Thursday, 16 September 2010


“Anyway, poetry is not the most important thing in life, is it? Frankly, I'd much rather lie in a hot bath sucking boiled sweets and reading Agatha Christie, which is just exactly what I intend to do as soon as I get home.” -- Dylan Thomas
I've never really got into poetry either, Dylan me old china. I've made a couple of attempts and I do sometimes come across the odd poem that strikes me, but it's not something I sit and read very much for very long. I've got a handout somewhere here from a tutorial a while back which might be useful so perhaps I'll get round to it shortly.
Meanwhile, at the moment I'm reading two books concurrently:
'The Big Knockover and Other Stories' by Dashiell Hammett
A collection of short stories, written in the 1920s,  from the author of The Maltese Falcon, which likewise feature hard-boiled, flawed but basically decent private detectives outwitting the low-life and the police.
'The Essential Tales of Chekhov' by Anton Chekhov
Yer man Chekhov wrote over two hundred short stories and this book contains twenty of them, selected by some dude called Richard Ford. Written in the 1880s and 1890s. Chekhov was amongst the writers who defined the modern short story, and a particular feature of his stuff is that they do not necessarily have a resolution and they often end in misery for all the protagonists. The narrative kind of generates a feeling or oblique reflection on life or moral values rather than a plot.
Otherwise, I'm all in favour of soaking in the bath although I'm not all that keen on boiled sweets. I'm more of a whisky and soda person.

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