Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Getting Fresh

As well as enjoying the pleasures of wandering around various bits of the UK with three teenagers in tow (Fifi is technically no longer a teenager, but still looks like one) I'm getting some reading done in the quieter stretches of our time here. After struggling through the opening chapters of Daniel Deronda, not quite grasping the social milieu in which Gwendolen Harleth finds herself, I'm now rather more at ease with the world created therein by GE and quite enjoying the novel. Part of the fun for me is in not having the slightest clue regarding the directions the writer is going off on. I started reading the introduction to the Penguin edition by Terence Cave which emphatically let me know I should read the novel before encountering his various spoilers and decided to take him seriously. This is working wonders for ensuring a freshness in my reading.

And I'm also enjoying a beguiling freshness in reading a collection of poems by one Paul Farley - whom I've never heard of before - entitled The Dark Film. This is the only book I've purchased over here. It cost less than 2 quid second hand from an antiquarian bookshop in York, near the cathedral actually. (It turned out that a post I wrote earlier moaning about the lack of second hand bookshops in the modern version of the city was inaccurate by a count of 3, according to Google, and we found one of them.) The collection came with a 'Poetry Book Society Choice' sticker on the front, so I thought it was worth taking a chance on, and it fit easily into one of my coat pockets so I reckoned it would come in handy for a brief perusal in off moments, like when imbibing a cuppa. And I was right, though I didn't think so at first. I found the first 4 or 5 poems very heavy going, but now I'm a bit of a fan. Persistence helps.

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