Slow Start

Last January I was able to do something new by starting this blog. This January doesn’t seem to hold much promise for new things. So far, I’m trying to keep my head above water; no time for reinvention.

In case you’re wondering, I did finish the Burt Lancaster biography. It revealed a complicated, conflicted man, larger than life – they don’t make them like this anymore. I liked the passages talking about his work with Visconti. He had guts to take on roles that were outside the persona he created in Hollywood, maybe even outside his comfort zone.

Today lunch with P and P’s friend at a neighbourhood bistro. The bistro’s decor reminds me of “The Marquise Of O” and that’s a good thing. I notice an older couple at a table close to ours. It looks like a first date, maybe Internet-generated one. They are both well put together. She had a bit of renovation done on her face, but still animated, low-key charm. I can see their conversation is gluing. A good beginning.

Later I browse through the chain bookstore that’s morphing into housewares and gifts place. I look through the new fiction. Unhappiness has a firm hold on literary themes – sometimes a result of terrible events and other times a trigger for them.

I pick “The Invention of Wings”. I like the few passages I read; the voices are convincing and accessible. How different they seem from my memory of reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” when I was a kid. I was horrified and absorbed by the tale of Eliza and Tom. But the tale was heavy-handed compared to contemporary retellings of the horrors of slavery. It has to be understood in the context of the time it was written in.

I’ve been reading the New Yorker, entertainment pages of the local rag and working up to reading a book. Must snap out of mental laziness. TIFF winter programme came the other week and it looks like there will be some interesting stuff – Godard films, a Paul Verhoeven and Paolo Pasolini retrospective. Something to look forward to. /p>

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