Monday, February 20, 2006


Monday tidbits

It's taking all of my self-control today to not run to the bookshop shelf where the abridged Bleak House is sitting and skim through it at top speed to find out who shot Mr. Tulkinghorn. It's killing me, I tell you. My husband and I talked about it after the episode ended last night, and we've come up with seven very good possibilities (best bet: one of the characters you'd least expect it to be). So much motive, all over the place. The suspense! I know who I want the murderer to be...

So, the antidote until the final episode next week: distraction. I went book-shopping yesterday and found a few new-to-me books to read (also bought a big stack for the shop). And, thanks to Paul Collins and his fine blog (which was the one that made me want to start my own blog, by the way), I now know that the British sit-com Black Books is finally available in the USA. I've only ever seen one episode - which a friend taped for me off BBC America last spring, and it was just great, although I wanted more bookshop-humor. For those who don't know, the show revolves around the hapless, drunken Bernard Black and his used bookshop. I'm ordering it today.

More distraction: I listened to an interview online with David Foster Wallace. He talks at one point about how he's changed as a writer as he's grown older, and how he is now less willing to hurt other people's feelings by default by writing nonfiction social commentary. This is in response to a caller's comments about the essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing..." (which he says parts of make him wince now) vs. his recent writing. Good stuff. I read his book of short stories Oblivion (Little, Brown 2004) over the weekend, and in this interview he reads selections from two different stories in this collection. People either hate or love his linguistic gymnastics. I love, because there's real meaning in there, he's not just being clever for the sake of cleverness. His structures enforce prolonged concentration, which for this reader is an optimal state of being. Recommended.

Fortunately,my reading of Bleak House has been on the slow side so by the time I actually get to that part of the book,the miniseries will be over. Also,didn't Mr. Guppy look a tad relieved at having his earlier marriage proposal turned down by Esther when he got a look at her newly scarred face? And what was up with his mother?

Thanks for letting me know about your link to Paul Collins' blog-pretty interesting stuff there!
I thought Mr. Guppy was awfully fickle in his blatant rejection of Esther. Not what I expected from him and his creepy ways...
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