16 April 2014

Brief note on Hillsborough.

There was a moment in a football match in 1998 that has always stayed with me, nutshelling for me why so many of us obsess over this 'game', this 'sport', because it can be this beautiful, at its rare best it has this ineffable grace and power, and these are the qualities we're always panning for, sifting acres of dreck for a glimpse of a gem. This is what the 96 travelled to Sheffield for, twenty five years ago yesterday. Hoping for a Liverpool victory, of course, but they also wanted to see the gem sparkle. In the case of a certain Dennis Bergkamp, playing the game at the very highest level a few years later and himself the creator of one such jewel, as he turns away after scoring he puts his hands to his face, it's just too much, too bright. (he does this in the slo-mo right at the end of the clip.)  Justice and peace for the 96. 

07 April 2014

I finished The Search For Lost Time. It was a great read (I could add a score of adjectives, most of them positive). I'm not sure exactly how long it took but in a rare outing to Google+ last year I posted this. I read the second and third volumes at more or less the same pace as the first. So if my maths is correct I ought to have started sometime around.... December 2012?

This is a good short appetite-whetter if you're thinking of diving in: Can Proust Really Change Your Life? Possibly not, but it will surely enhance it.

I've resolved to read some short novels next, and to that end asked for recommendations on those micro-blogging sites. Here's a list of what the kind people said:


Nicola Barker, Five Miles From Outer Hope
Natalia Ginzburg, novellas
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
Arthur Miller, Focus
Martin Amis, Time's Arrow
Dickens, The Wreck Of The Golden Mary
Patricia Highsmith, Ripley novels, This Sweet Sickness
Katharine Mansfield, The Garden Party
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
Francoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse
Philip Roth, Everyman
Stephen King, The Fog
Tolstoy, Death of Ivan Ilyich, Kreutzer Sonata
Saul Bellow, The Actual
George and Weedon Grossmith, Diary of a Nobody
Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart
Arthur Schnitzler, Dream Story
Camus, La Chute
Antonio Tabucchi, Indian Nocturne
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Tim Krabbe, The Rider
Voltaire, Candide
Bruce Chatwin, Utz
Christopher Isherwood, Mr Norris Changes Trains
Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Don DeLillo, End Zone
Maupassant, Pierre et Jean.

I am however going to read this first:



Though not, unfortunately, a copy with this magnificent cover.