Thursday, December 08, 2016
the elephant in the room
Politics. Not to disparage elephants, but it's the elephant in the room, right now, in so many ways. It doesn't feel possible to not talk about what's happening in our world. But it's also so overwhelming and the noise is already so great, that on this blog I'm going to continue conversing about books, mostly. Because my heart isn't made to maintain the permanent state of outrage and fear that the current political climate and the climate-climate is so loudly calling for. The internet and media in general is exploding with directives for resistance against fascism and racism and sexism and you name it. I take this all very seriously, and am educating myself as best I can, and as I mentioned earlier this week, I'm taking small active steps in the fields of engagement I believe in, while still attempting to maintain and further the quiet life I love so much. Because the loud shouts have so often drowned out the quieter voices, and yet, here we still are, working away at what I hope and believe is the good. And besides, the quieter voices often make history by writing books, not by shouting. With that in mind, here are some of the books I'm into at the moment - as always they feel like little life preservers, helping me keep my head and my heart above water. My reading of the immediate past, present day, and immediate future:
I just finished Born to Run last night, I am in the middle of the Nora Ephron essays and Irving Sandler's memoir A Sweeper-Up After Artists and the final published volumes of the diaries of Frances Partridge. I am dithering about whether to read Nigel Slater or Alan Bennett or Patrick Leigh Fermor next. Or the memoir of Frances Partridge's early days. Or the other books pictured here. What a great problem to have! In writing this I notice that these books reflect my current, pressing concerns and interests, besides just generally being the kinds of books I want to read at any given time. The authors of these books lived through wars of all kinds and faced (and continue to face) social problems that plague us, in the arenas of art, culture, nature, family, sexuality, race, and class. For someone who just said she isn't going to write about politics much, this post seems to be concerned with exactly that. Hm. Is there no getting away? I suppose not. Pesky elephant.