Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time Enough at Last

Dear Guardian readers, I occasionally buy the Times, so that you don't have to. Only joking, but their books section is often far better than the Julian Barnes Supplement that is the Guardian's. Where do I start? A feature on the Paris Review interviews, which Canongate, obviously anticipating my birthday, is making available in book form. Then, Elaine Feinstein's article on the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of my favourite poets, Louis Macneice. My favourite poem is "Meeting Point" from 1939, effortless in its language, beautifully lyrical, both solemn and serene. He died a few months after Sylvia Plath, but is lodged in the memory as a "thirties poet." Time enough at last, to uncouple him from that and read him for himself. Faber have got a new collected out now, and its already in my shopping basket. All this, and a poem from Margaret Atwood which will be of immense help, I would think, to anyone seeing an aged loved one fade away. There was also an article, elsewhere in yesterday's paper about Mark E. Smith of the Fall, confirming yesterday's post of it being "the year of the Fall." I went to see "The Last King of Scotland" last night, about Idi Amin, and its a powerful, intense movie, that only occasionally falls into cliche. What it lacks in visual literacy, it makes up for, as you might expect from Kevin "Touching the Void" Macdonald, is a ratcheting up of the tension, as sat inside the court of Amin, we get the glimpses of a regime turning from popular acclaim to terror, in small glimpses, whilst always being equally affronted/charmed by Forrest Whittaker's brilliant portrayal of the dictator.

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