Friday, March 25, 2011
Television is a device that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything.
Dune. No sign of David Lynch anywhere. Calverts Beach, South Arm Peninsula, February 2011.
Friday Book Club!
Book # 1: A Very Easy Death by Simone de Beauvoir
A Very Easy Death is an interesting reflection on a depressing set of circumstances – the death of her elderly mother to cancer – and de Beauvoir makes a number of really good points; but the detached tone and emphasis on herself can’t help me but think that on the whole it does seem a little self-indulgent. As an exercise in recording the process of hospitalised death for the French middle class in the 1960s, I guess it captures it well enough. The very last chapter somewhat redeemed it as a work though.
Only for the really interested.
Book # 2: A Meeting by the River, Christopher Isherwood
I’d not actually read any Isherwood up to this point, but was aware of his reputation. A Meeting by the River was his last novel and it explores the ambiguities inherent in sexuality, religious devotion, and sibling relationships. The story is constructed from the letters and diary entries of a pair of brothers, and features enough twists and turns to keep you hooked.
To be frank, in terms of characterisation, everyone bar the Oliver and Tom – the brothers – is one dimensional. That is always a risk in this kind of narrative construction, and where people might be right in bemoaning the crude representation of the usual suspects – ‘Mother’, ‘Wife’, [invisible] ‘children’ and ‘boy lover’ – I do think that the last third of the book manages to just about pull it off.
Worth a look.