Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Started Tim Parks’ novel “Sex is Forbidden” to see what his recent big change is about.  His true fans didn’t like it.  But so far it seems pretty ordinary and is starting to be funny---when our heroine, Beth, finally writes her own entry in the forbidden journal of the guy she is stalking in the meditation ashram.  

Read more of Hollinghurst yesterday and then re-read much of it last night to be sure I caught every nuance.  Am sure I did not, quite.  Have to be a Brit of his generation to catch more of it.  But he is exquistely good, Jamesean for sure and feels more lucid because contemporary.  Downton Abbey has helped me slide into Hollinghurst---same period more or less and formality and all that.  Britishness.  As foreign as every other foreign.  Somehow the tv show demonstrates that even more than novels do.  The pacing of the dialogue, the non-sequiturs that pass for dialogue and conversation between, among, characters.  American writers would just not do it that way.  Not sure if Julian Fellowes writes every single word.  That might be how and why it is so strange.  Liturgical really.  I’ve decided that--that Masterpiece T is not theater at all but liturgy.  Worship ritual.  If you don’t go to church every sunday morning, PBS gives you a virtual liturgical fix every sunday evening. 

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