March 2nd, 2013


Living In 2001

Alice Skypes me with Ivy on her knee. Ivy waves and I wave back. It's almost as good as being in the same room. I fetch the toy xylophone and hold it up in front of the lens and bang away on it. Skype is wonderful.

There's a camera-phone in Kubrick's 2001. Some guy talks to his baby daughter. We thought- wow that's cool and soooo futuristic. i never thought I'd ever be using the technology myself.

All we need now is a moon colony.

BTW, did you see where some billionaire wants to send a couple of people to Mars? He specifies they should be middle-aged and married because they'll be cooped up in a tin can the size of a small caravan for three years. (Kubrick should have thought of that). This morning I saw a headline poo-poohing the whole idea as too dangerous. Bah! Of course it's dangerous. Life is dangerous.  Walking to the end of the street is dangerous because, you know, there are cars out there and one of them could mount the pavement. Also people- and you know how unpredictable they can be. Oh, and dogs. When the Admiralty commissioned James Cook to sail round the world did he say, "I'd love to, sir,  but, you know, it could be a little dangerous..."?

It Just Goes On Getting Better

If you live without love you'll die alone. Harsh but true. Chew on that, Mrs Reed and all Reedalikes.

But Bronte is harsh. I expect Miss Ingram had some redeeming qualities. Don't take it too hard, Blanche. It's not just you; this is a whole class she's skewering. Did you have a canary you were fond of and Jane knew nothing about? Yes, I thought so,

One marries for money in this world. It's the rule. Mr Rochester really has no business being so shocked.

Bronte is awfully good at description. Most writers aren't. They may be good at evoking atmosphere, but few of them can lay out a scene so you know where everything is. Bronte has that skill. You can see her landscapes.  The sun is here. The light is just so. The old willow tree is over there- and so on.

Jane Eyre happens in a universe with many dimensions. Bronte is careful not to have ghosts actually walk onto the stage, but they're always hovering in the wings. And not just ghosts but elves, men in green, angels, gytrashes. When Jane has a little time on her hands she paints spirits- and a truly weird picture of a corpse sinking into the green depths (like Leo in Titanic) while a  cormorant holds its stolen arm bracelet aloft. What on earth does that mean?  When Rochester is declaring his love (and what a brilliantly written scene that is!) he does so whilst insisting on his status as "an immortal soul". This isn't how Mr Darcy spoke. Bronte's people are mystics;  Blake would have enjoyed their company, Coleridge too. And then there are the omens-  the dreams that foreshadow the death of Mrs Reed, the storm that smashes the chestnut tree.