MAKING HISTORY by Stephen Fry

Michael was alwaysOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a prodigy child. Right now he has just finished his degree in History. It is the time to present his Doctoral thesis about Adolf Hitler, but his professor throws away all his dreams by criticizing his thesis, and expressing that it is more a fictional novel than a serious academic essay.

When he meets Doctor Zucherman, and he shows a deep interest in his dissertation, what is just a novel has the possibility to become a reality, only a different one.

Who has never thought about time-travel? And, who has never thought that one of those time-travels could be to kill Adolf Hitler and change one of the most horrible times of our history?

The desire to save the humanity of the Holocaust is something that more than one person has thought of in the past. An event remembered with pain and incomprehension.

Why all those deaths? Why all this suffering? How can mankind do the things that these people did to the Jewish people?

Unfortunately, that was not the first time that something like this happened and it is not going to be the last, either. When mankind feels in some way threatened, no matter if it is real or not, they attack with passion and contempt whoever gets in their way.

But this story, even if it tells us about a couple of persons who can change the future not exactly killing Adolf Hitler, but preventing his birth, it is a humourous story and not a “What would happen if?”

The big deal with this story is to understand that maybe to manipulate the past can give us an even worse future than the one we already lived.

This time I don’t want to tell you a lot of things about the story. If I try to use most of the sentences that explain better that me the good in this book, you will lose the chance to find out for yourself. Instead, I want to share with you only three sentences that, even if not related directly to the story, have spoken directly to me.

“You could only write successfully about books and poems and plays if you didn’t care, really care, about them”.

I liked this sentence because it explains to me how difficult it is to express in words your admiration for something that has really touched you deeply.

And this other one:

“But when it came to writing that thing called an Essay, I flubbed and floundered. I could never discover where to start. How do you find the distance and the cool to write in an academically approved style about something that makes you spin, wobble and weep?

And for the last, the simplest, the more logical, and the most positive sentence, that opens every possibility for everyone.

“Anything is possible.” (As it is)

imagesStephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist.

After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, he secured a place at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. While at university, Fry became involved with the Cambridge Footlights, where he met his long-time collaborator Hugh Laurie. As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and took the role of Jeeves (with Laurie playing Wooster) inJeeves and Wooster.

Fry’s acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the title character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. He has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winningStephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his mental illness. He is also the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI.

Besides working in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines and written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and More Fool Me. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman for I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, where he was one of a trio of hosts who succeeded the late Humphrey Lyttelton. Fry is also known for his voice-overs, reading all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings, and narrating the Little Big Planet and Birds of Steel series of video games, as well as an animated series of explanations of the laws of cricket.(Wikipedia)

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THREE WISE MEN BOOKBINDING

This is not the title of these new bookbindings, it is the occasion for what the bookbinding was done.

The client asked the collaboration of another craftwoman to prepare these gifts. The other craftwoman made the wooden boxes, and I made the bookbindings following the same inspiration.

We had worked together before, and this time we had plenty of time to meet the deadline, but in the end the time was not so long, and one of the boxes gave me a little problem when I had to think about what kind of bookbinding could work right with the box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first one was easy. It was a bee, a happy bee on a green surface. I needed only to replicate the drawing looking for the colours that matched the box best.

Working with a small set of mosaics, and a good combination of colours and the result is as you can see in the photograph.

The second one was different. ItOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA was just a classic box, with two colours only, white and black, and a work to make it look like an old wooden box.

The cover had to be the same in that case, that is to say, it had only two colours and an appearance of being old that is not easy to create in a bookbinding if you are not going to use wooden or leather covers. The order was for two fabric bookbindings painted by hand.

This last was a real challenge for me, and a good opportunity to try other kinds of paints looking for the best texture. I had to use the kind of painting that I never had used before, and I was very happy with the experience and outcome.

The result delighted me and satisfied the customer.