Friday, June 20, 2008

Beedle the Bard and I

Today I'd like to post the text I entered for the Beedle the Bard-competition held by Amazon UK and US. The winner of this competition would be awarded a trip to London, stay in a hotel, and most important of all - be allowed a reading of Ms Rowling's unpublished book of handwritten stories (which only exists in 7 copies), namely The Tales of Beedle the Bard. As I would be thrilled by this experience, I naturally entered the contest.

There were three tasks you could choose among, writing in a "creative" way. (This adjective annoys me a little; what writing is not creative?) You were only allowed one entrance, and that entrance should not consist of more than 100 words. Which is not a lot. Of course, judging by the 10 finalists in each of the two age groups (13-18 and 18 and above), every smartass understood this as writing in verse, that is to say, old fashioned, rhyming poetry. To me, poetry can exist everywhere, not only in rhythmical, pulse-driven verse. Although you get to say a lot in a few words with the tried and tested ballad-style.

Nevertheless. The three options you had were:
  • What songs do wizards use to celebrate birthdays?
  • What other sports do wizards play besides Quidditch?
  • What have you learned from the Harry Potter series that you use in everyday life?

- and I chose the first, as the theme of music and magic struck me as the most poetical of the three. (Of course, the winner wrote a versified answer to the least poetical of the three, namely the last one. And it really was quite good, also she was under 18, which is a good thing in this kind of competition.)

So, tata, here is my response to what songs wizard sing to celebrate their birthdays:

When each wizard is born a colour surrounds them, and in this colour there is a sound. Every birthday allows the colour of their soul to seep out for a while, bringing with it a new sound. In this way a song starts to form. When a wizard's birthday is celebrated, their family and friends gather and listen to the new song performed by the wizard himself and sing it back to him. In the end of his life the song envelops the wizard as a deeply coloured fabric. Purple is only worn by wizards with especially beautiful soul songs.

© Tuva Langjord 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A sucker for covers

I may be strange, but I have always really enjoyed this cover for T.S. Eliot's collected poems. On the screen you can only see the graphics and the colouring (all good), but in real, tactile life you can touch the simplicity, elegance and smoothness of the book. The cover is made in some kind of smooth carton which is just luxuriously simple and supple beneath your fingers.

It is the honourable house of Faber&Faber that publishes Eliot's work. Eliot himself worked there for several years, providing him with a much needed steady income. Poets and playwrites never did get a lot of money for their hard work.
Have a great, summery Tuesday
(Here it is rather windswept, but sunny all the same)
Love from me and

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Tuscan "unicorn"

I know, I know, I am an incurable dreamer, but I did enjoy this article in the Guardian about a one-horned deer in a park in Tuscany, Italy. A little magic is often just what I need.
And why should we not call it a unicorn? After all, uni+corn literally means one horn, something this creature certainly possesses.
I would love it if unicorns actually existed, though...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Room of van Gogh

This is a photograph taken in Vincent van Gogh's room.

The simplicity of it speaks to me.

It seems like a van Gogh-painting itself.