Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Returned from France but not to Wuthering Expectations, not yet

One must consider the possibility that one does not recover from international flights with the quickness that one did a number of years ago.  It is no coincidence that my Currently Reading list, typically containing six substantial volumes, now features a single P. G. Wodehouse novel.*   I’m back but I’m beat.  Ambitious, or even ordinary, writing will have to wait.  A further complication is a jolly family event, for which I leave tomorrow.  Next Tuesday, that is when I will return in force, or so I hope.

France is, by the way, still nice.  Lyons is nice, Avignon is nice, Burgundy is tres tres jolie.  If I were writing the early modern book blog that I wish someone else would write, Quixote Furioso or whatever it is called, I would concoct lengthy posts about the Duchy of Burgundy and the great Memoirs of Philippe de Commynes (1489+), and the French capture of the papacy, and the works of the 16th century Lyonnais poet Maurice Scève, and many other fascinating subjects.  But I do not write that blog.

On this one, I would like to demonstrate the results of my research at the Victor Hugo house in Paris, and to study a statue of the delightfully granny-like Auxerre poet Marie Noël, but that would involve sorting and cleaning my photos, which is exhausting.  Or I could, it seems, plunder French Wikipedia.  In their photo, you can see the dog, but the rabbit and snail are hidden.  C’est tres chouette, non?

I see that many other book bloggers are reading novellas, or close relatives thereof.  Perhaps I should read one as well.  I am afraid, though, that I will be too busy, once my joie de vivre returns, assembling my 19th century Danish paper theater as provided by 50 Watts.

Tuesday, that’s the revised goal.

* Update: As was inevitable, or at least likely, Right Ho, Jeeves has been completed. Onward.


  1. Welcome back! I read Pale Fire while you were gone, and it blew my tiny mind.

  2. Perhaps you'll have the energy to join the Austen (light) in August discussion on SpSq. Perhaps I'll have the energy to announce said discussion.
    Happy further travels.

  3. Welcome semi-back! You've picked a good Wodehouse novel, at least it's one of my favorites.

    We really need to get someone to write that early modern book blog though. Will compensate with lots of comments!

  4. Pale Fire, good. Now you know why every almost every novel I read is slightly disappointing, and why I secretly accuse most critics of overpraising whatever book they are going on about. Did you find where the Crown Jewels were hidden?

    The Wodehouse has resulted in a few surprises. I did not realize that the book is nominally part of Bertie's memoirs. Odd to think of this chap writing a book-length work, even about himself.

    Can't wait, SpSq, for the Austen-Faulkner discussion, although As I Lay Dying is a much better book than Light in August.

  5. When I got my Kindle this May I went crazy downloading things I'd never read but always wanted to. Two of those books were Right Ho, Jeeves and My Man Jeeves. Haven't gotten to them yet, but I know they're there when I want them. Welcome back. The trip sounds like fun.

  6. Hehe, I see you've got a little novella there in your sidebar...look forward to hearing what you think of this one.

  7. I must admit I've never been able to finish a Wodehouse novel. Something about them always rubbed me the wrong away; glibness perhaps.

    I seem to be bucking the novella trend: I'm now 400 pages into Raymond Roussel's unfinished epic "Les Noces"; 500 pages to go...

  8. Novellas, hmm. Currently going through a German Lit phase, where there are novellas aplenty. Especially loved Storm's 'Der Schimmelreiter' - it's just a shame noone else in the (English-speaking) world cares...

  9. Any equivalent in France to the tensions we're seeing lately in London?

  10. Should I respond to these fine comments from three or four days (internet time: three or four years) ago? Why not?

    nicole: That novella I am reading is not a novella. The author calls it his "first long novel," and describes it accurately, unlike a certain publisher.

    Doug Skinner: Glibness, yes, that's accurate. But:

    Grad: Perfect books, those Wodehouses, to carry around for the right occasion. E.g., when you are too tired to read anything more substantial.

    Tony: No one else cares! Ahem!. I even wrote about Storm's poems. I even wrote about Little Hobbin!

    Shelley: I don't know!

  11. Yes, you are right on, something I thought as soon as I hit "post comment" last week. Another thing to add to the negative column in my everlasting list of Melville House ambivalence.

  12. The typos, right? Boy. Not that Wuthering Expectations is much better on that count.