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review 2017-03-19 08:00
How We Weep And Laugh At The Same Thing
How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing (Little Black Classics #29) - Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne was apparently one the most important French Renaissance philosophers, but I had never heard of the good man before picking up this Little Black Classic which bundles six of his essays.

I was pleasantly surprised. His ideas were not particularly shocking (at least not today) but the meandering way in which it was written made for a nice read. However, while I liked this, I'm not really inclined into reading more of his essays.

Little Black Classics ~ 29

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review 2017-03-17 08:00
Femme Fatale
Femme Fatale (Little Black Classics #15) - Guy de Maupassant

Femme Fatale combines the title story and three other short stories from French author Guy de Maupassant. I can only say that they felt rather explicit and openly contained lesbianism which quite surprised me since it was being written in Victorian times. Something else I notices was that it had a French-ness that I can't really explain any better.

The stories themselves were okay, but none of them left a real impression with me. Rather, they felt quite flat, but I'm not sure some of it was lost in translation. Since I don't read in French, it would have to be in translation again, so I don't think I will be reading more of this author.

Little Black Classic ~ 15

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review 2016-12-15 08:00
The Eve Of St Agnes
The Little Black Classics Eve of St Agnes - John Keats

Having never read anything by Keats before, but having heard a lot of it, I was really looking forward to this collection of five of his poems.

The poem of the title is the longest and it is, as his other poems, very visual. It really tells a story, and while this is a nice change for the other poetry so far in the Little Black Classic collection, it also became slightly dull after a while. It is a long story, and my thought wandered after a while, wondering if it couldn't have been a bit shorter.

Nevertheless a nice introduction.

Little Black Classic #13

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review 2016-12-06 08:00
How To Use Your Enemies
How to Use Your Enemies (Little Black Classics #12) - Baltasar Gracián

This is more than a guide on How to Use Your Enemies, it is at the same time a guide on How to Use Your Friends (considering you have some left after behaving like the author suggested). It was so manipulative that it was actually an awkward read for me.

It is compared to Machiavelli, and while his ideas are also very calculated, they made more sense to me as they all help to reach a certain goal. They are harsh and cold, and don't translate into modern days, but one can imagine that they are useful. Now take that, and apply it on literally every aspect of your life and you'll get How to Use Your Enemies. He really seemed like the typical calculating evil guy. This is not one of the Little Black Classics that I would recommend.

Little Black Classics #12

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review 2016-12-04 20:00
A Cup Of Sake Beneath The Cherry Trees
A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees (Little Black Classics #11) - Yoshida Kenkō

If I ever wanted to read a complete collection of random thoughts, I would seriously consider a full edition of Yoshida Kenko's work. The short and long of it is clear, it seems like the author sat down and wrote down everything that came to mind, even if it is completely unrelated to the things discussed on the rest of the page.

I can not say that I enjoyed it. It was too random for me, and some part seemed very dated. Of course, considering it was written in the fourteenth century, it has aged considerably well. However, it was not for me.

This not withstanding, there were some lovely passages about books:
'It is a most wonderful comfort to sit alone beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met...'


Little Black Classic #11

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