The sum of some summer observations: sycamore keys turning bright red in the sun; listening to Liszt’s Totentanz while running in a thunderstorm at night – yellow lightning against the indigo sky & radio hiss; intermittent internet; making autumnal plans; giant purple grapes, agape; fennel tea (which smells like rakı); mint kitkats; falling asleep everywhere (“kuş uykusu” vs. “kış uykusu”); skirts & sprawling on the cool stone corridor; “the sea is a jinn not a sin or a kin”; scuds, tilted scuds, ictus, depressions, “x”s & “o”s; writing my Alemmia travel journal; sketching cicadas; Chinese ink & cheap watercolours; notebooks made out of boxes; chocolate with rosewater; notes for future courses; the fool’s journey. As usual working on a hundred things and getting none done. What I like best is reading in the cool morning breeze, and writing in the blue laptop glow at night.
>> Now is the time to start one of those inconsiderately long pieces of literature that you feel you should read in your lifetime. What will it be? The Man Without Qualities, Ulysses, War and Peace, In Search of Lost Time, Cryptonomicon?
Here is the migratory tome, Nabokov’s Butterflies, that winged its way to me across the Atlantic. It landed on my doorstep with a plop of literary aplomb. It really is very impressive and I can’t understand why it’s out of print. The same goes for Poems and Problems. The Penguin Collected Poems includes all of the Russian poems (I think) but not with their original Russian, nor does it have the (very perplexing) chess problems, though it does include 9 other English poems.
Some of my recent discoveries:
- Shrewsbury is the second happiest place in the UK. If you visit, you might like to follow my literary walk.
- Having encountered Nabokov’s beetle theory, I was interested to listen to this podcast on The Entomology of Gregor Samsa.
- Did you know that Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side’ was inspired by the tragic life of Hollywood actress, Gene Tierney?
- This free audiobook of Stephen Fry reading James Falen’s translation of Eugene Onegin is quite a treat!
- I have long desired an orrery (like the one in the film, Was Nützt die Liebe in Gedanken) but for the time being I’m settling for this app.
- A new Lana del Rey song!
What I’m working on:
- Will you answer?
- Finishing a blog post called, “How Marketing Can Help You Write Your Novel” (a companion to How Blogging Can Help You Write Your Novel), so watch out for that!
- Recording lessons for The One Page Novel.
- Writing a new regency short story tentatively titled, On the Shelf.