“In Beneath a Marble Sky, readers enter a realm rife with contrasts; where love turns into betrayal; where war collides with beauty; and where the visions of a commoner inspire the dreams of a princess. Richly authentic, superbly written, this extraordinary work of historical fiction immerses one within ancient India’s finest and darkest days.
Set at the height of the Mughal Empire, Beneath a Marble Sky recreates the remarkable lives of those responsible for the Taj Mahal’s existence. From the famous lovers who inspired it, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, to the architect who designed it to the man who sought to destroy it, Beneath a Marble Sky recounts the stories of those who oversaw the rise of the world’s most famous building.”
Give up all hope, those who enter here…
The moment you realize you are not society’s idea of “pretty” or “hot”, that you’re too fat and disgusting to get a boyfriend in high school, to be the one who gets crushed on, to never be the one who men are eying, to get to breeze through life in a glory of ease and attention.
When you realize you’ll never be a celebrity icon just for your looks, that you will actually have to work to find your place in this world, find your own talent, and slave to find maybe one person who will love you. That you’ll be doomed to a life of being only the “friend” to never be the one others want to be with.Be doomed to forever lack the self image to take chances in fear of ridicule and rejection.
To realize that no matter how much body confidence your friends and family feed you, telling you that you’re beautiful on the inside and that you have a beautiful personality, you are still living in a society that hates and despises you and no matter how much confidence you exude you will always be the butt of their jokes and prejudice.
Especially when you’re alone, these realizations become clearer and clearer until you are left with a depressed, miserably lonely girl with social anxiety disorder who has to see multiple therapists because she can barely function in the world without mass amounts of drugs; prescription and otherwise, who pretends with all her might to be the body-loving big girl everyone sees her as, still trying desperately to believe what her supporters have told her, that confindence is the key to love and happiness. But after years of feigned confidence and dwindling love she always ends up in a pit of despair and self hatred.
Great art is, by nature, un-popular…
Do you agree with the 18th century’s symbolists that great art is, by nature, un-popular? Using examples from your experience, discuss the fate of literature, art, and music in mass society. (think about WHY some art, music, lit…is popular…is it for the sake of technical greatness, or passion……or is it just great marketing….being told what is great and taking it at face value?)
I do agree with the symbolists’ view that great art is completely under appreciated by the masses. Great art, at least to me, has to do with techniques and feeling and passion, art makes you think and explore your mind further. But in today’s society we are controlled by the media and are spoon fed what is “cool” and “hip” when we don’t even know what it is or what it means. Most popular music today evokes little emotion or very superficial emotion for the sake of what is popular, or at least what can make money. As for literature I will bring up the recent media whore of Twilight, a book with little technique but instead preys off the insecurities of preteen adolescents and others who have undesirable lives. It has a main character who is an empty husk of a developed character and the readers end up supporting her. A great character should empower and inspire not teach us the importance of being fake and empty. Not to mention the mass amounts of over exposure Twilight has, instead of a book its now its own conglomeration, with movies, celebrities, toys, and other useless merchandising. I can definitely understand symbolist’s disgust for materialism and modern society, it has been completely corrupted by greed and hypocrisy.
The seed planted, she grows in ignorance of the elements that await her, but she sprouts, showing off her budding leaves, reaching high towards the sunlight, which in return showers her in warmth and security. Then the sprout must experience her first rainstorm, being pelted close to death by others’ hate and prejudices, she had never felt so much pain, but then the sun emerged and gave the sprout hope and praise. She grew confident and foolish only to be crushed once more as the rain continues to come abusing the naive plant. Even in her darkest days, when she can do nothing but beg for death, the end of her short but hard life, once again, like an inevitable gift and curse, the infectious sun returns and its heat nurtures the sprout back to health. Unaware of her eventual growth the sprout pushes through each passing storm in a haze of hopelessness. But she grows strong, from sprout to sturdy sapling. The next storm she was able to withstand its forces, realizing the pattern of life; the growth, the fall and the rebirth. She knew now she was strong, she knew now she is learning, she knew there is more ahead.”
I have been meaning to start reading again, I haven’t finished a book in months. I started reading a book I got from my college, A History of the Wife by Marilyn Yalom. It is very, very good so far. I hope to be finished with it by the end of July so I can crack open my other book on Middle Eastern women. Especially because they are all overdue.
Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change Book Review
Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change by Ramsay M. Harik and Elsa Marston