November 28th, 2013


Decrepitude And Dongles

I was sitting on the hearth rug attending to the gas fire, with my legs drawn up beside me- like the little mermaid on her Copenhagen rock- when something went ping in the region of my right ankle. It hurt badly to begin with- a sharp, pointed, pain- and I was tottering round on a stick- but gradually eased so that now- a day later- so long as I tread carefully, I'm fine. I don't know what that was but it had me worried.

I'm now accessing the Internet through a dongle. It's faster and, we're hoping, cheaper. Dongle; isn't that a great word? It makes me think of Edward Lear.

Writers I Admire But Dislike

So they've let C.S Lewis into the Abbey. Fair enough. I can see how he merits a place. I read a lot of his stuff back in the day and found him witty and entertaining and moreish. But he left a metallic taste in the mouth.  However much I admired him I couldn't like him. This was the case even when we shared a theology.

The list of writers I admire but dislike is long and various. It has nothing to do with lit crit and everything to do with personality. It doesn't have much to do with ideology either. I deplore Chesterton's Roman Catholic triumphalism but love the man.  Ezra Pound was a bona fide fascist but that doesn't top me being fond of him.  Aldous Huxley- on the other hand- even though we probably agree on almost everything- affects me much as Lewis does. I find him coarse.

Here are some other writers whose greatness I concede but wouldn't want to curl up with in the inglenook.

Ernest Hemingway; I admire his prose style no end, but what a brute!

Jane Austen:  I've read everything once and once is enough. I find her chilly

D.H Lawrence: What an insufferable person-  all that ranting and raving.

P.G. Wodehouse: A great original but I don't find him funny.

James Joyce:  I think "The Dead" may be the greatest short story ever penned, but I can't be doing with its author.  There's something cold and clammy about him.

Kingsley Amis: He leaves me feeling I need to go take a shower.

And so on. I could fill pages. Though I'd like to think the list of writers I love in spite of everything would be longer.