Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Asterix and Obelix...my heros!

I have adored Asterix and Obelix since I was a child. My mother is German, and I learnt German by speaking with her and also swapping Asterix and Obelix books with my Uncle in Germany. He used my ones to learn English and I used his to learn German. They are so amazing. The names are based on words in the language they are published. For example, Obelix stems from obelisk, Dogmatix from dogmatic and Vitalstatistix from vital statistics. This method is applied in other languages and dialects, for example Idefix is the French version of Dogmatix. Even the jokes suit the local population. They may seem like simple comic books, but they are actually very complex, clever little books, suitable for youngsters and grown-ups alike. I highly recommend them. The films are also very good, available in cartoon or with real people. Both make good use of the foreign accents. Their web-site is very good, particularly for practising language skills.

American Themes

I can't believe I have left it so long, but I have been distracted by some good books. I am currently reading "After The Rain", a story set around a restaurant in a small, rural town in Vermont. New England is another place I love to read about.

One of my favourite authors, Alice Hoffman, writes beautiful, complex stories about people and how their lives intertwine. One of her more recent books, Probable Future, developed the concept that people are not always what they seem, and her latest book, Blackbird House, focused on the lifetime of a house and the lives of the people that lived there. I really enjoy books about small town life in America, picturing their lives, comparing them to mine. Anne Tyler sets all her books in Baltimore and again tells the complex stories of people living there. The characters in all these books are so rich and alive, I get lost in them. Adriana Trigiani is another great author who writes about Italian immigrants in America, living in small towns. Again, the stories are so full of life, you can imagine everything that is happening to them, as if it was your own hometown.

Until next time....