Sunday, 31 January 2016

A Little Appreciation.

About a year ago I bought Flann O’Brien’s novel At Swim-Two-Birds and tried to read it. I’d loved his later work, The Third Policeman, but this time I was disappointed and gave up at about page 42. I realised that there was nothing wrong with the book; it was my jaded perception that was deficient, so tonight I started it again. This time the first sentence was sufficient to recognise the change:

Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression.

Isn’t that splendid? On a wavelength now. Good.

What I really need, however, is something to lampoon on my blog, which is often a little jaded these days. I need classics like Frankenstein and Dracula, or something massively popular like The Da Vinci Code – books that people study in university, or books that make university professors rich, books that stick their heads above the ramparts and beg to feed the iconoclastic tendency. Genuinely good books fail in that respect, so Flann O’Brien won’t do. Somebody suggested I try Jane Austen, but my constitution isn’t what it used to be.

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