Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Buchan, Barrie, Buncle

Broughton has John Buchan, Kirkcudbright - J.M Barrie. Moffat has Ossian, a glancing blow from Burns and D.E.Stevenson. Plans are afoot for Moffat Book Events to build on the D.E.S. connection, by presenting a rehearsed reading of a version for the theatre of Miss Buncle's Book.

I have opened the first of the 26 boxes of books retrieved from storage on Friday Jan 27th, but did not take any out yet. Instead, I played for time by starting a list of categories for my library: novels; history; biography, poetry, plays, politics, economics etc. I could spin out the whole process by trying to remember where, when and why I bought each book. One of the books on the top layer of the box I opened was a bright yellow paperback of Les Liaisons Dangeureuses, the sort of French book where you had to cut the pages. I probably bought it after seeing the 1959 film by Roger Vadim set in contemporary France with a star-studded cast headed by Jeanne Moreau, Gerard Philipe, and Annette Vadim, and Jean-Louis Trintingant - later to hit the heights with Anouk Aimee in 'Un Homme et Une Femme' in a supporting role. Trintingnant in later life was memorable as the judge in the third film of the Kristow Kieslowski's trilogy 'Three Colours: Blue,White and Red. Gerard Philipe, the greatest classical French actor of his generation, died eight weeks after the film of Les Liaisons was released. I have made inquiries of the firm that makes the 'speaking benches' for the National Trust to make one that plays Gerard Philipe reciting 'Heureux qui, comme Ulysse' to go with the pavement in my garden engraved with the poem which, suitably for Moffat, celebrates the Golden Fleece.

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