“If we’re possessed of that tragic, ferocious courage that forces man to live with his eyes open, can we ever really be happy?”
I finished The Spectre of Alexander Wolf a few days ago, it’s a strange little novel, so well written, haunting and disconcerting. I need to find out if any more of Gazdanov’s work is available in English.
I’ve nearly finished The Moonstone, it took a while to get into because I was only reading it in bed but after bringing it along on my bus journey to work a few times I found it flowed along and nearly missed my stop a few times. Only Collins could spend so much of a detective novel discussing roses though.
Flat white I made myself at work today. I have a not so secret past life as a barista and even though it’s been a few years it turns out it’s a bit like riding a bike :)
Things would have turned out better if she had lived. As it was, she died when I was kid; and though everything that’s happened to me since then is thoroughly my own fault, still when I lost her I lost sight of any landmark that might have led me someplace happier, to some more populated or congenial life.
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
There comes thoughts now
knocking my heart, of the high waves,
clashing salt-crests, I am to cross again.
Mind-lust maddens, moves as I breathe
soul to set out, seek out the way
to a far folk-land flood-beyond.
The Seafarer, an Old English poem translated by Michael Alexander
Started The Spectre of Alexander Wolf this morning, it’s translated from Russian and opens with a short story being discovered that tells of the killing of a soldier from the point of view of the victim, and can’t possibly exist…
Anonymous asked: It's so nice to see Donna Tartt fans. Would you say you enjoyed Goldfinch more than Secret History? Secret History has stuck with me for years, it literally haunts me. I'm extremely excited and skeptical about beginning Goldfinch. Also, have you seen Donna on BBC Newsnight? She was wonderful, the interviewer however made me quite angry. I found the interviewer very irritating. But Donna was lovely.
I loved The Secret History but I think The Goldfinch hit more of a personal note with me. I recommend The Goldfinch to people pretty much every day but I try not to expect them to love it as much as I did because it does seem to be a bit of a love it or hate it book.
I watched that Newsnight interview a little while ago but I do remember thinking I was going to be really annoyed by the interview and only got a little annoyed in the end, so it wasn’t too bad. Donna was lovely though, I never really heard or read any interviews with her before I read The Goldfinch and I am struck by how engaged and generous she is in her interviews.
Another title from the Legends of the Ancient North series, The Saga of the Volsungs. Will our love affair ever end? Probably not.
For I have known them all already, known them all-
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
Things I refuse to grow out of : picking up and bringing home various bits of plants or cool looking pieces of rock that I find while about and about.