Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks

Trouble with reading Charlotte Gray was that I expected it to be an extension of Birdsong, Faulk's exceptional First World War novel. It's not, clearly -- it's about the Second World War and there's almost no battlefield action (while large portions of Birdson are literally in the trenches).  It's about a love affair between a young Scottish woman and an RAF pilot who goes missing in France.  The young woman resolves to find him.  And it's hard to put down.  But didn't destroy me like Birdsong did.

Note to self:  what's a "sprung floor?" Faulks uses the phrase at least a half-dozen times. ANSWER: a floor with some shock absorption, used primarily for dance floors or sporting facilities.

Just looked up the 2001 movie which got mostly negative reviews:  they significantly changed the end of the book, which is annoying.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Victory by Joseph Conrad


The Zangiacomo band was not making music; it was simply murdering silence, with a vulgar, ferocious energy.

The young man learned to reflect, which is a destructive process, a reckoning of the cost. It is not the clear-sighted who lead the world.  Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm mental fog, which the pitiless cold blasts of the father's analysis had blown away from the son.

Here I am on a Shadow inhabited by Shades.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

House of Names by Colm Toibin

In the Clytementra final chapter in House of Names, she is dead and can't remember any names but moves through the palace corridors looking for someone.  only at the end does she remember her son Orestes' name.  It's very beautifully put, her speechlessness, because we see her thinking and only at the end does she blurt something out.  Reminds me of my mother, whom I'm sure is having all kinds of revlations and conversations and memories in her head that she can no longer find the words for.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Rick Foucheux as King Lear at Avant Bard Theatre, Arlington VA

I am sure my love's more richer than my tongue.  Cordelia

Come not between the dragon and his wrath.  Lear

The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.  Lear

Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow upon the foul disease.  Kent

The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon


Terrific book. After WISE CHILDREN, her fantastic final novel, a deep plunge in the life and times of an extraordinary human being and writer.

Wise Children by Angela Carter