'Awake! on your feet! Who fights for me?
Foiled by a charity shop once again
Five Plays by Chekhov
Native Son by Richard Wright
Embers by Sándor Márai
This week I finally finished reading Bring Up the Bodies. I didn’t get into it like I did Wolf Hall, I found Mantel’s attempt to correct the confusion over who was talking by adding ‘he, Cromwell’ to everything quite grating, I think I’d have preferred the confusion to be honest. All the same, the final 50 pages leading up to and depicting Anne Boleyn’s execution are riveting and I know I’ll be crawling back for the third installment.
I was also given a copy of The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov from Pushkin Press, I’m hoping to read it after I’ve finished The Wanderer from the Legends of the Ancient North series.
On Monday I went to see Donna Tartt on the first stop on her short UK tour, which took place in the lovely Divinity School. It was a really wonderful evening, she did a reading of one of my favourite passages from the novel and then an extensive q&a with an interviewer and the audience before signing.
Despite her rather severe looking author photos she’s actually quite petite and friendly (although she still looks the same as her photo for The Secret History, I’m 99% sure she’s got a portrait in an attic somewhere). When I went up to get my book signed she said she liked my bee tattoo and told me something about these dutch guys who never signed stuff and just used a bee stamp - I was busy being slightly overwhelmed that I was talking to Donna Tartt so I can’t even remember it exactly so if that sounds familiar to anyone let me know. My brain broke. God love her.
This is the sense but not the order of the words as he sang them in his sleep; for verses, though never so well composed, cannot be literally translated out of one language into another without loss of their beauty and loftiness.
Somehow, even shrouded and entombed in a storage locker, it had worked itself free and into some fraudulent public narrative, a radiance that glowed in the mind of the world.
Hung these up at work back in May, finally remembered to bring them home now they’re completely dried.