Monday, December 29, 2008


On Accents

It's late night in Istanbul, and I'm juxtaposing my view of the snow dusted Bosphorus sea with listening to Paul Simon sing about the "Blood of Christ Mountains of New Mexico". It's one of my favourite songs, 'Hearts and Bones', and emphasises for me that my favourite thing about Simon, apart from his lyrical gift, is that he sings entirely in his own accent. It's rarer than you'd imagine. It's something I love, not just in singers - from Bob Dylan to Billy Bragg to Sinead O'Connor - but also in actors (there's a wonderful Aussie film starring Cate Blanchett called 'Little Fish'. As brilliant as she always is, she reaches a whole other level of transcendence in her own voice.) Hearing 'Hearts and Bones' again, I think the most affecting verse in a very affecting song is:

"One and one half wandering Jews
Return to their natural coasts
To resume old aquaintances
Step out occasionally
Speculate who has been damaged the most


You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Hearts and bones
And they don't come undone..."

The word 'Jew' could be 'Catholic', 'Muslim, 'Hindu'. It just happens to be his personal story - it's about his divorce from Carrie Fisher, right? - and I believe it. I always listen to my favourite songwriters when I'm trying to finish a book, which I am here doing. I also just finished the 19th century travelogue/love memoir 'Azeyede' by Pierre Loti (set here in 'Stamboul'). It was lovely and inspiring. But it's Simon who inspires me most, reminding me: always write in your own "accent". Live in your own accent. So if you're sad, or frightened or even, conversely, waylaid, crazily, by the joy of new love, you'll always be authentic.

As I've mentioned before, my favourite writer-director is Fatih Akin ('Head-On' and 'The Edge of Heaven'). I happen to know that the Hamburg born Turk has been pursued fairly relentlessly by Hollywood to make an English language film. But I guess he wants to stay working in his own "accent"...though I'd love to see what he'd do with a Hollywood enigma like Rachel Weisz or Benicio Del Toro, I can't help admiring Akin more for his stance.

Everybody has an *idiolect* - a variety of a language unique to an individual.
Some people have an amazing (beautiful) idiolect...I'm a SUCKER for that (being an "ole linguist" myself)'s more than an accent and your idiolect is just as unique as your fingerprint.
I have already told you that you have a fantastic (highly interesting!) idiolect...:) I know what I'm talking about - I'm an expert LOL.

I liked what you said about living your "own" accent - be yourself, no matter what.
Isn't that a line of "All you need is love"..."There is nothing you can do that can't be done, nothing you can sing that can't be sung, [...] nothing you can make that can't be made, no one you can save that can't be saved, nothing you can do but you can learn to be YOU in time [...]".
FANTASTIC song btw...

As I've mentioned before...'Gegen die Wand' is out on DVD here, it's my guess (hope) that they'll publish it soon in the US (with subtitles and all).
hwo are u EMMA?UR TUMMY??
My tummy???Um,relatively flat but losing its tan?
Was the question *how* or rather *who* are you LOL (I LOVE scrambled letters!)...*Who* are you, your tummy?...OK OK...that makes even LESS sense...I should REALLY sleep!
ur tummy is good ok ok....
I love accents. I once fell in love with a boy because of the way he spoke. He was from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland but he had the most beautiful soft speaking voice. I have to admit I like Scottish accents too but my favourite is Italian. They make everything sound so exciting so passionate.

Speaking of tummies mine is a little larger probably something to do with the full box of Marks ans Spencers Truffles I ate. Went walking again today to make amends.
I'm listening to a lot of Ian Browne at the moment, also just downloaded Duffy Stepping Stones.

Glad to hear you're finishing your book.
Will you send me the link to your white lace dress (or is it on your blog?) Desp to live vicariously through your purchase...

There is a beautiful velvet emerald green dress dress 1950's but it was sold before I got to it.

Like this one too:
Well girls, I have a couple of dresses like these off my mother/grand-mother...I even have my grand-mother's long "cocktail" skirt from the 40s...some dresses/jackets from the 50s and 60s from my mom, one or two handbags, and a genuine 60s umbrella.
When my grand-mother died, we just didn't have the heart to "throw" everything away that she had so treasured...
I have furniture too...50s, 60s, 30s, 40s and an armchair from the 20s (plus china and cutlery)...I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.
Dresses from that time were so feminine without being overtly sexual. The right dress can change how you feel and it allows you to express yourself. Allowing your pretty/sexy/elegant/dark side to be expressed.

On a more serious note:
Have to tell you guys about a movie I've just seen tonight. A most touching,romantic,compassionately written piece. Lars and the real girl with Anthony Gillespie and Emily Mortimer. What a lovely movie, please if you haven't seen it do ourself a favour and get it.
What is it about - I haven't heard of it before.
Ok, when I tell you what it's about you're going to think I'm crazy. It's about a guy who falls in love with a sex doll. It's not about sex honestly anything but it's really about intimacy. It's so sweet Stone, get it.
5.29 post
Yourself not ourself.
Although as a human race we are all one. Of course that's not what I intended but the best tings in life are often unplanned.
Shit 6.24 post
things not tings
Although the Irish don't prononce their th's. Apparently it's something to do with the fact that gaelic doesn't have a 'h'. At least that's what my soul sister (Buckinghamshire linguist) Kate has told me.
The German linguist tends to agree :-)
*tings* sound like Dolores O'Riordan (sp?)...:-)
I really like the Irish accent...coincidentally, people usually think that I'm Irish - accent-wise LOL - I guess it's a combo of American and British influences mixed with a little German twang...(similar pronounciation of certain occlusives) - the mix sounds pretty authentic, so I'm told :)
Been meaning to rent that Ryan Gosling film, Cleo. You just reminded me. Thanks!

Also, that white lace dress is looking delicate & delish, by the way. Very pretty. You must put up pics when you try it on!

And on the subject of tummies...mines has it's own zip code...and so does my ass.
The dress is lovely. And my top tip is always spend the money to tailor splurge dresses to your body. So worth it. Ryan Gosling can do no wrong. Lars and the Real Girl was written by Nancy Oliver who was one of the head writers on Six Feet Under, if you were into that show?
**And on the subject of tummies...mines has it's own zip code...and so does my ass.**

LMAO Akilah :-)

***And my top tip is always spend the money to tailor splurge dresses to your body. So worth it.***

Isn't that EXTREMELY expensive - it is here...or do you mean that you should tailor a dress yourself (I can't...)?
Never seen '6 feet Under'...

At any rate HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody...may your dreams and aspirations come true!
May you have the strength to accept the things that you cannot change and to change those that you CAN change.
Maybe a bit expensive but I really love it Stone so please don't make it feel guilty. (Honestly mummy Stone I have the money it's not on my credit card).

Emma my next door neighbour is a seemtress so she alters all of my clothes. Will put my dress on blog when it arrives.Any ideas on shoe colour?

Emma couldn't believe it, we had to go to the extras on the DVD to find the writer's name. The plummer was easily visible but the writers name Nancy Oliver had to be searched for. Really like Ryan Gosling ...handsome and talented.
**(Honestly mummy Stone I have the money it's not on my credit card)**


It was just a question! A tailored dress would be several hundred Euros here... shoes, Cleo :-)

Like in the Wizard of Oz...maybe less glitzy :-)
No, I mean a dress you buy should be altered to fit you perfectly - it costs maybe 20 dollars at my tailor. And seriously Stone, thanks for calling me on my grumpiness. You are a wise and trusted voice...
Ooh, shoes: with white I agree ruby red, or, to continue the oz theme, emerald green. Definitely a bright or jewel colour. I did mint green suede heels with my white lace dress this summer. Went well with scarlet lips.
It was just a question! A tailored dress would be several hundred Euros here...

I know it was just a question Stone.It just that I'm feeling a little guilty about buying it and you voiced what I didn't want to hear.With postage it was 213 euro, I know that's not cheap but it's ok isn't it?

Mint green suede that sounds fab.

Hate New Years Eve, we're going to pub for a drink with two of my favourite couples and my sister in law. Home by 1am I hope.
OK OK...I get it...oh, yes, that's absolutely worth it...definitely worth 20 bucks!

A "wise" voice...oh dear...if only I was so wise when it comes to my own shit LOL...but thanks anyway...listen to the teacher, girls...LOL!


You gotta be crazy once in a while Cleo...NO REGRETS! Money's over-rated...and what good is money when you cannot use it for *yourself*?
By the way re: Hearts and Bones- it's a really good excuse to get the itunes audiobook version of "Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher.

I think you'd really like it.
Read it day it came out, my dear!
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