Anyone who wondered what JK Rowling could possibly have experienced to inspire her latest novel The Silkworm, a novel full of bitter literary rivalries and backbiting authors, should check out Joanne Harris’ comments as reported by The Telegraph about the Harry Potter series, the bitchy tone of which undermined her otherwise perfectly valid argument about writing being a career which people depend upon for their living.
Doubly so if the person you’re trying to talk sense into is a teenager or has the emotional intelligence of a five year old.
Few things annoy me more than someone who gets on the train and decides to have a loud phone call for entertainment while ignoring the glares of other people. It’s completely antisocial. Why can’t they bring a book, newspaper or magazine like everyone else? Or use the time for quiet contemplation?
In the wise words of Lemony Snickett, never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them. They might be a public phone caller.
If you had a bad Valentine’s day or someone has asked you why you’re not planning to get married recently, quote Montaigne and fly free, little bird, fly free!
I think that this opening to Under Milk Wood, written as a play for voices by my country man Dylan Thomas, is one of the finest pieces of description in the English language. I wish I’d had room to add the next section about “Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrogered sea.” but then I wouldn’t have been able to fit in my favourite wordplay”sloeblack, slow black” so I had to cut it.
Dylan Thomas was born today in 1914, and you have to admit, he wrote some incredibly beautiful literature in his short life.
I love that the Alice in Wonderland Memorial Statue for Margarita Delacorte in Central Park is intended for children to play on, it’s incredibly charming, having been polished smooth by children’s hands since it arrived in the park in 1959, and you can understand why it’s such a popular landmark to photograph.
However, something that you never seem to see is the beautiful quotations around the base of the statue, which were perhaps my favourite thing about it:
I found the last one really moving, it’s the dedication from the husband of the woman who the statue is dedicated to. I wish I could find out a bit more about her, this is just so beautiful. The kind of memorial you’d want if you could choose.
C.S. Lewis is often quoted as saying, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” I’m sure this is a feeling many of his readers share. Though I would have to adapt it to include books, tea and biscuits. So include something about not being able to find a packet of jammy dodgers big enough and that will make the famous quote Siobhan specific.
And everything will seem better in the morning, one of the classic great lies.