Saturday, February 19, 2011

That Time of the Night


It’s a Saturday night and I’ve had my fill of morality plays and constructed subjectivity for one night. It’s been a while since I’ve written about books. I suppose that’s either because there’s no time or because I'm lazy. I'm not going to make a decision tree. I’m trying to sneak peaks at Brighton Rock in preparation for the Rowan Joffe film, and Alexandra Harris’ Romantic Moderns but without much continued success.


A few weeks ago I spoke with Penguin Great Ideas superstar designer David Pearson in an interview for the Cherwell. I found a fellow-enthusiast in David; both of us fans of Penguin’s elegant volumes. In fact I’ve been a longtime Penguin groupie. (They have a good backlist and their visual art is impeccable. And the postcards...) I’ve begun a small collection of grande dames: Nancy Mitford, Rose Macaulay, Iris Murdoch, Muriel Spark. My favorite title is one I picked up in Woodstock last December, Reading for Profit.

I hoped that it would spell a sure way to find a job that enabled me to read and get paid obscene amounts of money for it. Instead it is a series of lectures on literature given by an Allied prisoner of war during the Second World War. Close guess.

The Sweetness of Life now is:

Late night glass of red; Iron & Wine; A bout de soufflĂ© tomorrow; remembering a small boy yelling on the street at the top of his lungs ‘Will anybody find meeeeeeeee somebody to love’ this afternoon; the prospect of running in the crisp misted parks tomorrow morning; visitors coming from Seattle this Thursday to nest in a warm attic -

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ides of February

The blog was ready for a change. This wallpaper looks a bit garish now, but this looks vaguely Bloomsburyish.

Mid-February already, and we’re in fifth week. Shockingly, this means only three more weeks until the Easter vacation and Ireland, a house in the backwater of Killarney. The weather has been suitably miserable. Hilary is the dark term. Everyone is willing to hunker down in their rooms until Trinity, which begins in April around the time of the Royal Wedding. I haven’t done much aside from work (and avoid it by walking up and down the stairs). Reading Chaucer has led to Thomas Hoccleve and his Marian lyrics. With scattered showers of literary theory every odd Thursday. I may throw over everything in favour of Brighton Rock.

The snowdrops are out, and that means spring. (Does it?) Morning and evening birds sing. They weren’t there two weeks ago.

Last Saturday night I found I had grown restless and ached to move about. Leaving college with three friends, we walked to Port Meadow just before ten and crossed onto it while the moon and the stars were still out. Cassiopeia was visible, and the Plough (the Big Dipper). Horses loomed next to the stile we crossed onto the meadow, just on the edge of Jericho, only fifteen minutes on foot from the center of town. They watched us warily, and moved heavily like rhinos. Over the bridge; the Cherwell at night; the canal boats moored, several of them with lights on behind frowsy curtains; the river life. We stopped at the Perch for a pint, returned as the clouds washed over, and, stiff-legged, took a chocolate digestible before bed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter

The wind has been howling these three days. Anna said it reminds her of change. To me it seems like madness.

The play finished last night and it has been a spectacular run. We sold all but three tickets in the week and were supported by professors, lecturers, college members, friends, strangers. I think, astoundingly, we made a profit.

I’ve been reading T.S. Eliot and I’ve concluded that April is not the cruelest month, February is. Nothing can be more dead than it is now. Where are the roots that clutch/What branches grow/ Out of this stony rubbish?...

And my favorite part:

There is shadow under this red rock
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock)
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nous Theatre Proudly Presents

“In every corner of being myself there is a little of you left and now I must start to lose it.”

A white librarian and a coloured schoolteacher in South Africa in the 1960s discover their love is easily fractured by apartheid.

On a bare stage, the pastiche of conversations and monologues mirrors the changeability of human connection: of suddenly discovered sympathies and the chasms created by misunderstanding and shame. Fugard’s play shows the painful truth that apartheid’s most exacting humiliation was the stripping of dignity and selfhood. In sparse, resonant language the truth is clear: there can be no intimacy where there is no equality.

Tonight – after weeks of planning and fretting – is the opening night of Nous Theatre’s production of Athol Fugard’s Statements Taken After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act! It’s hard to believe somehow it's gone from germinating idea about forming a company to box office tickets already. It's been a privilege.

I’ve seen the play twice through and it’s a gutsy, intimate drama. As Marketing Director, it’s my proud duty to let people know about the play, so if you’re in the Oxford area come see Statements at the Burton Taylor Theatre from Feb 1-5th at 7.30. You really can’t have anything better to do.

Book tickets here

More information at our website and our Facebook page.

You can read Milja Fenger’s (director) interview with Athol Fugard here.