Thursday, 27 January 2011

Off to a book event

Today I'm off to a book event at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, all about the works of W G Sebald. Patti Smith will be there too, so how cool is that. I am packing my long johns and two vests because snow is forecast along the east coast and the wind is set from the east. So far, I have read one WGS, 'The Rings of Saturn' and was immediately hooked. His themes are memory, and often of loss but not in a bad way, just as part of life. His powers of observation for detail - he writes about walking in East Anglia, the place where he lived, ie of places as well as people- and his use of language are what makes his books so exceptional. Oddly, although the exquisite use of English is one of the books' strong points, he actually wrote in his native German so three cheers for his translator, Michael Hulse. I will keep a close eye on the way this event is organised with a view to our own book event in Moffat on April 16 (book now). On the train, I will be reading 'Five Days in London May 1940' by John Lukacs, sent to me by my friend Barty in Sweden. I started it last night and was gripped - it's a bit like watching those thrillers set in real time ((24 Hours?). I'll let you know how it turns out ( for those under 30's who didn't 'do' WWII at school)

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