Having just read my iMac’s home page, The Guardian online, theguardian.com/uk
and been tugged emotionally, negatively, very in some cases, and positively, with similar extremes, I came across Linda Grant’s : theguardian.com/books/2014/m … ary-murder
I’m halfway through it, and I’m thinking, Jeezzzz! I hope the wife and kids don’t see this.
Looking around The Writer’s Room ( <-- that is a piss-take, I can assure you), I know where Linda is coming from, and I feel for her. Of course, compared to some of the truly heartrending stuff, going on around us, this scenario, is no big deal, at all! Trouble is… coming to terms with the fact that it isn’t. Kneeling at the sacrificial alter of expediency under the perspicacious gaze of the Priest of Pragmatism, ain’t a comfortable position to find yourself in… is it? Atheism has a lot to recommend itself, in cases like this.
Gonna get a heavy-duty tungsten carbide steel lock on the The Writer’s Room door, just in case the family do see Linda’s article
See, if a real estate agent showed me a house that was covered in books and bookshelves, I’d likely not leave. Or make an offer on the spot. I’ve never liked perfectly clean “staged” places. Feels like a dollhouse.
Having recently been in hospital for a bowel op (no more probs , all sorted), I warned the family, “As much as I love you all, under no circumstances whatsoever, while I’m away, should any of you even think about touching anything in the room. If you do, all Hell will break loose, when I come back.” Give them their due, as painful as it obviously was for them, they refrained from messing about.
Now, as a compromise, a new home is being sought for an upright piano, which, at the mo, lives in the Writer’s Room. When rehoused, however, it will leave vacant a stretch of wall, and a corner, along and into which I intend to build bookcases. Hopefully, that will keep the loved ones off my back. I certainly don’t intend to become a murderer.
I’ve always loved having lots of books on the walls, they make great insulation.
Actually, I can’t imagine living without books. Even when I go through periods of not reading (don’t ask) I still enjoy looking at them. They’re comforting. Old friends. They remind of times and places I have never been as well as the times and places where I read of them. I can take down a book and review a favourite section, re-meet a villain or hero or monster, re-engage with an idea, or reread an entire novel on a whim. And then there’s those tricky ones that have made it unread onto the shelves. Sometimes shelved intentionally (like the biography I won of a TV sports journalist), sometimes by accident and sometimes because I took too long to actually start reading the thing that I had to put it away (Tim Winton’s latest is still staring at me accusingly, and I haven’t read the ancient Peter Carey’s on the shelf beside it either). Then there’s the tomes on art, history and art history. On Japanese ceramics. Wood identification. The plays. The poetry (oh, the poetry!).
That’s just the lounge room, there’s an entirely different collection in the study (and none of them on the floor at the moment either!). Books on psychology (obvious, given my career) but also philosophy, theology, education. Books on writing. Books on knots. On camp cooking. On parlour games, group games, team games. There’s a wonderful little 19th century monograph on the psychic life of micro-organisms by Alfred Binet - one of the creators of the modern IQ test. Business books full of folksy wisdom through to scholarly tomes of research and analysis on the nature of leadership. All of them, in their way, beautiful.
So many words. And words, as we know, are magic.
But to kill books, to murder magic? Oh, that is sad. To then live with the bare-shelved reminders of your library execution, the empty bookends a prodding memories of the wholesale slaughter of magic? To live with those memories and regret and not have the books to turn to for comfort? Heartrending indeed.
Right now, I have before me, a 1909, leather bound copy of the Oxford Edition of, Poems of Robert Southey. On the kitchen table, beneath copies of Robert Roberts, Classic Slum, and his, Ragged Schooling, and The Condition of the Working Class in England by Friedrich Engels, is a late 1800s copy of The Manchester Man, signed by the author, Mrs.G. Linnaeus Banks. Holding it and turning its pages, is like traveling back in time. It’s set in the late 1700s/early 1800s. It covers, amongst other events, the Peterloo Massacre.
I’ve also got a copy of Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais, which should be right up your street Nom. Opening line of the author’s prolog: “Most noble boozers, and you my very esteemed and poxy friends–”
Whilst you were in recovery I broke into your house and moved everything 6 inches to the left just to mess with your mind. I also turned the pages in all your books then turned them back to also mess with your mind. I mean which ones did I touch and which ones did I not? Should you wear gloves?
And, on a point of order, ANFTL is the bottom, DECK, of the tub, not the bilges,
The bilges are full of yeurrrrkk!!!, and it’s where members of the crew who hail from Portland, Oregon live ( Bilge Rattus-Rattus). OK? !!
Unless, of course, you are being facetious:
bilge (bĭlj) n. 1. Nautical a. The rounded portion of a ship’s hull, forming a transition between the bottom and the sides. b. The lowest inner part of a ship’s hull. 2. Bilge water. 3. Slang Stupid talk or writing; nonsense.thefreedictionary.comthefree … com/bilges