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Wed Mar 9th, 2016

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09:18 pm - Wednesday's Child
Another of my recurring dream tropes is The Apartment I Have But Don't Live In. My stuff is all there but I live elsewhere, and often have forgotten that I have the place at all. Last night I had a cat in the apartment that I'd forgotten to feed. Fortunately I came back in time to save it from starvation. (Back in the 70s I really did have a couple of places I rented but didn't live in because the family house was always more convenient to work or school. I can't even remember where the last one was- down Euclid, maybe? Old address books always shock me because people's apartments are on different streets than my vague sense of location remembers them.)

What have you just finished?
Zadie Smith, White Teeth, finally.

What are you reading now?
The Language of Threads, unwillingly. We've just got to the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Slow going, because I'm immersed in the much happier

Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka. "What if V.S. Naipaul was a happy man? What if V.S. Pritchett had loved his parents? What if Vladimir Nabokov had grown up in a small town in western Nigeria...?" as the blurb says. This is a memoir, not the novel I thought it was thirty years ago when I bought it; Soyinka either has an amazing memory or supplies memory's deficits from his novelist's stash. Probably the former, odd as it seems to me that anyone can remember the events of their third year. (Soyinka is two and a half when he decides to go to school. His behaviour doesn't strike me as at all odd, given the toddlers I currently know; that he remembers any of it kerblonxes me.)

And it's a lovely genial world he describes, even with the hair-raising Nigerian notions of suitable child and/or adult discipline. But the description of the world changes subtly as Wole grows older. The people who wander through the beginning chapters as undifferentiated family members slowly resolve themselves into servants and maids and older sisters and younger brothers. The idyll cannot last long, I keep telling myself, but so far nothing troubles it except Soyinka's tendency to wander away into himself and do things he doesn't realize he's doing. And that, in a world where there are oro and egungun and abiku (as in Okri's The Famished Road), is hardly surprising.

Gypsy Rose Lee, The G-string Murders; something of a rarity, found at my sister's house. Lots of fun.

What will you read next?
Bechdel's Are You My Mother?, come by chance at the library last night. Already from the first pages it's more of a downer than Fun Home.

Possibly that biography of Lorenzo de' Medici.

(2 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 11th, 2016 12:43 am (UTC)
I dream all the time of lives I live alternatively ... and homes I live in. It's like watching films of me, and I'm still me being me (but with different attachments - if that makes sense) ... and when I wake up they're gone from memory like wisps and tendrils creeping back into a forest undergrowth like morning mist in the harsh bright sun.

Speaking of which ... I managed to crawl out of bed early enough to go somewhere where I could witness the partial solar eclipse we were getting. Indonesia apparently was the best place to see a total eclipse, but ... I was happy to be where I was.

[User Picture]
Date:March 12th, 2016 02:04 am (UTC)
I've started to have alternate life dreams, but they've been very few. Mostly it's about babies, set in either Toronto or Tokyo. And yes indeed, the wispy details creep back into the dark hindbrain as soon as my eyes see that bright morning sun.

Lucky you to get even a glimpse of the partial.

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