Friday, August 10, 2012
Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
Boat. Sullivan's Cove, Hobart Waterfront. May 2012.
Two books this week, perhaps best read as a pair. First up is
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. A publishing sensation, this is a collection of letters shared between a little-known, middle-aged American writer and the staff of Marks & Co, an antiquarian bookshop in London over two decades – from Britain’s post-war austerity to the Swinging Sixties.
As such, it is an interesting document of the special relationships that can develop over a love of books. Slight, but charming. Recommended.
Second up is the companion piece, Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. Essentially the diary of Hanff's first trip to London after the success of the first book,it catalogues her meeting a cast of characters the book has thrown into her life.
While it's an enjoyable experience to see the effect of unexpected literary success, I found Hanff herself a reasonably annoying protagonist. Only for those who really need the closure.