i just can’t get over how beautiful and clean his writing is. His subject matter may not always be to my taste but the way he writes is stunning.
”..in the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain. The vineyards were thin and bare-branched too and all the country wet and brown and dead with the autumn.”
Today is a sad day.
Ray Bradbury had a completely unique imagination and he never seemed to look at the world with anything other than love and wonder, an outlook which he constantly shared through his writing. Fahrenheit 451 was my favourite book for a long time (and still remains one of my very favourites). It was the first book I felt truly captured by and I don’t think reading would be such an important part of my life today if I hadn’t read it. So for that and much more I will always be in debt to him. Thank you Ray.
Haven’t done a proper life post on here in a while so here it goes:
I’m feeling pretty good in general lately, can’t really complain about anything. College work is mounting up as I’m trying to push myself with my graded unit. I’m doing quite a personal project about my dad’s life and his upbringing as well as my relationship with him and I’m doing it on expired colour film. It’s fun but difficult, I’m just hoping I can match the results with what I have in my head.
Trying to stay in touch with people is difficult too, I want to be social but I don’t want to burn myself out so it’s a tricky balance. There are lots of people I’m missing right now. I’m looking forward to Nicole coming back to Glasgow soon though she won’t be here for long. I also hope the weather gets better again soon so that facksake and I can sit outside with beers.
I’ve been managing to read plenty lately so that’s a good thing; I’m currently about half way through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and thoroughly enjoying it. As well as that I’m reading Cosmopolis by Don Delillo and recently finished Brighton Rock.
Feel like I’ve run out of stuff to talk about for now but I’ll add some stuff if it comes to me. Nice talking to you Tumblr.
This is what I’ve been reading lately. If I seem overly positive about everything it’s just that the quality of all four of these books happens to be very high.
Asimov - Foundation
I’d read some Asimov before and hold him in extremely high regard. He always manages to pull some magic out of what should be quite typical sci-fi stories, there’s so much depth to something which he makes look deceptively simple. I bought the foundation books a while ago and so far I’ve only read this one. The scope of it is quite staggering and difficult to come to terms with, it basically consists of interlocking stories set over hundreds of years which come together to show the unfolding story of the whole galaxy; I really can’t wait to read more.
Cave - The Death of Bunny Munro
I don’t really know what I expected from a Nick Cave novel. I suppose the lyricism and way with words was a given and the highly sexualsied narrative was to be quite expected. What I didn’t really see coming was how touching it would be. Underneath the harsh, disturbing surface there’s a real sad tenderness which sneaks up on you and catches you by surprise.
Hornby - High Fidelity
I’ll admit that I have quite a soft spot for High Fidelity so I completely expected to enjoy this book. I was suprised however by the fact that I preferred the Englishness of the novel to the americanised film. Really it’s just a superbly written account of how utterly stupid every one of us can be when it comes to love and our lives. It’s sad and it’s funny and in the end it’s more like life than almost any other novel I’ve read and to me that’s it’s charm.
Greene - The Tenth Man
This was my first experience reading anything by Graham Greene and I was really blown away. The edition I have opens with two fairly short screenplay ideas which are clever and funny and definitely intruiged me. These are followed by the novella itself which though it shares a lot with those screenplay sketches is written with so much more finesse and elegance. I was expecting something enjoyable and fairly light; what I got was one of the best pieces of short fiction I’ve ever read.
Today I went into Glasgow to shoot the last corporate image at the Glasgow Print Studio, that went alright. After that I met up with Ellie, had a wander around town then went for a frappuccino and headed to Byres Road for more wandering and browsing. We saw a couple of cats in Relics this time; very cute cats.
Stuff I bought;
Isaac Asimov - Foundation’s Edge £1
Graham Greene - The Tenth Man £5
Shepherd Mead - The Big Ball of Wax £1
John Updike - The Women Who Got Away £2
The other books are two old photography related books I picked up in Relics a little while ago; one was written in 1946 and is called My Way with the Miniature and is about 35mm photography.
The pocket watch was given to me by Pierre as he was getting rid of some of his stuff. It’s pretty cool, I need to check if it works.
About a week ago I finished reading this. First of all I need to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, at no point did I feel like it dragged too much or lost it’s way which is quite something for a novel whose subject matter isn’t exactly the most immediately gripping. It’s unflinchingly well written and the language, though sometimes overly dense when conveying simple sentiments is often very beautiful. I don’t think I ever made much of a personal connection with any of the characters, I felt a little distant from them, but I don’t think that had much effect on my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
The key things for me about the novel and by far the most successful aspect in my opinion was Austen’s handling of more complex emotional situations. Her understanding and portrayal of the confusion that multiple emotions can create was something that I found very honest and real and ultimately something quite beautiful to see written down and expressed so well.
Just a couple of days ago I then watched the 2005 film version with Ellie. A few elements of the novel had been changed and adapted to make it more suitable for a movie but I thought the changes were done well. I think seeing the movie made it easier to connect to the characters which coupled with reading the book made it really rather good. I think visually it was a beautiful movie too and that really helped place the characters into the scenes you created in your mind with the book.
I’m glad I’ve read it and I don’t think it was quite what I was expecting, I think every good book gives you something to think about and a different perspective on things and I definitely got that in this case.
Currently reading this. I read quite a range of fiction but this never really appealed to me for some reason. I’m going into it with an open mind though and I am surprised by how engaging it is so far considering the fairly dry subject matter and the lack of particularly likeable characters at this early stage. I’m about 50 pages in and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I didn’t expect to be drawn into it but so far it is holding my attention well.
This is what Kirsty got me for my birthday. I posted a picture of this exact edition on tumblr a while ago and she found it for me. It’s in such good condition. I really love these stories, in many ways I enjoy them more than Catcher, Salinger just seems to enjoy the freedom that the short stories give him. It was so sweet of her to track it down and know how much I would appreciate something like this.
So I finished The Great Gatsby. I don’t want to talk much about the characters or plot. The thing that struck me most about it was the language. There’s a formality and structure to it throughout and then once in a while there’s a flash of something more dreamlike; metaphors that don’t quite fit or imagery that seems somewhat removed from the situation in question. For me this gave the whole thing a sense of uncertainty and transience which somehow linked with the disorganisation of the characters themselves and their uncertainty over reality, dreams and memory. I think the heart and vitality of the novel really lies in these flashes of prose that suggest something beyond the everyday.
A pretty remarkable achievement of language in my opinion.