05 July 2009

Rose C'est La Vie & such are her Summer Reads

"if one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. "
oscar wilde

rose by Rose C'est La Vie, Rosie West

Very soon after I started my blog- Rose C'est La Vie appeared- had I conjured a sister in the blogasphere?

I've always wanted a sister- of like mind of course. I found a kindred spirit in ROSE . I read her words and often think- I wish I'd said that... and then I find myself revisiting favorite posts by Rosie here. Clever girl!

Then I find myself wishing I could illustrate my words like Rosie here.

Rosie's Calamity Jane

images copyright from Rose West

doris day as Rosie

What Books are on your Summer reading list?
Is there one book you honestly don’t expect to get to? Why?

You find me without a summer reading list! I only read a few novels a year, Ouch. So I’ve looked through my book shelves and rediscovered some theory books. This is a great excuse to revisit/finish them.
Celebrity by Chris Rojek -
Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and DOCUMENTS – Hayward Gallery,
The Fashioned Body by Joanne Entwistle
Drawing by Philip Rawson
I will mostly only dip into these. Apart from Grayson Perry Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl by Wendy Jones. I won’t read anything cover to cover.

Anything untouched, I’ll confess to in the autumn.

Where do you read and When? Does the genre you are reading dictate the place you read- in other words, Do you take just any old book to bed?

I read on the underground and the buses and in my all-purpose kitchen mostly. I prefer to do a cryptic crossword in bed than read a book. Blogs take up a lot of my reading time now.
so true!

What is you all time Favorite Book for its sense of place?

Moby Dick for the whaling port of Nantucket (I’ve always wanted to go there) particularly the seamen’s chapel where the minister had to climb a rope ladder to get into the pulpit. And for the sense of infinity in the ever rolling seas.
What is your Security Blanket Book?

Once Upon A Time : photography by Slim Aarons. It helps me pretend that I don’t live in the 21st Century.

What is your favorite Genre? Why? What is your most recent purchase in this category?

Rosie's Books

I do buy a lot of picture books. Reading for me is either extreme hard work (like critical theory books) or it’s confined to captions under lush images of vintage couture or interior design. I had Emily Evans Eerdman’s Regency Redux for Christmas and.I’ve bought anything that has jumped into my hand since, if it has gorgeous illustrations. For example:
PHAIDON’s Chinoiserie by Dawn Jacobson

The Ecstasy of Things

Fornasetti by Patrick Mauries

Lost Gardens of England by Kathryn Bradley-Hole - to name but a few of my extravagances.

What about Books you are reading for a second or third time? Why? Any disappointments on second reading?

I ‘ve read Le Grand Meaulnes (not in French!) three or four times. Its notion of a lost domain means that I can never remember the ending. I must go back to Moby Dick and find my favourite salty passages.
It’s my poor concentration that is becoming a disappointment to me these days.

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

What is the seminal book in your field or your passion that you would recommend to young would be(s) of the same?

The Elements of Colour by Johannes Itten. For me, colour theory (as developed by this Bauhaus tutor) is invaluable. How else can you make the right shadow in a painting, judge the perfect kind of grey?

RW applying the theory

What is your Latest Obsession Author, Designer, Photographer?

I’ve been drawing in the National Gallery. Obsessed with the whole damn place.

What of your sketches would be good to illustrate what book? What specifically is obsessing you?

I am wrestling with Poussin's Bacchinale-all intertwined bodies, arms, legs and bare breasts. I can think of any number of books where this sort of things could allude to the delights and consequences of human revelry.

Book covers can be art- Do you have a favorite cover in your stacks?

Yes, Four Cautionary Tales-illustration by Derek Hill

& this handprinted cover of Lubok, a collection of contemporary German artists’ linocuts

Going out on a limb here –define LIBRARY in the nontraditional sense?

I am wondering if it's not people's 'favourites' or 'bookmarks' on their computers these days.

What is the bookmark on your computer that YOU go to everyday? Do tell, and A BOOK is on its Way! I have REVISITING THE PAINTED HOUSE by Graham Rust waiting for you.

then GO to see Rose C'est La Vie.

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. "
Emma Goldman


  1. Wonderful interview, as usual!
    I could read people talking about their books for hours!

  2. This is Rose C'est La Vie speaking!
    Thank you Little Augury, Gaye, for
    compiling all this. You have put it together brilliantly and make me look far more interesting than I really am.
    I am honoured to be in your Summer Reading List and your blog sister!

  3. Looking at other people's bookcases is quite a voyeuristic treat. In my university community is actually like a rorschach or a CAT scan. It's always a relief to find other readers!

  4. thanks to all, Rosie- the pleasure is all mine- my personal book list expands! g

  5. I'm going to get "Lost Gardens of England" right now.

  6. Rose: Moby Dick is the one I keep going back to. It's hypnotic. I've always wondered if Harvard ever published Melville's annotated Shakespeare.
    I've got a dogeared Modern Library edition of MD with Rockwell Kent illustrations. I actually met a guy who has the first edition, two volumes in an aluminum box. He also owned a number of Kent lithographs. Gave them to Duke.

  7. AAL- a book you don't have- I declare, this looks like a gem. Let me know if you find it? difficult? la

  8. Rurritable- Another Moby Dick reader- as I mentioned I too found this to be unforgettable. Fascinating to read Melville's Shakespeare. la

  9. I like the idea of thinking of the bookmarks as a library, but for me they are more a way to relax in the evening, sort of a little chat before bedtime. All the usual suspects, wrapped up in blog reader, so I can see who's posted what. One I look at that not everyone seems to have on their list is La Divan Fumoir Bohemien(accents missing). The NYT (since its impossible to buy one here), the weather. Thats a typical roundup. Books are different, a time apart. I'm going to have to get a different copy of Itten since seeing that cover. Much more inspiring. I also like the Albers.

  10. How honest she was, I love that! So true that blog reading has taken the place of books! I LOVE the sketches included that Rose did, so personal.
    I will have to check out this painted house book -it looks marvelous!

  11. PS -my favorite stop on my 'favorites' is ebay and 1stdibs! Virtual window shopping before bed for me, please!

  12. Rosie sounds like a cool chick. kd

  13. Balsam Fir and AD- isn't rose wonderful?! I do read many many bookmarks- and it does take up some good in the bed book reading time. I am trying to pry myself away from bookmarks and readers a bit more- I miss my books. AD the ebay bookmark is worn out here. g.

  14. Balsam Fir- I have added your suggestion to me blog list! thanks for the tip! G

  15. Balsam Fir is the winner of the great G Rust book.



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