Archives mensuelles : avril 2012

Inside Coca-Cola

I read this book thinking it would be a learning experience. Reading provides a way to know an author. This is a book written as a tribute to a life’s ambition, and also, it is a work providing world’s history through the eyes of an American icon, as led by one man.

CEO. It’s not a word, it’s a position within a company, and it can mean many things to many people. This culture in America tends to trivialize words, especially those which can be translated or understood in differing ways. CEO, surprisingly, is not one our culture allows to be ‘used,’ effectively creating a realm or figurehead for a company’s guidance. It is a company’s corporate seat of authority. This position is an establishment for a term and gives guidance according to the dictates and philosophies of the one individual at this one point in time.

Neville Isdell, the author, is the Irish-born Rugby enthusiast, and the professional realist. Though empathetic to the plight of the socially indifferent, he sees beyond local issues, creating worlds of hope and encouragement through peaceful work environments for those under his authority, and with a no-nonsense approach to consolidation of bottling services and corporate finance, he guides by example.

« When God created the world, he created Coke number one and Pepsi number two, » and God proclaims destiny.

The author’s stories are broad in scope. Taking lessons away from every encounter, he leaves his career and the details to destiny and divine inspiration. Throughout his career as told through these relationship encounters, he steps into every challenge he is asked to acknowledge. His philosophy seeming to be « who better to take this on » and knowing that others saw his potential, progress was instigated through request, « other people saw more in me than I saw in myself. » Every story, every encounter, becomes a life lesson, « never be frightened by conflict, » and in the hope that one should attempt peaceful reconciliation, « find a good, honest solution that is pragmatic, not bullheaded. » He tells his tales with conviction and inherent pride.

I read this book thinking it would be a learning experience. It was epic.

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Mrs. Dalloway

There are no chapters in this book.

Virginia Woolf writes as if she could stand no interruption until she finished penning the words which had to have a place to fall.

Reading this, the first scenes seem like a dream. As if the author creates the stage through character identification in alternating glances as a waltz through the town, and in which the reader becomes a fly on the wall.

The story then moves to Clarissa Dalloway as the life-force, the living – not asleep, but engaged in the realization of some of her life’s interruptions, speculating upon choices proposed, and decisions she’s made. But, since wishing for better prospects won’t create healthier relationships, she’ll just throw a party and wear her favorite dress. Clarissa Dalloway does not mourne.

The story then flashes back to viewing the world as through a dream, seemingly through the eyes of Virginia, herself. Vague images, as if wandering unobservedly through the township until settling on independent thought through individual character. This particular character, Peter Walsh, Clarissa’s lost love, the other voice of concern and reason, offers insight, as he perceives townspeople, the war, his self-worth by way of class and duty. He begins to imagine his place in this society since returning from the war. He recalls Clarissa’s husband, Richard Dalloway, and Peter bestows confidence, allowing that Richard is a « thorough good sort » (wasted on politics, in Peter’s opinion), and Clarissa is absorbed by her husband’s sense of poetic injustice… Richard believes Shakespeare’s sonnets to be indecent, not worthy of noble discretion since they, in Richard’s opinion, degrade privacy, as if « listening through keyholes » (!)

(Interesting that she weaves attitudes with British class perspectives, makes one wonder what she, herself, thought of Shakespeare.)

Depth of character interest.

This book, Mrs. Dalloway, provides every possibility for a personality to exist.

She writes about suicide, « how does one set about killing oneself » … « uglily, » she decides.

Then, a tirade, she rambles over health and wellness through the vague storyline of Septimus and Lucrezia, with her idea seeming as a Shakespearean respite – the tie to the storyline being a literal bloom, with Lucrezia’s roses as an indication of Clarissa’s talent for decorating the lives she touches. Mrs. Dalloway loves flowers and playing mistress of the house.

« Prophetic Christs and Christesses, » Sir William Bradshaw denounces the weak.

She imagines sanity through the sentiments of Sir William, a notable professor of human nature by way of psychiatric remedy. He promotes well-being as « proportion » and imagines proportion as being a rare combination of « family affection; honour, courage, and a brilliant career. » In the absence of this « divine » proportion, his diagnosis is solitude.

« life with its irreticences… »

She writes with currents of ramifications and lives in these pages. Her storyline washes her point, so that the plot remains in its depths. She describes by aquatic metaphor, her position within this world of high society and observance to class propriety.

Her prose is vaguely reminiscent of insanity. Beautiful, yet disturbingly chaotic, and even more disturbing that it is so easily read and followed by the reader. The story meanders and captivates before capturing credible thought. I found it to be almost frightening in the sense that it feels so much as if you’ve ventured too deeply into a lunatic’s mind.

Reading this book sometimes feels as if you’re watching a train wreck.

That said, it’s a must-read.

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