Newsletter 173 – October 2011
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 173 – October 2011 – ISSN 1470-1863
Arts, Culture, and Technology as seen from
the digital hub of Media city Manchester UK
0— Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life
Edith Wharton is a figure whose life straddles
two centuries. She was born in 1862 and was still
writing up to the time of her death in the 1930s.
She was raised by a wealthy New York family.
Her first book was a guide to interior design
which is still in print. She went on to become
a best-selling novelist.
This beautifully illustrated biography traces
all the phases of her luxurious existence –
including the lavish houses she built and furnished.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #1
What nationality was Dame Nellie Melba?
0— The Oxford Comma – guidance notes
In a list of apples, pears, and bananas – do we need
the final comma or not?
There are two schools of thought on this issue.
Both answers are explained and illustrated in this
guidance note for writers and students.
It’s also known as the serial or the Harvard comma.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #2
By what name was Manfred von Richtofen better known?
0— ‘The Custom of the Country’ – a study guide
If you thought ruthless social climbing, marrying
for money, and self-indulgence were modern vices,
then think again.
The heroine of this novel stops at nothing to
claw her way to the top. She ditches her husband,
abandons her child, engages in blackmail – and
Undine Spragg’s striving for wealth, fashionability,
and a nouveau riche lifestyle is something like an
early twentieth century version of Hello magazine.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #3
Which city burned down in “Gone With the Wind”?
0— Natalia Goncharova – Russian Modernist
This is a major study of a talented but little-known
painter of the Russian modernist movement which began
just before the first world war.
Goncharova was a painter, a costume and fabric designer.
She created a style called Rayonism with her husband,
the equally talented Mikhail Larionov.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #4
What was HMS Bounty’s cargo at the time of the mutiny?
0— ‘On Reading’ – Marcel Proust
I was pleased to note that Marcel Proust had an active
connection with Manchester. (!)
He was very much influenced by the writing of John Ruskin,
whose lectures on culture and society were delivered in
my home city in 1864.
And whilst translating them, he was assisted by English
born Marie Nordlinger (cousin of Reynaldo Hahn) who was
from Rusholme, the same suburb where Ruskin had lectured.
This book contains Proust’s reflections on the act of reading,
and the relationship between readers, authors, and text.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #5
From which musical does the song “Some Enchanted Evening” come?
0— “The Spanish Labyrinth”
Gerald Brenan was Bloomsbury figure who lived in Spain
most of his adult life. He had a passionate love for
the country, and wrote a number of books on its culture
This one is his explanation of the social and political
forces that led up to the Spanish Civil War.
If you don’t know his hugely popular travel book,
‘South from Granada’, here’s a link.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #6
The Tsar Kolokol is the biggest what in the world?
0— ‘From Bauhaus to Our House’
If you enjoyed the item on Tom Wolfe in our last issue,
It’s his take on the pernicious influence of wicked
German-trained architects on the development of buildings
in America during the middle of the twentieth century
This is an influence which still continues – and the
replacement for the Twin Towers is going up at the
rate of one floor a week.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #7
Which three colours are in the Belgian flag?
0— “The House of Mirth” – a study guide
This is Edith Wharton’s first major novel – although
she herself didn’t feel that she had finished her
apprenticeship until six years later.
It’s a tragic tale of downwards social mobility,
featuring Lily Bart, an attractive and intelligent
young woman who is in love with lawyer Laurence
He feels he hasn’t enough money to offer her the
sort of marriage they both want, and she puts
herself at financial risk to protect his good name.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #8
What’s the name of the winged horse in Greek mythology?
0— How to write a cover letter – guidance notes
If you apply for a job by sending off your CV,
it needs to be accompanied by a cover letter.
This is your knock on the door asking for
permission to present yourself.
If the letter isn’t successful, nobody is going to
bother reading your CV – so it’s important to get
it right. These guidance notes show you how to do it.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #9
From which fruit is Slivovitz made?
0— ‘Billy Budd’ – a study guide
This is for lovers of the novella – and opera.
It’s Herman Melville’s tragic story of Billy Budd,
the handsome sailor, who is falsely accused of
fomenting mutiny by a malicious master-at-arms.
Billy stands up for himself by delivering a blow –
which proves fatal. So he is ‘tried’ by the brutal
naval rules for justice.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #10
Which is the only bird that can fly without flapping its wings?
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1. What nationality was Dame Nellie Melba?
#2 By what name was Manfred von Richtofen better known?
ANSWER: The Red Baron
#3 Which city burned down in “Gone With the Wind”?
#4 What was HMS Bounty’s cargo at the time of the mutiny?
#5 From which musical does the song “Some Enchanted Evening” come?
ANSWER: South Pacific
#6 The Tsar Kolokol is the biggest what in the world?
#7 Which three colours are in the Belgian flag?
ANSWER: Black, Red, Yellow
#8 What’s the name of the winged horse in Greek mythology?
#9 From which fruit is Slivovitz made?
#10 Which is the only bird that can fly without flapping its wings?
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