Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 11 January 2010


Comment to self and off-topic, in the grumpiest mode...
I wish Mr Bagshaw had borrowed one of Eliot's cats given that Dark Puss has inexorably resigned from his feline duties...

I could not agree more. Fabulous. I too knew the text virtually off by heart, yet sometimes I was hearing it for the first time. Eliot is as much about the music as the meaning, and for great chinks of the poem (Phlebas the Phoenician, The young man carbuncular)I heard an entirely different music from the one carried in my head for 30 years. My only point is that once or twice the interpretation was almost too declamatory, my own private version had been quieter and I think I will stick with that.

I agree about Wiltons - what a gem. Might Dickens have read there, or would that be too perfect?

I am so envious that you went to this - I was desperate to see it. I love The Waste Land and Fiona Shaw - she is wonderful in everything she does. This sounds like a really interesting experience.

I have come across Wilton's, via some TV programme, but have not been there. Inspired by your posting I'll try to get there while I still can!

I have been to Wilton's several times and in fact my daughter had her wedding party there a few years ago. As you say it is a wonderful place and must be saved.

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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