Anna who? Hmm is it just me again? Anna Kavan nee Helen Woods, then Ferguson, born in Cannes probably in 1901, two divorces, nervous breakdowns, heroin addiction, name changes.Frequently compared favourably with Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys.
Have you all been reading her books for years when I've never heard of her?
Then I had one of those serendipitous random reading connections that just drops out of the sky.
Among the books I heaved upstairs for ongoing and occasional perusal was a collection of the writing of Doris Lessing.Time Bites is an eclectic mix of reviews and occasional writings covering a wide range of subjects and I have been enjoying dipping into this for ages now.
I must stop doing this.
I start the bath running and then go and sit on the bed and pick up one of these reads and before I know it we're heading for overflow,always too much hot water in the bath, no room for the cold and too hot to put hand in and pull plug out.
Then I must explain that no plugs are attached in our house and few have chains on them.
This is historic and based on a near-miss casualty attendance with the baby Gamekeeper.He sat in the bath playing with a spare plug on a chain, whizzing it back and forth in his mouth and managing to thread a loose open link in the chain through the underneath of his tongue where it locked into place as firmly as if he was fish caught on a hook.Then, amidst the gallons of blood that you get from a small mouth wound, he proceeded to try and pull it out thus pulling his tongue further out of his mouth than any of us had thought anatomically possible.It was like something out of a horror movie and mass hysteria followed from the siblings also in the bath and rising panic from dgr kneeling by the bath.
I'm ashamed to say my first thought as a nurse was the embarrassment of walking into casualty with a child with a bath plug hanging out of his mouth.However, because I'm a caring mother really, I quickly dismissed that thought as I then imagined what was going to follow on once he'd pulled his tongue out.
Bookhound to the rescue as always with a handy pair of pliers.
PLIERS I hear you shriek!
Worry not, first he cut the chain short which offered a momentary lapse in the screaming for us to ponder the next stage.Piercing may be seen as a new and modern beauty aid but this pierced tongue was not going to be an asset.In the end we wrapped the baby gamekeeper up in a towel (much like the cat when we're trying to give it tablets) while bookhound pretended this baby was a fish and unhooked the chain appropriately and painlessly.Had I been a gin drinker I would then have downed a full bottle and been an alcoholic within hours but instead all chains on plugs were removed and they still give me nightmares to this day.
Where on earth was I?Yes sorry Doris.
As I browsed I came across a piece on Anna Kavan;Doris Lessing is great advocate for her writing. Coincidentally I had just looked just at the Peter Owen website and discovered that they are about to publish a book recently discovered in the archives at the University of Tulsa, Guilty by Anna Kavan. I now have a selection of Anna Kavan's books before me and I'm quite excited at the discovery of another new writer for me.Much more about her soon I'm sure.
Further on in Time Bites a piece by Doris Lessing on the novel that Peter Owen says is the best he has ever published and yet another new writer for me but that needs a post of its own I think and will necessitate us all trotting off to the fjords.
Stream of consciousness or what.