February 18th, 2009

Things That Are Going Round My Head

I think I may have had enough Waugh for the time being. I have read Decline and Fall- which is The Perfectly Funny Book- and Vile Bodies- which is a transitional work, more accomplished than Decline and Fall but not nearly as good- and A Handful of Dust - which is a masterpiece and wonderfully sad.  Given Waugh's reputation- as a man- for being totally obnoxious, he's an amazingly sensitive and generous writer. I think he became a pig out of despair at the cruelty of the world.

I have discovered the casserole.  You collect your ingredients- basically anything that happens to be lying around the kitchen- bung them in the slow cooker- wait six hours and serve. It's like alchemy without even the pretence of science. Last week the results were heavenly; last night, disappointingly bland. I believe some people use a thing called a recipe book.

Sky Arts showed a documentary about Sinatra. On the one hand he was a sexist pig with links to the Mob. On the other he was a rebel who spent his life sticking it to the Man, championing Civil Rights and opposing the Hollywood Black List. One guy compared him to Madonna for (a) his intelligence and (b) his ability to work the system.