to feel guilty. I feel guilty about too much in my life but not about money. I went through periods when I had nothing, so somebody in my family has to get stinkin’ wealthy”. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey filmography

The Sex and Violence Family Hour (1983)
Copper Mountain (1983)
All in Good Taste (1983)
Finders Keepers (1984)
Once Bitten (1985)
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
The Dead Pool (1988)
Earth Girls Are Easy (1989)
Pink Cadillac (1989)
High Strung (1991)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider (1992)
Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
The Mask (1994)

Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Batman Forever (1995)
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
The Cable Guy (1996)
Liar Liar (1997)


The Truman Show (1998)

“What I have in common with the character in ‘Truman’ is this incredible need to please people. I feel like I want to take care of everyone and I also feel this terrible guilt if I am unable to. And I have felt this way ever since all this success started”. Jim Carrey

“It was such a leap in my career when ‘Truman Show’ came along. It’s always been a long process for me insofar as recognition goes, but that’s OK because you appreciate it when it comes”.  Jim Carrey

Simon Birch (1998)
Man on the Moon (1999)
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The Majestic (2001)
Pecan Pie (2003)
Bruce Almighty (2003)

“Morgan Freeman is so class. He’s so cool. He’s so scary”. Jim Carrey

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
The Number 23 (2007)
Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
Yes Man (2008)

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

“I don’t care if people think I am an overactor, as long as they enjoy what I do. People who think that would call Van Gogh an overpainter”. Jim Carrey

“Originality is really important”. Jim Carrey

“Twain…One of a Kind”‏

“The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven”. Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.

In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. Mark Twain

“Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself”. Mark Twain

His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Rock of Ages

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Mark Twain

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen”. Mark Twain

Toxic Twain

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times”. Mark Twain

“Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough”. Mark Twain

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”. Mark Twain

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing”. Mark Twain

“Forbidden Evil”

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable”. Mark Twain

“The lack of money is the root of all evil”. Mark Twain

“Politician”

“We have the best government that money can buy”. Mark Twain

“Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it”. Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”. Mark Twain

“Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about”. Mark Twain

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare”. Mark Twain

During the Philippine-American War, Twain wrote a short pacifist story entitled The War Prayer, which makes the point that humanism and Christianity’s preaching of love are incompatible with the conduct of war. It was submitted to Harper’s Bazaar for publication, but on March 22, 1905, the magazine rejected the story as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Daniel Carter Beard, to whom he had read the story, “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Twain could not publish The War Prayer elsewhere; it remained unpublished until 1923. It was republished as campaigning material by Vietnam War protesters

Novels:

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873)[N 1]
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
The Prince and the Pauper (1881)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
The American Claimant (1892)
Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894)
Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896)
Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896)
A Double Barrelled Detective Story (1902)
A Horse’s Tale (1907)
The Mysterious Stranger (1916, posthumous)

Angry Again

“The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little”. Mark Twain

“Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired”. Mark Twain

“There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce”. Mark Twain

“The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner”. Mark Twain

“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear”. Mark Twain

The Kindness of Strangers

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”. Mark Twain

Twain’s frankest views on religion appeared in his final work Autobiography of Mark Twain, the publication of which started in November 2010, 100 years after his death. In it, he said: There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is—in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree—it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime—the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled.

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved”. Mark Twain

Ōe‏

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“He said he didn’t care if he went to heaven or hell, because neither could be more fearful than absolute nothingness; salvation and damnation were one and the same if the only thing out there was total nothingness”.- Shizuka-na seikatsu (A Quiet Life) (1990) – Kenzaburō Ōe

Kenzaburō Ōe (大江 健三郎, Ōe Kenzaburō?, born January 31, 1935) is a Japanese author and a major figure in contemporary Japanese literature.

“As I grew up, I was continually to suffer hardships in different realms of life – in my family, in my relationship to Japanese society and in my way of living at large in the latter half of the twentieth century”. Kenzaburo Oe

His works, strongly influenced by French and American literature and literary theory, deal with political, social and philosophical issues including nuclear weapons, nuclear power, social non-conformism and existentialism.

“By reading Huckleberry Finn I felt I was able to justify my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with a sense of security which I could never find indoors”. Kenzaburo Oe

“The fundamental style of my writing has been to start from my personal matters and then to link it up with society, the state and the world”. Kenzaburō Ōe

“There could be joy in destruction, too, couldn’t there? Isn’t Jesus Christ’s Second Coming supposed to occur only after a lot of unmitigated destruction? But again, human history is fraught with tragedies in which man spared no effort to destroy with millenarian joy, only to learn that no messiah appeared afterwards.”.- Shizuka-na seikatsu (A Quiet Life) (1990) – Kenzaburō Ōe

Ōe was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994 for creating “an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today”.

Between 1958 and 1961 Ōe published a series of works incorporating sexual metaphors for the occupation of Japan. He summarised the common theme of these stories as “the relationship of a foreigner as the big power [Z], a Japanese who is more or less placed in a humiliating position [X], and, sandwiched between the two, the third party [Y] (sometimes a prostitute who caters only to foreigners or an interpreter)”. In each of these works, the Japanese X is inactive, failing to take the initiative to resolve the situation and showing no psychological or spiritual development. The graphically sexual nature of this group of stories prompted a critical outcry; Ōe said of the culmination of the series Our Times, “I personally like this novel [because] I do not think I will ever write another novel which is filled only with sexual words.”

List of books available in English

Memeushiri Kouchi, 1958 – Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (trans. by Paul Mackintosh & Maki Sugiyama)
Sebuntiin, 1961– Seventeen (Trans. by Luk Van Haute)
Seiteki Ningen 1963 Sexual Humans, published as J (Trans. by Luk Van Haute)
Kojinteki na taiken, 1964 – A Personal Matter (trans. by John Nathan)
Hiroshima noto, 1965 – Hiroshima Notes (trans. by David L. Swain, Toshi Yonezawa)


Man’en gannen no futtoboru, 1967 – The Silent Cry (trans. by John Bester)
Warera no kyōki wo ikinobiru michi wo oshieyo, 1969 – Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness (1977)
Mizukara waga namida wo nuguitamau hi, 1972 – The Day He Himself Shall Wipe My Tears Away in Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness (1977)
Pinchiranna chosho,’ 1976 – The Pinch Runner Memorandum (trans. by Michiko N. Wilson)
Atarashii hito yo mezame yo, 1983 – Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! (trans. by John Nathan)
Jinsei no shinseki, 1989 – An Echo of Heaven (trans. by Margaret Mitsutani)
Shizuka-na seikatsu, 1990 – A Quiet Life (trans. by Kunioki Yanagishita & William Wetherall)
Kaifuku suru kazoku, 1995 – A Healing Family (trans. by Stephen Snyder, ill. by Yukari Oe)
Chugaeri, 1999 – Somersault (trans. by Philip Gabriel)
Torikae ko (Chenjiringu), 2000 – The Changeling (trans. by Deborah Boehm)

“Kenzaburo Oe has devoted his life to taking certain subjects seriously — victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the struggles of the people of Okinawa, the challenges of the disabled, the discipline of the scholarly life — while not appearing to take himself seriously at all. Although he is known in Japan as much for being a gadfly activist as for being one of the country’s most celebrated writers, in person Oe is more of a delightful wag” - Sarah Fay, in “Kenzaburo Oe, The Art of Fiction No. 195″ in The Paris Review (Winter 2007)

“After the end of the Second World War it was a categorical imperative for us to declare that we renounced war forever in a central article of the new Constitution. The Japanese chose the principle of eternal peace as the basis of morality for our rebirth after the War. I trust that the principle can best be understood in the West with its long tradition of tolerance for conscientious rejection of military service. In Japan itself there have all along been attempts by some to obliterate the article about renunciation of war from the Constitution and for this purpose they have taken every opportunity to make use of pressures from abroad. But to obliterate from the Constitution the principle of eternal peace will be nothing but an act of betrayal against the peoples of Asia and the victims of the Atom Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki”. – Japan, The Ambiguous, and Myself (1994) – Kenzaburō Ōe

“The voice of a crying and dark soul” is beautiful, and his act of expressing it in music cures him of his dark sorrow in an act of recovery. Furthermore, his music has been accepted as one that cures and restores his contemporary listeners as well”. – Japan, The Ambiguous, and Myself (1994) – Kenzaburō Ōe

“To be upright and to have an imagination: that is enough to be a very good young man”. Conversations with History interview (1999) – Kenzaburō Ōe

“I am the kind of writer who rewrites and rewrites. I am very eager to correct everything. If you look at one of my manuscripts, you can see I make many changes. So one of my main literary methods is “repetition with difference.” I begin a new work by first attempting a new approach toward a work that I’ve already written — I try to fight the same opponent one more time. Then I take the resulting draft and continue to elaborate upon it, and as I do so the traces of the old work disappear. I consider my literary work to be a totality of differences within repetition. I used to say that this elaboration was the most important thing for a novelist to learn”. -Paris Review interview (2007) – Kenzaburō Ōe

“Wedding Plans?‏”

“Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility”. Anne Hathaway

“I believe that anybody who gets married should go to a counselor for months before the wedding. I think that’s going to save guys a lot of money and the ladies a lot of heartbreak”. James Brolin

A wedding is a ceremony where people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.

WEDDING A GIRL THING?

“I’d imagine my wedding as a fairy tale… huge, beautiful and white”. Paris Hilton

“A wedding is such a girl thing”. Selma Blair

“In the ’50s, a lot of girls never saw beyond the wedding day”. Helen Reddy

“I always had boyfriends, but I never imagined a proposal or a wedding. To me, that was like having a ball and chain round your neck”. Sandra Bullock

THE WEDDING PLANNER

“Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do in planning the marriage”. Zig Ziglar

“Falling in love was the easy part; planning a wedding – yikes!” Niecy Nash

WEDDING INVITATIONS

“People always complain, ‘you never invited me to your wedding’, but I prefer casual weddings”. Sinead O’Connor

“An invitation to a wedding invokes more trouble than a summons to a police court”. William Feather

A number of cultures have adopted the traditional Western custom of the white wedding, in which a bride wears a white wedding dress and veil.

“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman – it must reflect the personality and style of the bride”. Carolina Herrera

This tradition was popularized through the wedding of Queen Victoria. Some say Victoria’s choice of a white gown may have simply been a sign of extravagance, but may have also been influenced by the values she held which emphasized sexual purity.Within the modern ‘white wedding’ tradition, a white dress and veil are unusual choices for a woman’s second or subsequent wedding. The use of a wedding ring has long been part of religious weddings in Europe and America, but the origin of the tradition is unclear.

“In the Mexican culture, we never miss a baptism, a birthday, a baby shower, a wedding shower, a wedding. You must show up. Otherwise, you’ll be in big trouble”. Eva Longoria

Music played at Western weddings includes a processional song for walking down the aisle (ex: wedding march) either before or after the marriage service.

THE WEDDING MARCH

“When the wedding march sounds the resolute approach, the clock no longer ticks, it tolls the hour. The figures in the aisle are no longer individuals, they symbolize the human race”. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“The Wedding March always reminds me of the music played when soldiers go into battle”. Heinrich Heine

“The Wedding March has a bit of a death march in it”. Brian May

Relevant music includes:

Various works for trumpet and organ, arguably the most famous of which include the Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke as a processional, the “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell and the “Trumpet Voluntary” by John Stanley as recessionals.

Selections by George Frideric Handel, perhaps most notably the “Air” from his Water Music as processional and the “Alla Hornpipe” as recessional.

The “Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin by Richard Wagner, often used as the processional and commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride”.

Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D is an alternative processional.

The “Wedding March” from Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music for the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, used as a recessional.

The “Toccata” from Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony for Organ No. 5, used as a recessional.

Segments of the Ode to Joy, the fourth movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Other alternative considerations include various contemporary melodies like Bob Marley’s One Love which is often performed by a steel drum band.

THE WEDDING SINGER

“I sang a song at my sister’s wedding. My mother forced me into that, too. But that one felt all right”. Adam Sandler

“I only did karaoke once in my life. It was with Courtney Love and it was a total disaster. She pulled me on stage in front of 500 people at a wedding. I’d never done karaoke before”. Jared Leto

WEDDING CRASHERS

“I think that weddings have probably been crashed since the beginning of time. Cavemen crashed them. You go to meet girls. It makes sense”. Christopher Walken

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL

“A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers”. Eddie Cantor

“My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening”. Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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