Saturday, April 16, 2011


I’m Back!

“A long while” turned out to be two years; but my little cyberspace time machine returns me to the point at which I departed, and unchanged, even, unless I make “physical” adjustments to this page.

The world is different, though: no more DWJ.
[moment of silence]

I wonder if she would have enjoyed the movie I saw last night, “Source Code.” A completely satisfying movie-going experience, which has left some bits in my mental teeth that I could pleasurably worry loose. The ideas in that movie were so beguiling I was willing to accept what didn’t work, a mood supported by the lead actor’s sad/hopeful face and his character’s good-soldier persona. Go and see this movie, and then consider these two points: Could the 8-minute conceit work anyhow but as a movie? and, That magic 8 minutes is a perfect metaphor for the work of the writer’s imagination. Source code, indeed. Watch for the nerdy guy in the short-sleeved dress shirt who charges up the machinery, who looks like Neil Gaiman as a short-sleeved dress shirt-wearing nerdy guy.

As for reading: in the past two years I've been a member of two reading groups, one new. The later has been... interesting; during the second year there was an accidental influx of new members, some of whom drive me up the wall. But some of them are not afraid of argument and they keep me going. Next month’s book is/was The Bishop's Man by Lynden MacIntyre: what a boring mess. I couldn’t connect with the main character, couldn’t keep track of the three or four timelines the author was working out, and by the end, felt I had missed the key moment that may have explained everything.

For the old book group, we read Room by Emma Donoghue; that was fascinating, hard, unbearable, and then the author helped us all escape from the unbearable place and the novel became a more ordinary one which you continue to read because you wish the characters well.

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