Sunday, June 10, 2007

When I'm feeling dull and stupid...

When I'm feeling dull and stupid (hot weather, a busy week, hayfever) I'm prone to read something anything but. I've been reading some Borges - not just re-reading some of the great stories from "Fictions" but his earliest book, The Universal History of Iniquity, a series of pen-portraits of bad men (and women.) Its rich in everything you want, easy to read, playful, but also focussed, aware of its power. I've always been a bit of a "rationer" of Borges, because every story does have so much in it, you can gorge yourself on it a little bit. Its fascinating reading where he might sit, between Chesterton and gangster movies on the one hand, and Burroughs on the other. Its modern writing, even this far removed, and yet with its libraries, its learning, its great books and its Biblical references its also ancient. Not saying anything that anyone doesn't know - but its good to be reminded.

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