acumulated notes

There was this French movie with either Jean Reno or Gerard Depp-ar-dew in it, I can’t remember which. It was probably the ‘inspiration’ for the Highlander movies. Because Jean or Gerard was a medeval knight who’d been transported the the present day, along with a retainer; that is, a little man with coconut shells who’d run along behind.
Every now and then my mind returns to this one scene where they’re in a bathroom, looking at a toilet, kneeling over it trying to figure out what it’s for. Jean/Gerard puts a hand in, scoops up some water and drinks it.
And I wonder to myself what were the details to that… was it cleaned extra, extra extra thoroughly before the scene? Perhaps they installed a completely new toilet that’d never been used before drunk from..? Even if it’d been cleaned 20 times with the most abrasive chemicals known to humanity I think there’d still be some residue of shit in there. Is that part of the hazards of being an actor, even a succussful hollyweird-style one?

I still haven’t found any interesting links. The internet just got boring or something. I’m not holding out on you, if I had some, I’d say.

I’m reading the Richard F. Burton annotated and translated version of Tales form the Arabian Nights, selected from ‘The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night’. I’ve been reading it for 4 years off and on — it’s huge and extremely convoluted. Nice book – hardback and the typeface is very fancy. My scanner’s busted at the moment or I’d offer up some.

This bit is from the editor’s forward, “Burton’s qualifications as a translator of the Nights were formidable, not only because of his extensive knowledge of Arabic (he was also fluent in Persian and Hindustani, not to mention several lesser Eastern languages and dialects) but because of his extrodinary personality. In 1853 he successfully made a pilgrimage disguised as as Afghanistan Muslim to Cairo, Suez, and Medina then on to the sacred city of Mecca, where he measured and sketched the mosque and holy Muslim shrine, the Ka’bah.
His account of the journey is not only a classic of English travel literature but also a brilliant commentary of Muslim life and manners. No enterprise could have born more powerful testimony to his knowledge of Eastern customs and beliefs than the expidition he later made to the forbidden East African city of Harer (1854-55) as he became the first European to enter this Muslim citadel without being executed.”

Sometimes it gets a bit bogged down reading, and you have to stick in active mode rather than passive reading because of the footnotes leading off in different directions – but most of the time they’re interesting.
Poignant to read place names like ‘Bassorah’ and Mosul as the backdrop to stories given the reasons why they’d be recognised today.
More info here.

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