Friday 13 November 2009

Not knowing everything

Yesterday, translated p. 30 of 120, and it has taken me a month...I am working faster now, both more confident and finding it less tiring. Hopefully it won't take me another 3 months to finish.

There are a number of books to read, which I want to get hold of, for instance one by Diana Athill which she has written now, in her 90th year: Somewhere towards the end. She worked in a management position for a large American publishers and has written another book called Stet, published when she was 83.

P has joined a men's book club; I read last month's offering, a small book by Pat Barker, a psychological thriller, well written , Border Crossing. It has lots of unanswered questions in it and that that feels fine when you read it, people are told what happens though not exactly why. Like in real life.


Lynn Bushell said...

In the UK Diane Athill has acquired almost Churchillian status since her last book came out. Of course she started late but it seems you have to be either very old (near death) or very young (leaping about) in order to attract serious attention. Diane Athill is revelling in her new-found recognition and why shouldn't she? Jean Rhys and Barbara Pymm also went out of fashion in the middle years and came back into it at the end of their lives (and William Gerhardie nearly did).
I agree, the best psycholiogical thrillers are the ones that mirror the uncertainies of life. These are the ones that stay with you. The 'jump-out-of-your-seat type end as soon as you leave your seat behind. Inevitably, of course, there is a conflict in fiction between truth to reality and truth to art, which demands a 'satisfactory' conclusion in artistic terms. My last book features a biographer faced with this conflict in his memoirs: should he tell the truth or make his life into a work of art by leaving unpalatable details, one of which is his former lover (a big mistake).
If you enjoy Pat Barker and Diane Athill, Penelope Fitzgerald is worth reading. So is Sebastian Barry 'The Secret Scripture', John Banville's 'The Sea' and Ian Mckewen's 'On Chesil Beach', all penetrating explorations of why human beings do things rather than what they do and the quietly tragic results.

Michalsuz said...

Thank you for your helpful suggestions, Lynn.