Friday, 17 October 2008

Reading Log!!!

I re-reread Emma, and Billy Budd, for my classes. There are no more first year classes and only one more 2/3 class, which will be on Persuasion, so I'll need to re-reread that over the next few days.

I read David Marr's The Henson Case, and wrote a little almost haiku review of it for The Big Issue. It was interesting but also a bit frustrating. What Marr has done is put together a really painstaking, detailed, and no doubt accurate picture of exactly who said and did what, who made what decisions, and how events transpired. It fills in many of the gaps that those who followed the thing noticed & wondered about - for instance, as everyone knows now, Marr corresponded with the family of the girl who modelled for the pictures that the trouble revolved around; the book also explains what Henson's reasons were for not defending his work or indeed commenting publicly in any other way. Marr also has a good stab at thinking about why the whole thing happened, but it's really too recent an event for that to be done with much success. I admired the methodical, sharp, fact-wrangling craft of the book but for me it didn't begin to answer questions about what caused this episode to have the particular awful quality it did. For that to be properly discussable we'll have to wait quite a while longer I suspect.

I have been fitfully reading The Hemingses of Monticello (Annette Gordon-Reed) and The Discovery of France (Graham Robb) during my travelling time over the last couple of weeks, though the Hemings book is really too heavy (in all senses of the word) for comfortable train & bus reading.

And the last day or two I have been reading The Steele Diaries by Wendy James, and I'm quite anxious to get back to it now; Wendy very kindly sent me a copy so when I'm finished I'll write a proper post about it.

1 comment:

Pavlov's Cat said...

There's an interesting review of the Billy Budd opera at Troppo, if (a) you haven't seen it and (b) it is not already too late to be of use.