It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
I struggled to re-connect to the characters in this second outing for the sentient trains and the interstellar rail network they run on and the humans they carry with them. Oddly, it's the machines, particularly Nova, the android, that I had most sympathy with. The revelations were disappointingly similar to those of another SF novel that is much better and the series in general suffers from my constantly being reminded of other writers' books. Nevertheless it's an amusing enough adventure and I'm sure I'll get around to the third one at some point.
The House of Fame has walls clad in gold and statues to many a fomous writer, including Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Three tributes to T.S. Eliot, two very short, one too long...
Hughes' approach to literature is a bizarre amalgum of comparative mythology and assumed symbolism - whether deliberate or subconcious on the author's part. It's entirely alien to me. Perhaps I would understand it better if I re-capitulated Hughes' education in mythology and anthropology but I doubt I would relate to it any better. Hence the longest of these essays was kinda wasted on me. The second, howver, departs from Hughes' norm and talks about the structure of The Wasteland and I found it a lot more accessible and useful. I could have done with more of that.
Hughes rates Eliot and Yeats as the two greatest 20th Century poets. Eliot I know and love. Yeats I'm currently completely familiar with.
"Joachim Patinier was the first to specialise in the depiction of landscape in the art of the modern age..." Died 1524. Not sure if this is a Euro-centric view or not.
Notes for an autobiography: Peake was also born in China and grew up there! He left in 1922 so left before Ballard was born and he lived in Tienjin, not Shanghai. His early life influenced the Gormenghast books.
The eagle deposits Geoffrey at the House of Fame, high in the sky, and they take leave of each other - I'd have been asking how I was going to get back to the ground again!
Choosing 37 from a collection of ~3,000 paintings must be a challenge. The first depicts preparations for Jesus' first bath, apparently a bit of an obsession for 15th century Christians. There all sorts of interesting things going on, what with angels helping Joseph repair the roof and fill the bath and Mary drinking soup to recover from the birth - and Jesus precociously walking already.