This Spring session of The Arcade has one of the most exciting Arcade sets of all time. For once, it’s a good thing to get lots of commons while seeking your rare. You will need several pieces of the common wall to surround your manor house with a beautiful courtyard. Anyway, it’s just an extraordinarily complete collection with 2 houses, an outbuilding, landscaping and interior furnishing, even a well and a wooden cart.
Yesterday was World Book Day. That, combined with the wonderful Primavera in Toscana set from 8f8 at The Arcade got me thinking about my favorite books of the past year. What rose to the top was Elena Ferrante’s magnificent Neapolitan novels. Now, the novels mainly take place in a poor neighborhood in Naples, not in a rich manor home in Tuscany, but know, we Americans are supposed to think there is no difference, right?
Actually, the wall reminds me so much of the wall surrounding the Spanish military base where I was living with a Spanish family while attending my senior year in Algeciras, Spain. The one difference is that the wall in Spain had flowers on the top, trailing down the white walls. There were always two guards outside with a sign “Todo por la patria” on the wall next to the guard station. Can you imagine an American military base with a wall covered with flowers?
I love the contradictions in this dress and coat from NYU. NYU specializes in minimalist design, the aesthetic beauty of a dress and coat coming from the lines and forms of the clothing, not from embellishment or patterns. The dress has this severe post-war austerity except that slit on the skirt is thoroughly modern and not the least bit austere.
John Freeman of The Australian wrote of Elena Ferrante, “Imagine if Jane Austen Got Angry.” The Neapolitan novels tell the story of two women, from their childhood to adulthood. There is a lot of anger in her novels, but also humor and love. They seem so raw and honest, as though the author cannibalized her life to tell the story, though we cannot know as Elena Ferrante is very private. Still, the narrator in this Neapolitan tetralogy is named Elena and plans to be a writer. In terms of the usual publicity authors relentlessly pursue, she said she did all she needed to do for her book, she wrote it. I love that!