Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Reading and meeting
It doesn't, I think, have the compelling attraction of Corelli, but I do love very much the stories told from so many perspectives. I love the richness of de Bernieres' tales, the intertwining of distressing, and shamefully, forgotten periods in time with the eternal preoccupations of women, and men, and us all. It is increasingly poignant. He builds up to the sadness, the loss, the brutality so beautifully that you fully anticipate the atrocities of war-torn Turkey, without losing sight of the delicate twists of fate that may somehow land you whole on a new shore.
On the Kindle front, incidentally, my second Kindle has died a death of the screen, in exactly the same way as the first one. This seems to be a recurrent Kindle fault, at least with the dinosaur ones. It posed a dilemma: not wanting another such Kindle, not wanting to lose all those Kindle books. Ang has been my guardian angel- and more of that anon.
Belfast has now, in May, the concept of One City, One Book, and challenges its citadins to read the one book in the one city and discuss it in book groups, book readings across the town. Unlike last year's wonderful book, Beggars has a tenuous link to Belfast. And exploits perhaps two of its troubled atrocities for the mere purposes of plot. These two families could have been set in any two places at all, but Lucy is from Belfast after all. (I didn't teach her, because she was leaving the Prestigious Establishment as I was leaving, but I did teach her youngest sister...)
I didn't like the halting, apologetic style of the narration in the first part. I wasn't wholly convinced that the premise of a burdened daughter who seeks redemption in unravelling her mother's story excused the excessive degree of disjointed soul-searching. There were many interesting passages on writing and telling though, and certainly the chapter where Lara finally comes to Belfast as an adult I did love.
this version of The Seven Voyages of Sinbad. I was pleased with the suns' quick grasp of the formula, and more pleased with their disapproval of Sinbad! Rich man becomes bored at rich home, sets sail to increase riches, ship wrecked, sole survivor, often watching other companions die grisly deaths, sits astride a convenient plank. escapes own grisly adventure, ends up in palace of another rich man who takes him in and promotes him, and marries him off twice, makes lots of money after losing everything, returns home and gives Sinbad the Porter another ten (or is it one hundred?) gold dinars. We were not amused.
Reading and meeting, tea-drinking and fresh air. I know what's good for me!