Monday 3 January 2011

Yet another fresh start...

Wanting to write more, I must do this every day.

Just been looking at the 'next blog' - first time I tried this, and it was a very interesting one - a photographer, Polish, called Tomasz Wiech...see his report on 300 Hassids 'from all over the world' visiting the grave of a holy man in a small Polish town. It cost me at least 15 min of the time I had planned to write in.

Back to books: a friend lent me - it was insistently 'only a loan' - a 1976 book by Peter Dickinson, entitled King & Joker (The Mysterious Press). A crime story at Buckingham Palace, with a fictitious Royal Family, one who is also descended from Victoria, - based on an idea of Lytton Strachey's about what would have happened if  Edward, Victoria's grandson,  had lived to rule as King Victor I. Very engaging whimsey, but it peters out as the idea becomes familiar and the discrepancies and irregularities gradually emerge from the tale like figures in a mist. Maybe when writing about unusual situations, new features ought to be meted out bit by bit, one after the other...  My excuse for enjoying it as much as I did was that I was sick and lay on the couch alternately reading and sleeping all day. The author loves his characters, it's twee and endearing at the same time.

A great book for Xmas, A History of the World in 100 Objects , by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, in collaboration with BBC Radio 4. 100 chapters, easily read out loud, which we ( P & I) do for each other from time to time, and always, at some point, the listener says :Oh?!, full of amazement : the objects have an interesting complexity, more than the culture they come from, they also reflect some of the invisible forces of the time.The photos are good: I was interested in this collaboration with radio, and the confidence expressed by Radio 4 people (in the Preface) that they would be able to describe the objects well enough - they do. The Powerful Word.

The other book I am reading, also a most welcome gift, thank you Evie, is The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca, (1955, 2005, A New Directions Paperbook) with an introduction by W.S. Merwin. Contains the Spanish as well. A treasure.

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