A slight change, I'm going to keep Sunday Confessions chugging along as and when but stick mostly to books I've actually bought rather than the myriad piles that I'm sent.There may be just one or two exceptions along the way..like today.
Nothing will ever stop me from buying books and here are this week's offerings, not many but I think they may well all pack a punch.
Rosalind Belben has left an indelible mark with me, both her writing style and voice and her subject matter so Hound Music is next. 'Richly evocative of the countryside, plangent and mischievous...fox-hunting as it was in the years 1900-1902.'
Will this be steeped in controversy?
Read in the emotional context of 2008 probably yes, read in the context of its time, who can tell? It's a difficult subject made more so by legislation. Passions still run high over it in the countryside, I'm looking forward to this one.
To complete my Max Sebald oeuvre I've had to hunt high and low for On the Natural History of Destruction which would seem to be out of print and getting very expensive.More probing into the silence from Sebald and his thoughts on the scope of the devastation inflicted on Germany during the war and I'm heartened to see the following quote on the back from The NY Times,
'Most writers, even good ones, write of what can be written...The very greatest write of what cannot be written...I think of Akhmatova and Primo Levi, for example, and of W.G.Sebald.'
Good, I'm heartened because one of the most involving and demanding pieces I have ever written was an exploration of Anna Akhmatova and Primo Levi saying the unsayable, and for it I used Requiem and The Juggler respectively. I learnt a huge amount from that process and I am ready and willing to add Max Sebald to the list.
This is turning into quite a sober confession because up next The Singer on the Shore by Gabriel Josipovici published by Carcanet. A collection of lectures, essays and introductions by a writer who is starting to flit across my radar with increasing regularity.The book itself a fine statement of understatement, beautiful presentation, simple, unostentatious design work and concealing I know some very challenging thinking ahead for me.
To lighten proceedings a book I've been sent but it's a bit special so needs mentioning.
You may have spotted Darren Craske over at MeandMyBigMouth signing and drawing in the 1000 special limited first editions of his novel The Equivoque Principal published by The Friday Project.
So just look what came in the post.
My flabber was gasted and now I have to jump it through all those hoops to get a review on here, no special treatment. I'm being completely transparent and telling you all, this may be the last time you see it after all, but should I write in it as I read or not?
I mean it could be worth a mint one day?
Should I even read it?
I might crease it? Bend the spine.?
Can you see me on Antiques Roadshow in ten years time? Like the family a few weeks ago, selling all their Harry Potter first editions because they'd met JKR years ago at a baby clinic and become good friends when she was living in a cafe and had a baby in a buggy and no money and everything and gave them the books in return for baby-sitting or something and now they needed a new central heating system.
Oh my word! Gather round cameras, it's THE EQUIVOQUE PRINCIPLE !!! Surely not a first edition? NUMBER ONE!!!! SIGNED??? A HAND DRAWN PICTURE!!!!
But I'm afraid it's worthless because you've scribbled in it.