Things whither and die and bloom and blossom with time, growing in their season. So as the chill of autumn settles in and the leaves on the trees wilt and fall to the ground, I begin to chop wood, type with gloves on and make soup. You see, we are preparing for a visitor. Old man winter is coming.
Books too have long been the weapon of choice against the coming cold, in as much as the leisure of literature provides a welcome distraction from the darker seasons… otherwise, books are actually rather ineffectual when literally employed against the natural elements. Some might say that Shakespeare is Shakespearean and Dickens is Dickensian, but it cannot be said that either should be utilised as protective clothing or in an electrical heating system. No, a book by the fire is the best bet, though I suppose of course that you can burn the book in the fire to some effect… if you’re a facist, that is.
So, I’ve been busy reading shorts by Kafka, Hemingway and Garcia Marquez. And also Carle’s Pancakes, Pancakes! (if you think the title’s too literal, then your clearly missing the subtext of an industrial society’s consumerist ennui, duh!). I knocked Enright’s Booker Prize winning The Gathering on the head, which was mysterious, evocative and thoroughly miserable, and as a result I’ve ingested portions of Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses as a mood stabiliser (incidentally, I’ve resisted the urge to syncretise the two and compose quaint limericks about Irish sexual abuse).
The other week, I started the murder mystery Dinner at Antoine’s, though became distracted while waiting for someone to drop dead and put the book down somewhere. I’ve now wound up halfway through Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina instead, romance and desire amongst the Russian snow, which is a good place to be as winter comes a knockin’…