Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 19 June 2009


Thank you for your answer. I know I should explore more of Kipling works, and I have been telling myself to read more of his novels for a very long time. And it is surely still my aim. Now action is needed! But 2009 seems not to be a good vintage for reading for I haven't read much since the beginning of the year, I must sadly recognise.

There are definetely some Kipling poems about work - he was obsessed with the subject at one stage, and one of his best collections of stories is call The Days Work.

I was trying to recall other poems whose theme is actually work and can't find any. It must be quite a rare topic for poets - not very inspirational, I'm afraid, or just something poets didn't use to know "for real" themselves. Well, of course there is an endless list of poems on hard rural work or craftsmen's activities but these are not tasks and duties achieved by the poets themselves.
Conversely, one feels that Larkin experienced the situation first-hand to be able to write such a poem. He sounds both so desperate and ironic!
And anyway, I hope you can enjoy a nice and well-deserved weekend and forget work till next Monday.

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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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