A nostalgia piece really, or an introductory text for those of us who weren’t there for steam trains or WWII. The details are interesting, though excessive use of the words ‘hero’ and ‘heroic’ is always to be reprehended; in a properly narrated story, the reader will be quite aware of courage without having to be told, and there was a lot of it about at the time.
Then there are the three Judiths. Biblical Judith is pink and there is a lot more of her; Middle English Metrical Judith is yellow, and is both selective and inventive; and Old English Judith is green, and unfortunately missing her first section, so we are not exactly comparing like with like. The point is to clarify what was left out, what was included, and what was made up as additional story elements in the re-tellings. Hmmm.
Returning from the home patch to find a peculiar and unsettling incident going on in Salisbury, of all unlikely places. Apart from the usual sticky-beaks, most people are going about their business, though at times with rather raised eyebrows, as indeed I am doing myself.
Nest building continues. I love charity shops.
Meantime I am reading the story of Judith in the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament. Spelling Nebuchadnezzar as ‘Nabogodhonosour’ is genius. And ‘pupplysch’ is an excellent word. And it was written by a proto-feminist, which can’t necessarily be said of the biblical source:
Thei say, “We wott we have yt wun
with wyll of God and wyt of thee.”
Enough to think about for now.
lxxiv : Wear your dressing gown back to front
It’s surprisingly efficient when sitting up in bed to read in the cold cold small very small hours.
There are a lot of people re-reading their Le Guin at the moment, and I am one of them.
Owing to my liking for frozen explorers, and The worst journey in the world, this is my favourite. Though there were distrait moments when I read the same page six times.
Down goes the labour of love, the elegance, the quietude, the pristine whiteness. Sometimes one thinks: perhaps keep one or two of the year’s best. But no; better to bundle them hugger mugger, and don’t look while you do it.
Dusty, disordered and down.
… with relief. Apparently some of the metaphors played 🙂 And the bits that wouldn’t go into the suitcase don’t seem to have been too disastrous, leaving me a respectable % – quite pleasing, considering it’s twenty years since the last bout of academic prose. On to the next…
I have left the snowflakes behind, supplied the mice in the attic with a treacherous Christmas dinner (O please not rats), and may or may not have locked the back door. The shops in Salisbury are much better than those at home, but there are ways of not shopping, thus:
First go to the local library to look at the Kathe Kollwitz exhibition, and look very carefully at her looking very carefully at herself.
Then go to St Thomas’ and contemplate the Doom painting.
After this, proceed through the darkening crowded streets and brightly lighted shops, solitary, disorientated, and immune to temptation, and purchase one spoon.
Returning, I finished reading a book which in some places became a time machine
and now I have to choose the next title from a selection. One for night and one for day.
and down and up and to and fro and back and forward – hunting the elusive gift. At last I crossly gave up.
Once home there was indulgence: what one might call a comfy read, though some of the content was far from comfy, given the grim history of gem mining in all the world’s continents.
The sun set over a quiet sea
and then a 360° degree sunset. From the back
from the front
and straight up to the zenith.
Later I glued tiny angel pegs and dried oranges and deep grey card and leaves,
while listening to Oliver Twist – today’s bargain from the charity shop, somewhat hammered on the outside and missing disc 1 of Pride and Prejudice – but I could be said to be familiar with those chapters anyway 🙂
I’ll go on to something really festive to help me get through the pre-Christmas housework. Maybe Crime and Punishment?
(and it is quite a few thousand by now) each year I find a handful that seem completely unlike anything I’ve cut before, as they twirl quietly in pools of light on the ceiling.
The trouble with choosing an essay title which includes a metaphor is that it generates a sort of Tristram Shandy of essays. Instead of Sterne’s digressions On Noses and such Shandean topics, I could have written On Beginnings that are Endings, On Endings that are Beginnings, On Association, On Uncanonical Canons, On Questions, On Mosaics Ancient and Modern, and, of course, On Metaphor.
I ruthlessly removed most of these essays from the assignment finally submitted, compromising somewhat with the expectations of the tutor (which I may or may not have guessed correctly), though I worked out some of the phantom digressions whilst daydreaming in the shower. Vestiges remain in the multiple drafts on file, and in the back of my mind. They will also show up later in my water bill.