Wed Mar 1st, 2017
Aware of a certain bodiless, causeless, happiness all day, which is either the Novemberish weather- grey and brown and open-coat but coat still- or a harbinger of this virus entering its final phase. Three weeks, my doctor said: one to get, one to have, one to get over; and if she's right, 'get over' week begins tomorrow. This feels like a very 80s illness in its length, though I know I've had other phlegmy coughs with exhaustion since. But those inevitably turned to sinus infection inevitably followed by antibiotics, and this... just goes on and on.
McCrumb, The Rosewood Casket and Chesterton, The Secret of Father Brown. You might add The Scandal of Father Brown to that, but there's one last story to read and I'm perversely dragging my feet on that one. Father Brown doesn't belong in the '30s, any more than Holmes belongs in the '20s. It should always be 1895 for them, and I'm sure their authors were as depressed as I to find them in an age so suddenly uncongenial to their intrinsic natures.
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood. Read decades ago and totally forgotten. Part of 'get it off the shelf' movement. Preferred to the two other close candidates, Til We Have Faces and Anglo-Saxon Attitudes as having a female author.
Another Nora Bonesteel, a novella this time, just because.
McCrumb, The Ballad of Frankie Silver.
-- Not interested in miscarriages of justice
-- Aiken, not Dickens, but still the same unpleasant Victorian world as the latter. Not at all genial.
Last month's reading was pretty forgettable, so I shall forget it.
I wonder whether I actually want to read the Father Brown stories again. I remember loving them when I was a teenager. I'm almost afraid of what I might notice now.
The Suck Fairy has been at a number of them, I must admit. Chesterton was an anti-semite, period; and added to it the vague outraged sense of persecution that Catholic converts of a certain period were wont to indulge in. I can't remember if the same unpleasantness turns up in his other, non-detective, fiction. But if not, I'd stick to that. Or the poetry.