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Got tax stuff together, go me. So easy was it that I'm sure I've… - Off the Cliff

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Wed Mar 30th, 2016


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10:26 pm
Got tax stuff together, go me. So easy was it that I'm sure I've forgotten something vital, but it matches last year's check list. Satisfaction is slightly overwhelmed by discovering the insurance premium cheque hasn't cleared, even though my coverage was set to lapse/ begin a week ago. Discover also that my broker has retired, so must call brokerage tomorrow and go through tedium there. Since cheque was not handled by brokerage at all but went directly to insurers out in Manitoba, why can't I just call *them*? Agh- insurance; we hates it, my precious. All this has sparked a bout of what I call 'rational anxiety' ie a real problem that elicits a disproportionate amount of wibble and images of disaster. Which last I seem able to ignore, but would ignore more easily if I had my addiction solitaire back, she hints at the universe.

Or maybe not, since I got tax stuff ready instead of playing fritter solitaire.

What have you just finished?
Shakespeare's Rebel.

What are you reading now?
Tutuola, The Palm-wine Drinkard, which ought to have been finished by now but doctors and such intervened. I know I started this thirty-five years ago but think I dropped it part way through. Have a vague memory of not being able to cope with the language, which seems odd, since it's not a patch on John Lennon and other varieties of non-standard English which I usually love. Probably teaching in Japan upped my tolerance of a language's grammar/ constructions getting imported into my own (and with Japanese, vice versa.)

(In an illuminating interview, Tutuola’s son Yinka notes that his father "preferred direct translation of the Yoruba words, thoughts and usage into English word-for-word." As Molara Ogundipe-Leslie puts it, Amos Tutuola used English words as "counters … basically speaking Yoruba but using English words.")

Drinkard has some of the nightmarish qualities of Bush of Ghosts but isn't quite as horrific as that: the latter reads to me like a fever dream (my body is crammed into a pot and my neck is a long thin stalk that can't support my swollen head) or the fall-out from an abusive childhood (I'm completely at the mercy of people who want only to hurt me and who imprison me in an underground doorless black room.) Well, the narrator is a child fleeing from slavers: it's exactly the narrative of a powerless person in a hideous world. Whereas the drinkard not only starts as an adult and has a psychic wife, he's also The Great Sage Equal to Heaven ie 'Father of gods who could do everything in this world' which makes me wonder why he puts up with a lot of what he does.

Anyway, I might be able to tackle Ben Okri again in light of this book. The Famished Road read to me pure kitchen sink as far as I got with it.

What will you read next?
A buncha books are on their way from the library- a kid's book about Chinese musical instruments, a collection of 'uncanny stories' so I can see what the fuss is about Robert Aickman (I fancy I won't understand the fuss about Robert Aickman: my weird seems not to be the same as other people's weird), and Aaronovitch's Remembrance of the Daleks, because I'm allowed one fictional book by a white male author per month, and this is April's.

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