Talking about how time flies (which we weren't) it seems only the other day that Matthew was advising me not to get too gung-ho with the bonfires because the neighbours wouldn't thank me if I set their hay alight but it has to have been a year ago.
Talking about Iris Murdoch, I see that the critics- insofar as they care for her at all- prefer her early, shorter novels- like Under The Net and The Bell. Me, I prefer the later, baggier ones in which she tries to bring about the marriage of Dickens and Woolf- combining the sprawl of the Victorian novel with the focus and subjectivity of modernism. They're more ambitious- and if they go on a bit I'm really in no hurry to get to the end. So long as she doesn't bore me I'm happy for a novelist to take her time.
By the way, what is this idea that modern readers don't do long and complex? It can't be true. And if it is how do you account for the career of George R.R. Martin?