Monday, June 22, 2009

Barred from TV


I’m not allowing myself to watch tv again (apart from Fair City obviously) until I’ve at least half of the 38 unread books that are languishing on the floor in the dining room read. We decided to declutter the bookshelf last week, and that’s how many there are that I want to read, some are his, some we got for free, some I bought, some materialised out of thin air, and are a joy, like “The diary of Balso Snell” by Nathaneal West, with the following little bit about libraries that I particularly liked:

“Two years ago I sorted books for eight hours a day in the public library. Can you imagine how it feels to be surrounded for eight long hours by books - a hundred billion words one after another according to ten thousand mad schemes. What patience, what labor are those crazy sequences the result of! What Starving! What sacrifice! And the fervors, deliriums, ambitions, dreams, that dictated them!...
The books smelt like the breaths of their authors; the books smelt like a closet full of old shoes through which a steam pipe passes. As I handled them they seemed to turn into flesh, or at lest some substance that could be eaten.”
I love all the exclamation marks - ah they knew how to punctuate in the thirties though, didn't they?!

4 comments:

Jessica said...

I read Miss Lonelyhearts when I was far too young for such a depressing view of the world (11 or so, I think), and as a result have a deep and abiding prejudice against Mr. West. I needed a very long walk in fresh air to recover from the reading of it.

However, I do like his thoughts on libraries. Maybe he should have stuck to pontificating on uncontroversial subjects.

Niamh B said...

I've yet to get to Miss Lonelyhearts, but think I'd be old and world weary enough to enjoy it. On a Philip Pullman number today, trying to alternate fluffy and heavy, the man has an incredible imagination.

Anonymous said...

What's the story with Cardle (aka Carol) in Fair City, has she had a personality transplant or wha? HM

Niamh B said...

She was ensnared by an Irish Instructor from her past - tricked into pretending she had some interest in him in order to win Alley a second go at the irish test. There's more sauciness to follow if the snippet at the end is anything to go by. All Irish teachers are corrupt apparently.
Excitin tho, innit?