Now considering what to pack, books and music wise, for our June sojourn at Maison KL, whence we will be wending our way on the morrow. We'll be beginning our fast there next week, so I've got a decent amount of Islamic-themed material lined up, the centrepiece of which is my birthday present from Noi: a version of The Qur'an that enables you to hear various recitations as well providing an English version, astutely utilising the new technology to do so. Originally I'd been thinking of reading the Pickthall translation, but I'm now intending to combine the whole lot. The wonderful thing is that the first eleven days of fasting fall in my vacation so there are no real obstacles to progress on the read-through.
Standing in stark relief to that spiritually uplifting content I'm considering taking along Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell which I started to reread the other day. I got hold of a copy of The 'From Hell' Companion, some time last year, I think, and quickly realised it only makes sense if you're reading the original at the same time. I've been waiting for a time when it would make sense to read the two together, and this seems like it. In fact, I've already embarked on the parallel reading and have made it quickly to Chapter 4. However, I began to realise today that the sheer obsessiveness of the enterprise makes odd demands on the reader. You've really got to surrender yourself to Moore's vision and enter into the spirit of the thing to make it work - something that Campbell, as illustrator, was able to do at the highest creative level. But I found myself not necessarily wanting to partake of all the grim craziness as I journeyed around London earlier today with Gull and Netley.
Just at the moment I'd rather look towards the light.