Books 2010

Books 2009

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009


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To Dark Puss
re your comment below - True Colette fans usually prefer the novels inspired by her own life (including, of course, Break of Day), and you are no exception apparently.
Personnally, I definitely prefer her animal-themed works - at least for now. I find her really skilled at observing, and describing, and sometimes genially interpreting the behaviour of the animals she comes across or lives with.
I don't intend to make you change your mind but I am just going to tell you why I don't like much her autobiographical work. The stories inspired by her own life are always sad or weird, and then my theory is that she used the writting process as a therapy when she had to go through hardship and didn't feel good - and she surely had some very difficult times all through her life. Literature is sometimes inspired by bad experiences and hardship but writting when you feel bad certainly doesn't suffice to make it fine literature. The latter requires some distance between the writer and the story he/she tells, according to me.
I saw you have commented about The Master and Margarita too. I will answer to you about that soon.

I agree with your comment on the quality of the editing of The Economist and I occasionally read it in my SCR.

The cat is very well thank you Glo, and he has just finished reading that amazing, lyrical, book by Colette "Break of Day". Truly one of her very best works and confirms again for me her status as one of great writers of the 20th Century.

Mr Robertson's obituary itself is told quite like a fairytale - this Scots language probably helps too. And his life sounds likewise too, although he no doubt had a very hard life.
I never read obituaries in newspapers, unless it is about someone I knew or met.

I hope everybody is fine well, especially my favourite Cat.

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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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