Look Back in Angkor

I am behind with my blogging. Mea culpa. Too much going on in my head and not enough anywhere else. I have read 2 books in the last few days. I embarked on Martin Chuzzlewit. A marathon by any measure. Nevertheless I found it an impressive work. The diversion to the U-nited States was a bit bizarre and unnecessary in my view. What was Dickens thinking of?  I understand the satire but it seems out of place in what is otherwise a compelling novel. At least I know now what Pecksniffian means. [Hypocritically benevolent; sanctimonious.]  I am sure Charlie D. would be worried stiff if he knew I thought so but luckily for us both he misses out on my my literary criticism. I do like Dickens and the plan is to tackle A Tale of Two Cities next. I am downloading all of the books for free from the Gutenberg project. I have a hard copy too so I can switch between e reader and real paper as I choose. The second book was The Photographer’s Vision by Michael Freeman. He invariably produces thought provoking books so I devoured this inside a day. My challenge now is a growing backlog of reading material. Kind-hearted folk recommend something, I go to Amazon or the good Gut’ and another one joins the queue. This has to stop. Maybe. If I need something lighter I have a book on Pete & Dud next. That should be fun. One Leg Too Few it is called.

So with nothing avian moving me at the moment I offer a few snaps of that old chestnut, Angkor Wat. Guildford it is not but its the best I can do for today.

Angkor Wat BW harsh Three Little Maids Upward temple view Wall art Angkor Wat Angkor Wat monkcoloour


25 thoughts on “Look Back in Angkor

  1. Such a dilemma, so many books, so little time. I find I can enjoy novels on the Kobo, but for non-fiction I need a real book.
    Great photos and very interesting post again. Now I have to look up the Pete and Dud book…

  2. Although I’m not passionate about using the ipad for reading, I do love the fact that there are so many free books out there, flying about in the ether waiting to be read. It’s a long time since I’ve read any Dickens so cannot comment on MC. I’m wading through Maugham’s On Human Bondage at the moment. Beautiful photographs of Angkor Wat. It was on Pete’s and my wish list of places to visit when we were in S.E Asia but sadly, he couldn’t get enough time off work.

    • I think you would like Dickens if you revisited him, Lottie. I think when we are young are either given to regard him as old-fashioned and irrelevant to today’s generation, a classic writer but ‘hard going’ or we experience him through the costume dramas on the goggle box. You have to be diligent reading Dickens. The richness of his language needs and deserves close attention. Much of what he writes is as relevant today as it was 150 years ago. The iPad tires my eyes but I love its convenience and the accessibility of free reading material. I’m on to Pete & Dud now.

      • You’ll have a laugh with Pete &Dud, that’s for sure! and yes, I will revisit Dickens. Pete’s a huge fan of Dickens. That’s my Pete, not Pete & Dud though they may well have been for all I know.

  3. A plethora of allusions and references today, dear Andrew — the Khmer Rouge looking back in anger at the Buddhas they could not destroy the printing presses in Germany standing for digital ephemera now that you know the meaning of Pecksniffian see if you can use it in polite conversation.

    Like Marylin I loved these pictures, wonder what the evening breeze smells like the fragrances of Angkor Wat before the world heritage bureaucrats claimed her before Pol Pot before the global hurricane.

    • Eb, it is very difficult to experience any sort of peace and solitude at Angkor Wat. It is just a succession of tour groups. I took lots of images hoping I could crop out some of the unwanted hordes but its almost impossible. I think maybe a rainy day would be good. I am keeping a list of words to throw into casual conversation and Pecksniffian is on it.

  4. Oh, Andrew, you are not the first to wonder what Dickens was thinking, but it still made me laugh to read your question.
    But Dickens aside, I have to comment on the beauty of the photographs…especially the first (the eerie dark beauty) and the last (the spot of brilliant color). I loved these pictures.

    • Thank you very much Marylin. The first shot was shot at dawn and the colour version loses much of the detail due to the extremely low light. The magic of the NIK software has pulled out details that I simply can’t see otherwise. Digital has its advantages.

  5. My personal favourites are “Bleak House” and “Our Mutual Friend”. I can’t suggest anything from the free list, Andrew: but I can certainly recommend lots of others, if you’re interested?

    • Thanks M.R.

      I have both Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend in a pile of old books I rescued back in 1969. Our neighbour was going to throw them away – they were old book club editions. I took them and a mere 45 years later I am ready to read them. It just a matter of priorities.

  6. So many interesting things to read and so little time! Project Gutenberg’s great though I find it hard to focus and read anything more than a short story on the computer. My boyfriend recently bought a tablet and was showing me Alice in Wonderland (one of the free e-books that came with the gadget). I still prefer reading a hard copy book, never mind that my books are occupying and soon taking over my fireplace! I especially like the second shot of the apsaras, with one left out on the left while the last on the right is mostly defaced. Almost could imagine that the latter had moved into the lower spot, leaving behind an empty ‘shell’.

    • Thanks Angelina. I use an e reader as a matter of practicality. I have virtually no more room for hardbacks. I have just bought two but no idea where they will go. We have over 2000 sq’ but every nook and cranny seems to be full. I have so many photos of the figures that most have never been processed. I ought to make a concerted effort to do more.

      • I’m trying to see if there are some books that I can bear to sell off at a secondhand bookstore, so that I can make space for more books 🙂

  7. Just a tad older than Guildford, methinks 🙂 Thanks for the mention in dispatches – I couldn’t hope to produce such evocative pics though – that last one with the saffron clothed monk is marvellous.

  8. Such a treasure trove of books you’ve read and many more to come. Your unbounded appetite for books is wonderful. Love these photos. So much interest in each one. I like how the orange clothed monk can be seen walking along that ancient building.

  9. We’re going to AW in late October –boat up the Mekong from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap and then fly to Bangkok and a 12 day trip through Thailand, ending at Vientiane where we fly to Hanoi for 3 days. Thanks for the photos–you bring it that much closer!

    • Art, you will love it. I hope you stay at Raffles in Siem Reap. Be prepared for chaotic traffic and exhaust fumes in Hanoi and lots of incredibly friendly people all over Indo China.

  10. Much as I would like to go to AV (nice pix btw) I am struggling with the Guildfordl ink. Surely LBIA is set in Derby and involves a Welsh lodger and in the first film a slightly well-known Welsh actor.

    Goes off stage left, muttering Guildford? Guildford? Unless it’s a reference to Jenny’s post??

  11. I envy your travels, Andrew. So many wonderful places to experience in this world. Fine B&W images all.
    Yes, Michael Freeman does put together some outstanding texts. I’ve read his series “The Photographer’s Story, Vision, Mind and Eye” to name a few. 🙂 I won’t recommend any others…sounds as though you are up to your eyeballs in possibilities.
    Those spires/towers are amazingly beautiful.

  12. ah, Andrew, real paper, I don’t own a Kindle nor nuffink like it, tho’ I can understand the appeal and accessibility, give me books every time, I look about ‘n have books coming out of…erm…
    everywhere. I haven’t read for over a year, somehow I’ve lost the urge, but it will come back, for I love to dive in and lose myself in another world, where an author can spin a fine tale that captures and won’t let go. Like Dumas’ Count Of Monte Cristo. Wow!! Blew my mind. The pile of books grows daily, and they’re becoming very impatient, giving me the ‘eye’
    The fantastic Photo’s might not be Guildford, but just ‘up t’road’ maybe? 😉 xx

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