Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Double-Waugh and Bronte-ites

Mosquitos are the enemy and reading outside must stop at 7 p.m. Although it’s daylight savings time and there is delightful sunshine till 9, the mosquitos raid like vampires and unless you have a safari hat with a veil you’re doomed. Most of us just have cotton things with mismatched T-shirts and baseball caps. Try Citronella candles. What a laugh!

I’m still reading Waugh slowly. That’s because it’s DOUBLE-WAUGH: Evelyn Waugh’s SWORD OF HONOUR trilogy and Alex Waugh’s FATHERS AND SONS. Both are highly recommended.

I’m also reading Stevie Davies’s FOUR DREAMERS AND EMILY, a novel I found by googling on the internet. This Brontesque comedy-drama assembles four Bronte aficionados at an Emily Bronte conference: Marianne, a Bronte scholar and conference organizer; Timothy, an old man with heart trouble (brought on by lifting his wife when she was dying); Eileen, an obnoxious enthusiast who romanticizes the Brontes and stands up at each conference and denounces the academics (The deconstructionists ARE wickedly lamooned); and Sharon, an overweight waitress who has read JANE EYRE and is invited by Marianne.

It’s a bit like LUCKY JIM, with women's problems: what to do when your furious husband drops off the three children at the conference (Marianne); what to do when you’re locked in at Haworth with a strange conference-ee (Timothy and Eileen); and what to do when drunken punks call you a “lard-ass” at a bar. “PIss off, you wankers...You’re dormant, you. You’re spack. Scran. Just fuck off or I’ll fist you where it hurts.” (Sharon).

A really excellent contemporary novel, probably known to Brontei-ites, but not to me.

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