Unmemorable

‘The Chimes’ was Charles Dickens’s second Christmas Book. Dealing with England’s social ills in the first half of the 19th century through the medium of spirit goblins, in a somewhat similar manner to ‘A Christmas Carol’. This novella is subtitled ‘A Goblin Story of some bells that rang an old year out and a newContinue reading “Unmemorable”

A Christmas Carol

Of Charles Dickens’s 5 Christmas Books the best known, which needs no commentary from me, is ‘A Christmas Carol’. I have no need to read it again to scan Charles Keepings’s illustrations for my Folio Society edition of 1988. The introduction is by Christopher Hibbert. Here are the illustrated pages. This evening we dined onContinue reading “A Christmas Carol”

The Decameron

This morning I got my head around Judy’s Holiday Challenge and published my earlier post of today – the first of 10. This put me in mind of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron which I read 60 years ago in my Folio Society fifth impression of 1960. The work has been translated by Richard Aldington. Despite theContinue reading “The Decameron”

An Internationally Renowned Work

When, in August 1898, Czar Nicholas II of Russia called for all ‘the nations to join a conference for the limitation of armaments’ cynics mistrusted his motives, believing this was because his nation was so far behind the major powers with whom he would never be able to catch up without such breathing space. WeContinue reading “An Internationally Renowned Work”

Up The Lane

This morning I finished reading the justifiably Pulitzer Prize- (for Non-Fiction, 1963) winning work ‘The Guns of August’ (1962) by Barbara W. Tuchman. With painstaking research, shrewd judgement, and skilful prose, the author analyses and describes the first month of the First World War. We are so accustomed to books and films about the madnessContinue reading “Up The Lane”

Edwin Drood

My inspirational teacher, Richard Milward, featured in https://derrickjknight.com/2012/07/04/no-one-forgets-a-good-teacher/ stressed that a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. As I have progressed through my reading life I have come to believe that the journey through a book has been more important to me than the focus on a satisfactory ending. Charles Dickens,Continue reading “Edwin Drood”

Brave New World

The increasing domination of technology controlled by self-centered powerful elites at the expense of caring consideration in our current world and the efforts of a rampant virus to wake us all up to the need for mutual cooperation has spurred me to interrupt my reading of Aldous Huxley’s ‘Antic Hay’, to return to his ‘BraveContinue reading “Brave New World”

Sea Foam

I spent much of the afternoon of this humid-damp day finishing reading The author is one of New Zealand’s finest. ‘Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) is one of the most highly regarded short story writers of the 20th century. A contemporary of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and D H Lawrence, she played her part in shaping modernism by experimenting withContinue reading “Sea Foam”

To The Lighthouse

On another overcast morning Aaron, tasked with improving our stepping stone escape route from the Dead End Path to the patio, fetched some spare paving from his own home and produced this level work. He was one stone short and will bring that next week. I first read in 1989. About 20 years later IContinue reading “To The Lighthouse”

A Central Rectangle

Louise DeSalvo’s work on Virginia Woolf which I featured recently in https://derrickjknight.com/2020/05/19/seeking-acquaintance/ prompted me to return to ‘Between The Acts’, the writer’s last novel. Dr DeSalvo had sought metaphors and other phrases in the novel which could be referring to Woolf’s childhood sexual abuse. I could see the possible reasons for the doctor’s interpretations, but,Continue reading “A Central Rectangle”