The weekend’s reading
• The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald (because Susan Hill piqued my interest, and Selvi’s enthusiasm tipped me over the edge). I’m fairly stunned by the lush economy of the prose—a paradox, I know, which is what is so stunning. That she can convey so rich and vivid a picture—and of so unfamiliar a time and place!—with so few words.
• “The Injustice Collector,” The New Yorker, June 19 2006. Long and fascinating article on the tight grip of the James Joyce estate (namely his heir Stephen Joyce). This was of course before 2012 when Joyce’s works came into the public domain. Wandered here via some reading about literary theory sparked by the Quiller-Couch lectures.
• The Secret Garden, continuing, to Rilla. Bliss.
• The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro, which I’ve never yet read. Did I put this, too, on hold because of the Susan Hill book? I’ve already forgotten. (Part of why I’m keeping these notes: to chronicle what nudges me toward a particular book.)
• Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, Peter Barry. Recommended by my smart homeschooling-mom-slash-lit-professor pal “Fanny Harville.”
• Curriculum Vitae, the autobiography of my beloved Muriel Spark. Goodbye, I have to read forever and ever.
Melanie B says:
Today’s reading at our place included Fox and Crow. It was very helpful in talking a hysterical three year old down off the ledge.
On March 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm
Yes, yes, yes! Exactly. Something about the writing itself even makes you feel like you are reading German. What she does is so amazing.
On March 16, 2014 at 8:17 pm
Fanny Harville says:
Lots of “lush economy of prose” in Remains of the Day too. That, and An Artist of the Floating World are my two favorite Ishiguros. He performs the most amazing, subtle magic with his narrators.
And is there anything better in the world than reading The Secret Garden aloud? No.
Very interested to hear if Beginning Theory is useful for you.
On March 18, 2014 at 7:38 am
Jubilee Barton says:
I wanted you to know, as you may very well already have seen, that the son of Barbara Cooney died recently:
I enjoy your blog so much.
On March 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm