It was a tad too crowded for comfortable viewing: nothing like the terracotta warriors, but those guys were up on plinths and nobody much was trying to read the plaques on the other stuff. This crowd was elderly with canes and wheelchairs, or middle-aged with avoirdupois, so I didn't get to see as much information as I might. Not that it matters. I like houses in my art and when O'Keeffe did those they were very nearly abstract, like that famous patio door which in the paintings hangs above the ground like a black window to nowhere.
So I'm left with flowers that look sexual to me if not to her, and landscapes that relate to nothing I know. Except that her hills look like meat, or liver, or like that dead thing in Dali's Persistence of Memory. Intriguing but disquieting.
Peter Dickinson, King and Joker
-- call it A/U, which it is: a British royal family descended from Edward VII's oldest son who didn't die young, not from stiff George V. An England where the royals are allowed to study their area of interest, rather like the Japanese royal family hem-hem. The current king is a doctor but the unions won't let him practise. And so we drift off into Dickinson-land, kind of a stage-comedy place best exemplified for me by Emma Tupper's Diary in its first avatar. Haven't looked too deeply, but the thing was substantially revised at some point to remove most of the comic South American principality that bought the family's hair tonic.
King and Joker could have done the same with the Indonesian nurse who is somehow hired to look after the royal family's dying Nanny without speaking any English to speak of. Actually it's less stage comedy than trad English satire, where people say and do unlikely things, foreigners are slightly grotesque, and it's all such gay mad fun, don't you know. Amis and Burgess were still doing this schtick in the 70s when this was written; it's just odd to find someone like Dickinson, who isn't an oik like those two, doing the same.
Kate Griffin, Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders
-- grand guignol. If I ever buy a tablet then yes, probably, I'll read the sequels in eform. Bakka doesn't have them, fortunately, and did have Black Mould, which is much pleasanter. And now I can reread The Hanging Tree and know what's going on. (Or was it Night Witch I should have referred to?)
On the go?
Perennially: The Kalevala, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Kipling's Weird Tales.
-- the last has Kipling's hallmark approach to details of life in India that I recall from his memoir- 'never explain, never apologize'. The reader must sink or swim and put together context from the context. I have just been hurting my head about English officers racing horses and breaking their necks with stiff upper lips intact, apparently a regular and unremarked occurrence. No wonder the Empire went to the dogs if that was how discipline was kept.
Coupla burglar books which do not inspire me to read further. On the trail of a Mickey Spillane novel dedicated to Dashiell Hammett; this may make the pulse of an American male d'un certain âge race wildly, but to me it has all the appeal of a lost Hemingway or Ian Flemming MS.
Black Mould, obviously, and maybe the last two Rivers books. Or the last two 100 Demons.