Friday, 23 May 2014

May days

You have just two days left to vote for May-Lan Tan’s Things to Make and Break in the short-story collection of the Saboteur Awards: the voting page is here. May-Lan will be reading at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford on 31 May, when the awards will be announced.

In the last couple of weeks Agota Kristof’s The Notebook and The Illiteratehave been reviewed in the New Statesman and have been written about more extensively here, on the website of the US magazine Music & Literature.

I’m still away: the apartment I’m in is on the top floor of one of the two houses with terraces overlooking the river just down from the steeple in the photo above. There are (below) bears in the castle moat, and riverside walks, and forests, and an hour away a lake for swimming. Being a tourist is hard work. On 3 June I’ll visit the grave of Kafka in Prague on the 90th anniversary of his death.


Gingerlil said...

and in the meantime Glasgow School of Art, the Mackintosh building - is burning down...

Anonymous said...

Why are there bears in the moat? Why would somebody do that?

I'm glad to hear due interest is being paid to Agota Kristof's works; rightly so.

I am, however, a bit confused by the reasoning behind Gingerlil's comment above.

Are we to infer that you don't care about the fire? even though reports say it started just before 12:30, more than an hour after your post was written?

How heartless of you, Charles, to talk of trivial matters such as art, and the enjoyment of being abroad, when somewhere, somewhen, an unrelated and unforseen tradgic accident was about to take place.

It's a good thing you're stepping down from publishing. I will stop buying your books forthwith. At least for myself; gifts for others don't count.

- John

charles said...

About the bears in the moat, I’m not sure. They’re there because bears have been there, in the moat, for a few centuries, so it’s tradition. Animals in captivity live longer lives, on the whole, than they would in the wild. Longer doesn’t mean better, or happier, but I do believe that well-trained dogs, and race horses, and animals in good zoos, have richer lives than if they weren’t subject to human intervention.

Meanwhile, there’s a fire in the Glasgow Art School. Meanwhile, the unspeakableness of what is happening in Syria, and south Sudan, and many other places on this planet I am bound to, and meanwhile I go swimming in a lake and yes, it was lovely.