Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Paradise" returns

Just found out that telenovela SIN SENOS, NO HAY PARAISO is being rebroadcast (locally anyway) at noon. Today's capitulo takes place after Catalina has had first operation, returns home--and her school sweetheart/love of her life confronts her as to who paid for it & why.

She gives him snow job as Greek type chorus of catchy-rappy music comments she's sliding down the slippery slope of mendacity.

Reminds me of 18th century Hogarth prints illustrating some morality tales of temporary society; one famous series MARRIAGE A LA MODE tells of marriage arranged between two young people whose families sell a title for wealth. Don't know how PARAISO ends, but can't be much worse!

Think I saw etching's of Hogarth paintings in Time Life book THE WORLD OF GAINSBOROUGH, 1727-1728. Very likely Jane Austen could have seen those; as one essay I read comments (I think in collection of her Juvenalia), she was a child of the robust 1700's, not a prim Victorian ignorant of or blushing at facts of life like those included in this 21 st century telenovela which I think Jane might have enjoyed!

Lots of likable, entertaining characters as well as amusing villains that "you love to hate". Think title (original book title is slightly different, a bit more crude) refers to a Spanish saying, meaning the Garden of Eden wasn't paradise for Adam until Eve showed up (with her "girls" as Oprah calls her front "bumpers"--well, want to be sure it's clear what's being refered to!)

Jane reviewed a novel called SELF-CONTROL by Mrs. Brunton which can be read online for free. She said something like Laura's journey down the American river may be the most believable happening in this unlikely tale (which apparently begins with heroine being assalted by "hero"--I haven't read it myself; for one thing, hate reading an entire book on a computer screen. Give me paper pages!)

Been busy busy busy and TIRED. So it may be awhile before I go back to edit and add to previous posts (if I wait until posts are "perfect" before making public, no-one would ever see them--I've got at least a dozen drafts of emails languishing in limbo because I didn't have time to finish and polish before sending. I need more time in my days...... can you do that in the new year, dear Santa? ;-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jane!

Today is Jane Austen's birthday (born 1775--you do the math as to which anniversary this is...)

I enjoyed reading her published letters (mostly to her closest friend & older sister Cassandra; which more letters could have been saved!). Especially interesting to me were her "book reviews"; insightful comments on books she read. Would also have loved to browse her (family's) own personal home library.

Wonder if any of legion of Austen scholars/historians have been able to investigate what titles she and her family borrowed from lending libraries in Bath or wherever.

Her NORTHANGER ABBEY is a favorite of mine, in part because of description of un-heroic Catherine's childhood play (realistic & amusing!), and her love of reading (tho not of the "highest literary level" perhaps!

CASTLE OF UDOLPHO by (got to look up author)is actually much more than the sensational novel that many (who never read it) suppose dismisively. One modern edition--perhaps Oxford Classics-- includes critical essay pointing out how its heroine's applying logic, cool reasoning and scientic method (then-in vogue among upper classes with intellectual interests)helps her overcome superstition and emotional excesses, and likely helped inspire Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fictional "pirate queens"

Novel DONA BARBARA has elements that remind me of a tale involving pirates in the Caribbean, published in 1921 (wonder if Gallegos might have read it!) by then-popular writer of swashbuckling adventure novels, Jeffery Farnol. I think he was British. (May be unrelated fact that DONA BARBARA includes British character who calls himself "Mister Danger", one of the few who gets upper hand over the Dona).

Titled MARTIN CONISBY'S VENGEANCE, dedicated to author's "Dear aunts", it is sequel to title character's adventures begun in BLACK BARTLEMY'S TREASURE. Vendettas that wipe out most of two neighboring families are also featured in beginning of book DONA BARBARA.

The most striking resemblance between novels DB and MCV are the two bloodthirsty women characters who seek retaliation for same tramatic event in their youth. Could be just coincidence: ancient British warror Queen Bodiacia reportedly fought Romans after what their soldiers did to her daughters. In early 20th century, it might commonly be thought that the only reason a "weak female" ("by nature", femininely passive) would act like a forceful (violent) man is suffering "a fate worse than death".

Young "Barbarita" lives on river boat with what are called pirates; bloody Joanna is granddaughter of a Spanish govenor and British (got to look up passage to quote here).

Another parallel shared by two novels: for both "villanesses", there is a mirror image character; DONA BARBARA's daughter (rejected from birth by her mother, she is cared for as child by the village idiot, so grows up "innocent" and unspoiled roaming the wilds of nature. (In tv version, same young actress plays "Barbarita" and her becoming-a-woman daughter.

Captain Jo has rival in childhood sweetheart also named Joan, who had Lady & protective worshipful knight relationship with hero--until he discovers her father is his worst enemy. Shipwrecked hero at one point mistakes Jo for his Lady Joan. I suspect both "evil" women will find redemption by an ultimate sacrifice. Likeness may simply be example of common dicotomy of "good/bad" views of women; former mostly passive, latter willful.

Compare strong women in those early 20th century stories with 21st century heroines for young readers in TORRIE QUESTS books; the first is TORRIE AND THE PIRATE QUEEN. Young Captain Anna, however, is not a pirate--she's trying to remedy what her pirate grandad did. (See woman author's profile at www.annickpress.com Like J.K. Rowling, seems like her gender was disguised by using initials so maybe boys will try her adventure stories!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dona Barbara

I read English translation of novel DONA BARBARA by Romuo Gallegos, wanting to finish book before telenovela currently being aired ends.
Though I missed much of the tv version, I can tell it is very different--lots of romances added for TV (hero and title character never get together in book for instance, though the Dona falls madly in love with Our Hero. Modern TV version (filmed in lusher, very greenColombia, rather than book's Venezuela plains area) also seems prettier & funnier too!

Novel dwells more on conflicts of "barbarism" or lawlessness and Civilization, as symbolized by the tow protagonist and their associates. Spanish word "barbara" is related to barbaric (from bearded invadors of ancient Roman territory) means "terrible"; barbara also came to mean "terrific", as in English usage for something great!

(This word play on a woman's name was used in comic novela PICARA SONADORA by Eduardo Palomo's character for first fiancee he never really loved. Reminds me of 1930's screwball romantic comedy's--pampered heir to department store empire pretends to be poor when he falls for toy dept clerk/law student(who is secretly saving money by living in furniture dept; her uncle is night watchman--who turns out to be long-lost love of hero's grandmother, very business-like matriarch who ran store empire; forced to marry rich man.)

Another aside on word origens: "barbequeue" comes fom words meaning beard and tale, refering to something like roast goat which includes everything from beard or head to tail or "queue" in French, I think).

TREPADORA

When I have more time, I plan to finish this post and also re-arrange and add to posts of past week...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chinese zodiac signs & characterization in DJY

Comic relief cousin of my favorite character in MOM'S DEAD UPSET might be played by same actor as wily Mimosa in DJY. Refugee from dispursed kingdom of Baekje, Mimosa eventually becomes strategist for Gorguyeans headed by DJY (he also saves the latter's life with his medical skills) .

Mimosa embodies traits of Monkey: clever, cheerful--and tricky. Some of those qualities appear in ChulinFan favorited clip in which Geumlan dances at banquet given to "conqueroring" forces in house of entertainment run by Mimosa (secretly funded by King).

Introductory info about Chinese zodiac can be found in children's novel ARCHER'S QUEST

Monday, December 8, 2008

More background on video clips

I'd added two clips on Korean drama about the Battle of Ansi Fort in attempt to find more about early part of DJY that I missed. DJY's mother was pregnant with her son while Ansi Fort was undersiege by the Tang Chinese (I'm not sure if his father was commander of that fort at the time, but that amusing enemy, peasant turned general Xue Rengui was there in Tang army).

From comments made much later in drama, it may have been DJY's mother who got idea for undermining hill that Chinese army built to over look the fort in order to attack from above. If it wasn't her idea, she helped dig tunnels which were flooded (by diverting river?), causing collapse of hill, wiping out much of Chinese forces (maybe a million? Fairytale like exageration, perhaps!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bit more background on video clips

Leading man (or galan ) of version of LA MENTIRA starring Kate Del Castillo is Guy Ecker. His parents are German-Americans, but he and his siblings were born and raised in various Latin American countries. Tho gringo in appearance, he says he has a corazon latino.

His bilingual fansite is http://www.guyecker.com/ ; website for Edith Gonzalez, the female star of CORAZON SALVAJE (and Guy's leading lady in SALOME) is http://edithgz.tripod.com You can find other info on her in English (including Wikipedia entry) by searching her name.

While hero of CORAZON SALVAJE and Prince Geom in DJY share some similarties in not knowing their biological fathers for early part of their lives, the difference in their treatment by their supposed fathers maybe be that Juan del Diablo was conceived while his mother was married to best-friend of his "real" father; Chulin hadn't married Geom's "adoptive" father yet.

To be fair, Li Kaigu was a loving father to Geom, up until the Khitans again left their homeland to fight under the Tang Chinese general Xu Rengui--and their path crossed with DJY, sending Kaigu into jealous rage that at times even turned again his adoptive son who he confused with his noble rival DJY. (Kaigu chose name of baby boy; geom means either spear or sword, I forget which).

Another "rival" of DJY was Yeon Namseng, eldest son of Goguryeo general who was that country's supreme military commander. But while priority of proud Namseng (whose tomb really exists) was his own will and personal advancement, humble DJY choose to do whatever would help the Goguryeo people. DJY's shown symbolically kneeling, offering his own back for ailing Supreme general, in heavy full battle armor to step on to mount his steed.

BTW, it was Namseng's marriage proposal to Princess Sukyoung (DJY's future bride) that prompted her to retort she would "marry the hero who saves the country. It is not yet clear who that will be". Namseng's cocky assumption he will triumph in battle tho he's never fought before is example of typical traits of his Chinese zodiac animal, the rooster. DJY is probably tiger; usually timid or fearful Princess S. may be rabbit. (Nomad Chulin may be horse.)

Dragonish Xue Rengui' s comic sidekick Hong Pei may also be worrying rabbit; humorous traditional Korean art shows tigers and dragons teased by rabbits. DJY's sworn blood brothers, Gulsabiwu and Huek (sp?) Sudol have comic scene where former (loyal dog) tricks latter (gulible pig or boar) into thinking he's the elder and therefore commands respect of his "junior". Book EVERLASTING FLOWER shows sculpture of boar in armor, one figure of popular zodiac figures used in tombs (and probably other less lasting types of Asian art).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Video clip "introductions" for DJY, LM, CS

Watching the music videos or intros (entradas en espanol), I wonder if someone who has never seen any of the particular tv series can understand what's going on... or is it like trailers for new movies--they hope it looks interesting to entice audiences to check it out? (For instance, I never saw the STAR WARS films in the theater or even on video or broadcast TV in their entirety. So what I imagined from the first trailer was (to me) more interesting; perhaps more like book RIDDLEMASTER OF HED, or Lloyd Alexander's PRYDAIN series which I may have been reading around that time...)

On Youtube, my list of "favorited" video clips (search for "ChulinFan"), includes music videos for DAE JO YOUNG, and modern classic telenovelas CORAZAN SALVAJE and LA MENTIRA.

To help give clues to those new to DJY, drama basically could be described as sort of Romeo & Juliet story of star-crossed lovers. Our Noble Hero and Khitan princess Chulin fall in love when he is just a beardless boy. Perhaps a symbol of divided Korea, they are warriors fighting on opposite sides. In one cliff-hanger scene, he wishes her to be "reborn in a world without war".

After struggling with their conflicting feelings, each mutually saving the live of their "beloved enemy" repeatedly, Chulin decides to desert her tribe to join DJY; they intend to marry.

But before they can officially announce their secret betrothal, Chulin's childhood friend Lee Kaigu (who was adopted by her father who found boy baby abandoned on the prairie) gravely wounds DJY. Believing he was killed, she is blackmailed into marrying Lee Kaigu who threatens to reveal identity of her child's biological father--and therefore, sentencing an innocent baby to certain death at hand of the enemies of DJY. Ironically, Kaigu's biological father was traitor to DJY's homeland--and old rival of DJY's long-lost loyal father, a trust-worthy soldier.

To fulfill request/order of dying former king of conquered Goguryeo (who wants the man he most deeply respects & trusts to protect his homeless niece) , DJY marries the last princess. She has loved him for years; vowing before she met him that she would "only marry the hero who will save this country". Unsure if DJY loves her (or at least, it's in different way than Chulin).

Monday, November 24, 2008

What I've been watching (Telemundo en espanol)

Also found interesting (what little I saw) modern morality story made in Colombia, SIN SENOS, NO HAY PARAISO, especially the trio of brave, resourceful good girls, Julieta & her school girl pals, Lina & Natalia. Stammering Jota, who turns from a life of crime, reminds me of a young Eduardo Palomo: not handsome like anti-hero Baryon (who eventurally bites the dust), but skilfully shows struggles of boy who's not too strong, choosing right over riches.

"Jota" is talented subtly comic actor as well (for much need light relief, after amusing pig-tailed henchman played by Luis Gatica--sinister "Santiago" of LA MENTIRA--is knocked off. BTW, Luis is real nice guy in real life--and he's fluently bilingual in Spanish and English! ) Based on novel by journalist Gustavo Bolivar Moreno; library catalog review in English says NBC interested in doing US version a la "Ugly Betty"/Betty La Fea.

Started watching DONA BARBARA starring Edith Gonzalez--but again, not enought time for much TV watching--tho I read English translation of novel that telenovela is loosely based on, considered literary classic in Latin America, assigned for school reading in 1940's at least.

If DB is ever available "on request" in some distant future, would love to watch Edith Gonzalez in vastly different role than all her blue-eyed, pink and white complexion blonde "buenas" (good girl) heroines--tho those were entrancing too! (Perhaps oldest novela I saw her in was 1988 MONTE CALVARIO with young Arturo Peniche, remade as "Te Sigo Amando").

Recently read very interesting 16 page scholarly study by a USA university professor about political & social levels explored in CORAZON SALVAJE (both TV version starring Edith & Palomo AND the classic book trilogy). Will try to post a link to online essay http://www.henciclopedia.org.uy/autores/Bary/Corazonsalvaje.htm

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I've been watching (KBS Korean)

Speaking of DAE JO YOUNG, on a happier note, I noticed young actor who played the appealing Prince Geum also plays another likable boy in contemporary "dramedy" (drama with comedy) MOM'S DEAD UPSET. He gets interested in the niece of title character, an art student with psychic abilities (not quite a traditional Korean woman shaman, but likely inspired by those.) Opening of very first episode had her boil pig's head to offer gods, then drop it--hot!!

I started watching both GREAT KING SEJONG and MOM'S DEAD UPSET, but have missed a lot--and the later may be winding up in a week or so, as it's on evening both weekdays at 7:30 and weekends at 8 PM on KXLA, broadcast from Rancho Palos Verdes (weathy LA suburb).

If I ever become a millionaire, I'd buy MDU on DVD from http://www.kbs-america.com/ Episodes On Request store, then maybe skim thru storylines about young woman lawyer who marries divorced man with sulky little daughter AND timid pretty poor girl (like traditional Hispanic telenovela "sufrida" heroine, she cries buckets) who marries rich boy (who has requisite bratty mother that young couple lives with). Part that I relish, featuring character that first caught my interest is the amusing courtship of endearing "Prince Geom" (she keeps telling him to get lost-- she trying to whack him with a book while he tries to kiss her--LOL!)

After DAE JO YOUNG ended with apparent heir to throne of new kingdom riding off into new adventures, I'd been trying to imagine what the future bride of "the boy who will be king" might be like. Truly "Prince Charming"--shy, serious, loyal & loving (when he and his noble king/father wept all over each other upon finally revealing who they were--SNIFF!). For such a sweet, yet strong young man, a girl like the feisty psychic of "Mom's Dead Upset" seems perfect!

(P.S. Search for "Mom's Dead Upset"+KBS turns up some interesting info; note comments by 'tvkitty' --who is NOT me writing under a different name--does she have a life outside telly?;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How time flies!

Been a long time since I last posted here! Keep thinking of comments I want to note here, but too much else to do, and I get distracted... So here's something of an update if anyone's still visiting (and I may direct someone else here from yet another blog I started (and also lack time to update often). Oh, well, if I ever "retire" and/or become independantly wealthy, there's no lack of hobbies and interests for me to pursue to help fill up my time!

Think I mentioned (somewhere) I'd read TALES OF A CHINESE GRANDMOTHER by Frances Carpenter, a collection of Chinese fairy tales, legends and description of traditional life in China. I later read companion volume by same author, TALES OF A KOREAN GRANDMOTHER.

Korean anthology gives clue to purpose of little buttons in front of ears on winged black caps (woven of horsehair) worn by officials in Korean drama GREAT KING SEJONG (about life of Korean king who encouraged sciences & arts, including development of phonetic alphabet to increase literacy among his people, still in use today. Several stories mention green jade buttons indicate someone is a high-ranking official. King and princes have gold buttons.

This Korean collection, apparently published for children, still touches on "adult" subjects such as corruption in government, especially "squeeze" or wide-spread, accepted bribery necessary to get things done. Added chapter about mid 20th century divided Korean strikes a depressing note for me in contrast to description of childhood listeners.

That emotion, however, might be example of han, the uniquely Korean trait which books by Jill Dubois and EVERLASTING FLOWER may have said is untranslatable--melancholy, suffering or sorrow (title of DAE JO YOUNG theme song) may be partial meaning in English.

Clip of video with DJY theme song "Sorrow" is on YouTube; will try to add link here later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tales of the Three Kingdoms

Examples of other alternative spellings are in English translation of Samguk Yusa by Illyon. Page 26 of "Silk Pagoda" edition (Book--or scroll--One, part 8) quotes: "The Old Book of Silla says, "The family name of Choyong (a general of Koguryo) was Tae. He gathered together his defeated soldiers on the souther side of Taebaek mountain and established a new state which he called Palhae."

By the way, Sanguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea, was more like someone's hobby rather than an official history. Illyon gathered together tales that interested him, in no particular order that I can figure out--rather like this blog! English paperback edition by Silk Pagoda, ISBN 1-59654-348-5 has no index, so I've stumbled on bits about period of DJY drama by fliping thru its 360 pages.

More fantasy than factual is story on page 170 about Tang official who vowed to be reborn in Koguryo in order to ruin that county to revenge a humiliation of Tang emperor. However, one of the reasons DJY was so enjoyable is the drama's resemblance to a fairytale at times!

(to be continued ;-)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Geom: The Once and Future King?

Finally got to re-watch my tapes of final two episodes of DJY, making notes of some of the dialogue which I may get around to double-checking and posting here (assorted cards & pages jotted on keep falling down and getting mislaid!)

Geom's future is sort of left up in the air and vague, but my feeling is he will succeed his father as king of new country (variously spelled in romanization Parhae/Palhae (pronounced Pohai in Chinese--my notes also list Bohai=Bokkai) and, in English captions of the drama, Balhae.

In this period of Goguryean history, kings often changed their names on ascending the throne, and were given a new name after their decease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_of_Balhae describes second king of Balhae as an excellent swordsman and eldest son of DJY.

Legend refered to there on swiftness of his swordstrokes (reputedly able to cut a fly in four pieces) reminds me of book title Sword that Cuts Burning Grass by Thomas (& Dorothy ?)Hoobler) about boy who wants to be a samurai.

...Will try to continue topic of Geom & co. later, and maybe add some more when I have time (got a lot of notes and "wrote" a bunch of stuff in my head, but just haven't been able to go online!....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TV time

Last installment of Madre Luna was last night, final episodes of DJY were on this weekend, but I'll have to watch my tapes as my "live" viewing was interrupted so many times, I may have missed a lot. After that, will have to muse, ponder, process, think about them--and then find time to write my thoughts & comments down!

Found some DJY related sites (added a few to links) that I hadn't noticed before. Maybe some hadn't existed yet when I searched some time ago, or maybe different spelling kept me from finding these before.

Will trace later how I found name of DJY's successor, leading to googling "Parhae Mu Wang", which turned up interesting looking sites I haven't had time to investigate yet.

Tonight new telenovela starts on Telemundo that I may try called La Traicion (The Betrayal?), apparently about twin brothers (one good, one evil). Lead actor seems nice guy (tho brings to mind romance novel art & Cal. Gov. Arnold), and heroine looks intelligent as well as lovely.
Victorian-ish setting of novela seems lush--but I may be in mood more for something else.

Even before Geom and his two loyal Khitan companions rode off over the plains in DJY, I was longing for wide open unspoiled spaces, reading By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Chapter titled "Black Ponies" includes description of learning to ride bareback in vast wild grasslands that might be a little like Geom's childhood. Found other books about nomadic tribes in Asia that I'll list here and try to read (someday!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Too tired to type!

I've been ill, and still am very tired. When I'm feeling better, plan to continue typing in my notes and comments.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Immortals stories, toy soldiers

John Stickler's book Land of Morning Calm also has page on "Ship Jang Seng", the ten longevity symbols often seen in tapestries, screens, pottery, etc:

Turtles, deer, cranes, sun, clouds. Pine trees, mountains, rocks, water; the tenth is pulno-cho , "the longevity plant", a mythical wild edible fungus. "According to legend, these mushroom-like plants are hard to find becasue only someone with a pure heart can see them. If you can spot one in the woods and eat it, you well never get old".

Wish noble DJY or maybe his son Geom found some and shared at a feast with all our favorite good guy characters in that drama (well, maybe amusing Tang-side Xue Rengui & Hong Pei too--they've spent so much time in Korean environs, they'd qualify as residents or long-time guests!) Then they could all live forever guiding their beloved homeland, like "guardian spirit" DJY's father aid he would become.

Number 8 is considered very good luck by Chinese. Don't know if this stems from legend of Eight Immortals or vice versa. Book Tales of a Chinese Grandmother by Frances Carpenter describes the Eight who include some women. Reminds me of British legend of the "Seven Sleepers" (related to King Arthur myth?) who will come to their country's aid when needed.

Think 7 Sleepers appear in William Mayne book Earthfasts (haven't read rest in series). Lighter treatment of theme is book Knight's Castle by Edward Eager, in which 4 children get chance to magically change story of book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott; also enjoyable tale of toy soldiers coming to life, exploring creative process is Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke (British title The Twelves and the Genii.)

Wonder if there's any DJY tie-in action figures (modern term for toy soldiers)? Would be neat if those came with Chinese zodiac animal main characters represent too! ;-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Korean popular art symbols

I think info below is from 2006 book Everlasting Flower: a history of Korea by Keith Pratt , page 167, essay on traditional popular art:

"Mandarin ducks as a celebration of wedded bliss. Diamond Mountains as a haven of peace and beauty. Lotus as a metaphor for purity. Carp on bedroom wall as fertility charm. Pine trees as reminder of respect due to the elderly".

(also squeezed onto same 3 x 5 index card was "Tajan, brush name Ch'usa"--will have to re-research that to find out why I jotted that down!)

2003 picture book Land of Morning Calm : Korean Culture Then and Now by John Stickler tries to explain the multiple meanings of traditional symbols on current South Korean flag; even foods have symbolic meaning:

"Many little side dishes called banchan, offer a variety of tastes and textures including seafood, meats, soybean curd (tubu) and many different vegetables. Each meal would have a dozen or more different banchan that provided all the nutients for a complete meal. Not only were the dishes good for you, they were beautiful to look at, too. There were usually foods of five different colors on the table--red, green, yellow, white and black--representing the five elements; fire wood, earth, metal and water."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Night and Day, East and West

Visual symbolism in two epidodic TV dramas I am currently following adds another language to them, besides spoken Spanish and Korean. Trying to figure out the key to understand them keeps me watching~

Like framework of Chinese zodiac for creation of characters in DAE JO YOUNG, noted Colombia scriptwriter Julio Jimenez uses elaborate personal symbolism for his telenovelas MADRE LUNA (Mother Moon) and LA VIUDA DE BLANCO (White Widow). Sun, moon, and rainbow of colors give clues to personalities & thoughts of characters of Jimenez.

Full moon veiled by dark clouds appears so many times lately in DJY, might image mean more than just indication of night? Chinese folktales tell of a woman or rabbit in the moon (rather than western Man in the Moon seen in shape of crater shadows.

Goguryo raven flag may stand for sun (note Japan's "Land of Rising Sun" flag. Think I read somewhere shape of sunspots looked like bird). If DJY is sun, who is his Lady of the Moon--rabbit-like Lady Sukyoung or long-separted love Chulin?

Korean dramas often use separated lovers to represent divided Korea, e.g. SEOUL 1945 & BELOVED ENCOUNTER (about boy & girl switched at birth; heroine eventually decides to marry him to reunite families, renouncing her very romantic love with another man).

MADRE LUNA is about long-separated lovers, female moon and male sun. Alejandra's colors are white, silvery or grey; Leonardo used to live in sunny yellow mansion, moving to sky blue hacienda . Circles may mean feminine , grids or squares (like plots of land?) masculine. Monday's episode gave good examples of visual symbolism (circle earrings, designs in Violeta's bar, spot rugs in Flavia's house); click MADRE LUNA link soon to view.

Color of clothing, cars, interior decoration also indicate thoughts , feelings and "sides" characters are on (like uniforms of servants or soldiers do). Pink of dawn=revelation or discovery (orange may mean sunset=bad news?) red=family love, blood ties? Green of leaves=life, brown=soil, purple of twilight=deception, hidden agenda (character with big secret is named Violeta!) Black of night may also mean someone has a secret, in the dark (in Spanish "obscuridad"), obscure.

Water (natural & manmade swimming pool, irrigation channels, etc) appear a lot in ML. Not sure of intended meaning, but common interpretations elsewhere are life, birth, cleansing.

In DJY, scene of Gulsabiwu & Geomlan in dark, murky forest expressed their sorrow & despair like grey charred ashes. "Watershed" moments in DJY often include streams, rivers, etc.

Hope DJY has happy ending like 1940's movie MARK OF ZORRO with Tyrone Power (with which it has some simularities, including freedom fighters against foreign rulers). Would love to see DJY & company settle down for long peaceful lives raising crops and lots of children!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shakespeare and Soap Operas

One of my recurrent enthusiams is Spanish language continuing daily dramas or "telenovelas"--or at least quality ones that are unusual or exceptional in some way.

Among my all-time-favorites are the 1980's version of CORAZON SALVAJE and 1990's LA MENTIRA--both based on books by much-admired grand dame of novela writing, Caridad Bravo Adams. She started out writing during the Golden Age of radio novelas in the 1940's and 50's, turned hit scripts into books, which later were turned into TV and movie versions.

Her inspiration ranged from historical events to classic literature. A real-life volcanic erruption (book version of Corazon Salvaje is set on French Caribbean island where town of St. Pierre was wiped out (later versions used hurricane and earthquake for crisis leading to important plot turning point).

CBA's story La Mentira (The Lie) was inspired by Othello (down to handkerchief "proof")--only with a happy ending! (Will Shakespeare himself also got ideas for his plays from may sources, including other writers works). Version I saw starred Kate Del Castillo as wife who turns the tables on deluded husband who seeks revenge in remote part of Mexico; book is set in Rio de Janeiro & Amazon jungle

(I've read most of the 40 novels published by CBA, none ever translated into English as far as I know; all may have been out of print for many years aside from Corazon Salvaje trilogy).

90's TV La Mentira is available as much edited version on DVD which I haven't seen yet. Earlier film versions are also out that I'd love to see and compare. After I saw complete broadcast of Corazon Salvaje starring Palomo & Gonzales, I saw video cassette version released as rental some years ago with most sub-plot material & secondary characters cut, unfortunately!

Telemundo is running ads for new version of La Mentira story titled EL ENGANO (The Deception) starring actor I'm not keen on. Kate's LM was so perfect, only reason I can see for remake so soon is lack of contemporary creative writers--among reasons I started watching Korean and Japanese TV dramas, as a change from all -too-familiar TV tales of American origin.

More on my current Korean favorite another time...

Better late than never!

I almost forgot I'd set up this blog about four months ago. Think I did so to be able to comment (reminder to myself) on blog by a British woman opera fan's review of book "I Married a Pirate", which sounded a lot like 1950's movie musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" which I'd recently rewatched. Happened on that during search for pattern for a particular 1950's crocheted shawl. Intriguing the things that turn up when googling!

Probably I won't write daily, just in bursts when thinking about whatever my current enthusiasm may be. At the moment, this could be home for my comments that don't quite fit n elsewhere, that sort of stray over the borders of forums focusing on specific topics, kind of my own little island "between two worlds", a phrase I belatedly considered as title for this journal.

(BTW "Between Two Worlds" is title of book that sounded interesting at the time--but now I'm not sure which it was of the many possibilities it may be!) This could also be a place to store my notes on stuff to research later when I have more time, replacing bits of paper that tend to get lost. We'll see how it works out.