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Tony Grist

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Cultural Jottings [Jan. 15th, 2009|10:52 am]
Tony Grist
1. Ailz is getting into her new Open University course. Last year we lay in bed and talked about Shakespeare. Now we lie in bed and talk about Marcel Duchamp.

2. Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch have made up their quarrel- and Virgin cable are carrying Sky again. The two Sky Arts channels are a real find. There was that rare, Godard movie for starters. Since then we've watched Simon Schama on Rembrandt and Bernini and a short on the photographer Nan Goldin.

3. I thought I'd like Angela Carter- and I don't.  I'm reading Wise Children.  The characters are stereotypes and the writing is packed with cliches- eyes are "sky-blue",  accents are "cut-glass. The one good quality I can't deny her is energy.

4. I got three Carters out of the library- more fool me- because I thought she was going to be my next "project".  The only other thing I got was a big, heavy book on the Romanesque- with gorgeous colour plates and a text translated from the German. My man Rolf Toman characterises the early medieval period as being in the grip of a "death cult"- all crusades and last judgements and saints being torn apart for their relics. And, yes, I see what he means- but I think he's missing the youthful energy, the urge- suddenly- to build up and up, the playfulness of the carving, the simplicity and directness of the lyrics.  When I go into a Romanesque building or listen to a troubador song my heart lifts. I find I'm smiling.  It's as if I can feel the April sunshine on my back.

[User Picture]From: nineweaving
2009-01-15 06:29 pm (UTC)
I am dismayed that you don't like Angela Carter. Her collected short stories--above all The Bloody Chamber and Black Venus (or Saints and Strangers)--are a desert island book of mine. She enlarged what I could do as a writer, as a fantasist. And her beauty and audacity amaze me every time.

Before you hurl the books back at the library, maybe you could leaf through the others? With your interests in Jacobean drama and film you could at least try her "John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's A Whore"?

By the way, "sky-blue" and "cut-glass" are Dora Chance's voice, not Carter's.

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[User Picture]From: sovay
2009-01-16 04:45 am (UTC)
By the way, "sky-blue" and "cut-glass" are Dora Chance's voice, not Carter's.

(Why don't I ever read comments before I add my own?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-16 10:59 am (UTC)
I did wonder whether the cliches- which pour out relentlessly- might be something to do with "voice".

I was dismayed too. I was sure this was an author I was going to like. I'll try again....:)
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