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June 2010

June 2010



This month, make time to revisit the works of Patrick White (1912–1990), who penned a dozen novels, two short story collections, eight plays, and several volumes of poetry. His writing style is of another time – dense prose which demands extended attention – but he is the only Australian writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, in addition to receiving numerous local awards, and he warrants your careful consideration. In April, director Fred Schepisi began filming The Eye of the Storm, based on White's 1973 novel, so perhaps a new generation will be introduced to this impressive writer. Those unfamiliar with White's work might start with The Tree of Man (1955), The Vivisector (1970), or The Twyborn Affair (1979). If your interest is piqued, continue with David Marr's hefty 1991 biography, Patrick White: A Life.


The Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival, from 18 to 20 June. Those who have been receiving our newsletters for a while know we pushed you in this direction in 2008 also. We are longtime admirers of this remarkable bookstore, the family who run it, and the festival that Sylvia Whitman guides into being for the fourth time. Events are held free of charge in the beautiful Square René Viviani, opposite Notre Dame. The 2010 lineup includes Jeanette Winterson, Philip Pullman, Martin Amis, Hanif Kureishi and Nam Le.


Since 1998, when we released Damascan Rose Facial Treatment, this vitamin-rich moisturising blend for dry, depleted and stressed skin has been consistently commended by our customers. This product is ideal for skin exposed to dehydrating and polluted environments, since the oils – Damascan Rose, Violet Leaf and Neroli Blossom, among others – offer exceptional hydration. We suggest this treatment be used every other night after cleansing for best results.


William Downie Yarra Valley Pinot Noir. Australian Bill Downie, winner of the Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of the Year Award 2006, is a genius. Really. Anyone seeking proof should seek out a bottle of his impressive almost-Burgundian Yarra Valley Pinot and set aside a few hours to enjoy. The 2006 vintage has been described as having 'a sexy nose, gorgeous red fruits and briar, intermingled with some minerals and a whiff of smokiness' and if that doesn't call you to your nearest reputable wine merchant, nothing will.


The Fred Hollows Foundation works to improve the availability of quality eye health care and surgery, and end avoidable blindness, for people in Australia's indigenous communities and developing countries. Established by surgeon and social justice advocate Professor Fred Hollows (1929–1993), the Foundation has helped to restore the sight of more than a million people. Hollows was a vigorous campaigner for indigenous health, creating the groundbreaking National Trachoma and Eye Health Program in Australian in the Seventies. Help continue his work.


Castagnaccio at Ristorante Rigolo (telephone +39 2 8646 3220) when in Milan. Since 1958, this unassuming restaurant has served family style Toscana dishes in a warm, welcoming room staffed by friendly and professional waiters. While Milan is now crammed with reputable eateries, this restaurant says it owes its longevity to serving consistently good food and sticking with tradition.


French chanteuse Berry perform with Nouvelle Vague in Australia June 14 (Brisbane), 16 (Sydney) and 17 (Melbourne). For those who reside in cities other than these, Berry's debut CD Mademoiselle is recommended. Berry's music leans to light jazz and elegant pop, and her lyrics – smart and poetic - speak of lost love and treasured memories.


Austrian-born modernist architect and writer Richard Neutra (1892–1970). Among his notable works are the VDL Research House and Tremaine House. Neutra was a fervent believer in the potential of architecture to improve people's lives. He is known for his sleek designs which, though minimal, speak to the landscape and the wellbeing of the building's occupants. Neutra said, 'My life has been governed by the goal of building environmental harmony, functional efficiency, and human enhancement into the experience of everyday living.'


Films by Pedro Almodovar to discover stories, performances and hairdos that are deliriously complex and colourful. Almodovar takes great risks in his films, writing with disregard for trends and casting actors on instinct. Though he received no formal training, this Spanish director has crafted most of our favourite films, and is regarded as a significant contemporary writer and director. See Talk to Her for the dance scene and soundtrack, and Matador for its assured writing. To hear from Almodovar directly, visit his blog.


Instead of spending your computer time watching videos of clod-footed puppies, less-than-gifted babies, or any of the other peculiar toxins on the internet, we urge you to visit the University of Cambridge website. Begin by listening to Professor Philip Petit's discourse on the Open Doors Model of Freedom. Continue on our prescribed path by learning about the freedoms to read, hear and drink what you choose. Providing it meets Aesop's standards of merit and taste, of course.


‘I forgot what I was taught. I only remember what I have learnt.’ Patrick White

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