We woke up this morning to a light smattering of April snow, the Gamekeeper has gone off to the point-to-point to make our fortunes, we all send him with £5 and last year mine came back as £40 and we'd also forgotten it was the Tavistock Book Fair. I hardly need to go buying books but we had a leisurely Sunday morning browse and I did make a purchase.
I don't own a Daphne du Maurier book in the original Gollancz version and so this edition of The Scapegoat, much read, with that smooth old well-thumbed feel to the pages and costing no more than a new paperback edition, was too tempting to leave behind. I've defined a sad but accurate way of assessing this proprietorial need. I put the book back on the shelf, wandered off and turned to see someone else browsing it. I was overcome with entirely shameful feelings of possession and it was a hard task to watch and wait and then not swoop in undignified fashion when the book was replaced.
to a peaceful house and crackling fires and this lot had already grabbed their pitches for the day.
You Know Who was you know where.
I then abandoned other immediate reading
plans and settled down to a new novella from Faber, Disquiet by
Julia Leigh. Wanting to comment on the use of that tiny etching that
books often use as a header or footer for each page, I realise that I
don't know what "that tiny etching" is actually called.
But in this book "it" is used to great effect.Usually placed centrally and symmetrically on the page, pleasing and decorative to the eye, here "it" is used to unsettle, or at least it unsettled me and that is completely in keeping with the read. No chapters but occasional pauses bear this "it" to the extreme left of the page, not tucked inwardly and safely in the gutter margin, oh no, this plot could fall right off the page if I wasn't careful.
As I read I was constantly equally on edge as my eye begged
this "it" to be in the middle.
Perhaps this says more about me than about the book? After all I was trained to ensure that all the wheels on every bed in the ward faced the same direction before the Bishop came to visit.
But this tiny device successfully and completely denied me access to my centre of gravity as I read, I was teetering on the brink all the time and constantly wondering whether it might move to the centre as the book progressed and let me relax, breath deeply and be happy.
All in all a strange new reading experience, one I've never had before and one that served to enforce the very nature of this book.
Currently my thoughts are in that post-book whirl but much more about this one soon.