Archive for the ‘The Life Beautiful’ Category

The Title Of Honour

Authors often put in an aesthetic label where it has no relevance to plot. If they send a character Jenny to Japan, for example, we might find “the beautiful Jenny” landing at Narita. If Mary survives a firefight, we will soon be hearing that “the beautiful Mary” was still alive. Does this label tell us […]

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 12:37 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

Zuleika Dobson

It is interesting that “beauty”, “belle”, “beau” and so forth are all nouns. Not only that, but they are employed as occupational designations too: the plane crash killed four bankers, three accountants and two beauties. Yet they are not quite symmetrical. A beau means a girl’s “lover”; that is, a lourd need not apply. A […]

Posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:22 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

Walking Across The Square

A lot of jokes and other observations begin, “There are two sorts of people in the world”. But not every possible or even important classification has yet been published. Another major tribal division, as fundamental as that between men and women or optimists and pessimists, concerns walking. Some people walk in order merely to move […]

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 11:19 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

The Mind’s Construction In The Face

Nobody now believes in physiognomy as a science or discipline, but nevertheless people cannot be persuaded to refrain from making snap judgments on each other on the basis of their faces. From what I hear, there is some sound reality behind this: laboratory subjects shown photographs get a surprising amount right about personal history. This […]

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 09:55 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

A Chinese Wedding On A Swiss Mountainside

High above the village of Grindelwald, I watched what seemed to be a Chinese double wedding party getting photographed. It occasioned reflection on what female beauty actually means. For the conventional view of what wedding costumes are saying has always been that the besuited man is symbolising providing-power while the gussied-up woman is advertising reproductive […]

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 11:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

The Dumb Giant And The Dumb Blonde

It is a venerable literary assumption that great physical size and strength goes together with great stupidity. Steinbeck’s Lennie Small is a locus classicus for the trope, and Pratchett’s trolls may become another. The opposite assumption is that small men are intelligent, cunning or both; and indeed, the Metropolitan Police is said to operate a […]

Posted on May 15, 2010 at 22:28 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

The Riverside Joggers

I once came across the claim that for young German women, expression of thought and sentiment was more important than beauty or posing. It was added that most “hot babes” you see in Germany were Slavs. The German girls had an inner life, it was asserted, the Slav girls didn’t. One would have to know […]

Posted on May 16, 2010 at 22:35 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

The Marathon Runners

One day I happened to be in a city in which a marathon was being run, back and forth through the very centre. I think it was the first time I have witnessed one close up. What struck me was the way the female runners all seemed to be a particular type: lean, as one […]

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 10:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

Beautiful Queue-Jumpers

Imagine that you are in a supermarket checkout, or a ticket-controlled line for a counter. A beautiful girl cuts into the queue. What do you do? If you are a straight man, I suspect you will smile and let her, although to another man you would snarl and tell him to stand in line. She […]

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 20:48 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful

Indifference In A Better Cause

Stefan Zweig once asked: “Why love the healthy, confident, proud and happy? They don’t need it. They take love as their rightful due, as the duty owed to them, they accept it indifferently and arrogantly. Other people’s devotion is just another gift to them, a clasp to wear in the hair, a bangle for the […]

Posted on May 19, 2010 at 10:42 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Beautiful