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Wed Aug 9th, 2017


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08:48 pm - Reading Wednesday has itchy eyes
Went to put in my one-a-day lens this morning and it wouldn't stick. Slid all over and blurred my vision. Eventually took it out and then realized I was seeing in focus. This means I either a) somehow put it in this morning without noticing I was doing so or b) didn't take it out last night and slept in it without it drying up and coming off. Both of these are worrying as indicating old age forgetfulness, the more so as a) seems the likelier- because I distinctly remember being fuzzy-visioned while getting breakfast. I only just realized option c)- that the factory accidentally put two lenses in one packet.

What would happen if I stopped indulging in nostalgia/ saudade? I can't imagine me doing it because the past is so intrinsically woven into my present that frequently the past is all I see. Certainly in the worn-out everyday, the past is what gives flavour to the present: as today, dropping in at the Avenue Rd Second Cup, still filled with the flavour of reading Yomogi there in November 2000. Of course I must have been there since, but the most recent memory still belongs to 2003, back in what memory incorrectly insists was a golden age of fandom.

Finished?
Christie, Three Blind Mice
-- oh, the coziness of Agatha Christie. I keep forgetting how reassuring she is. Preferred the Harley Quin story to the Marples and the Marples to the Poirots. The title story seemed strangely familiar, as well it should: it's the short story that Christie turned into The Mousetrap. And actually, I liked it best.

Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith
-- someone suggested that Pratchett didn't really know what to do with the witches until he started writing Tiffany. Granny and Nanny have a gravitas and weight (yes, even Nanny) they don't in the witches earlier works. But I think it's also because they're seen from the POV of a younger person, and a thoughtful younger person at that. To me it feels like they're a rounding out of characters I know in a different context and genre. If I knew only the Tiffany witches, I'm not sure I'd like them as much. Just as I wouldn't like Vimes and Vetinari as much if I only knew them from Night Watch on. There's such a thing as too much gravitas.

But that said, the Tiffany witches are consoling because they let me read about old women who are still admirable. Lots of fictional works tell you how to be a teenager or a young adult but very few show you how to be old. Which is why when people list 'older women in SFF' they say Pratchett's Witches and then Umm, before proffering the very middle-aged Ista.

On the go?
Dickinson, Skeleton in Waiting
- Dickinson as ever requires a bit more attention than I can manage in summer, hence

Christie, The Mysterious Mr. Quin.
I never know how much 'there' there is in Harley Quin. Some read him as numinous but I always thought him gimmicky, with those convenient shadows falling across the eyes like a mask and convenient diamond reflections across his clothes. (To say nothing of an unfortunate TV dramatization of whatever Wimsey it was where he dresses as Harlequin: the actor was really not built for the costume and the Harlequin topos became a touch tainted in consequence.) Thus I reread the stories to see if I'm wrong, in, alas, a fragile library paperback that will not survive my backpack.

Periodically, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Other on the goes (the Lais, Kalevala, Ghosh) continue halted for the duration of summer.

I've started reading graphic novels but for no good reason I don't feel they count. Possibly because they run to blood and violence and can be finished in fifteen minutes.

Next?
Fighting the urge to read I Will Wear Midnight which is also a hardcover and not for travelling. Also I've read Tiffany twice already and forgotten the plots almost completely, so maybe leaving a space will let them sink in more. YA so-called doesn't usually have this much weight: twice through the Watch books was enough to get them fixed firmly in my head.

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