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Tony Grist

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What I'm Reading [Oct. 28th, 2017|06:09 pm]
Tony Grist
I was glad to finish Wuthering Heights. Great book. Emotionally draining.

I'm now reading Algernon Blackwood during the day and Rebecca West at night. 

Blackwood was a prolific writer of short stories.  Some are embarrassingly clumsy, some are rather wonderful. He's at his most convincing when he's out in wild nature- the Canadian lakes and forests by choice. I just finished The Damned- a haunted house story that fits somewhere in the continuum between The Turn of the Screw and the Haunting of Hill House and is good enough to stand with either. 

The only thing I'd previously read of Rebecca West's was The meaning of Treason, her excellent non-fiction study of Lord Haw-Haw and other mid 20th century traitors. The book I'm reading now, The Fountain Overflows, is a novel- first published in 1957- about a magical Edwardian childhood. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-10-29 12:31 pm (UTC)
My absolute favorite Algernon Blackwood short story is "The Man Whom the Trees Loved." Whenever I hear the trees roaring in the forest, further out, I think of him.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-10-29 05:04 pm (UTC)
I haven't read that one- but I will.

My favourite- thus far- is The Wendigo.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-10-30 01:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's a good one, too.

I learned a haunting guitar piece called "Wendigo" some years ago. My guitar teacher had no idea of the underlying story/legend, so I printed out a copy of the Blackwood story for her.

Here's a YouTube with a similar melody and an annoying vocalist. The instrumental-only third verse is somewhat better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzGiS3uuuRo

Edited to add: this one, which popped up afterwards, is closer to the version I learned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzGiS3uuuRo


Edited at 2017-10-30 01:44 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-10-30 04:28 pm (UTC)
I like that song.

I'm getting deeper into Blackwood. I've just read a splendid story about a man whose obsession with Ancient Egypt draws him back into the past. And I've downloaded his novel Julius Le Vallon which is apparently about reincarnation.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2017-10-29 02:14 pm (UTC)
Wuthering Heights is one i had to read for an arts course i did with the o.U. way back when. Emotionally draining - damn right!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-10-29 05:07 pm (UTC)
People think it's a great romantic love story- and seem to overlook how much it's to do with hatred and cruelty and abuse.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-10-30 01:43 pm (UTC)
More like a revenge play, I would say.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-10-30 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yes.

I wonder whether Bronte had read Jacobeans like Webster and Tourneur. I think she might have done. There was a vogue for them in the early 19th century.
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[User Picture]From: rosamicula
2017-10-29 08:54 pm (UTC)
I love Rebecca West. I've just finished a quartet of long short stories called The Harsh Voice, which was excellent, with shades of both Edith Wharton and Saki about it.

My favourite of her books is The Birds Fall Down which is a glorious read that really lingers in the mind.

The Fountain Overflows is the first in a series about the same family. I hope you want to read the next one.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-10-30 08:33 am (UTC)
The Fountain Overflows had me laughing out loud the other night- which isn't something that happens very often. I understand she held the two sequels back from publication because she didn't think them good enough. That gives me pause...

I'm certainly going to read The Birds fall Down.
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