innerfictions

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Self worth

“living in a place like this makes you possessive of the discomforts, they're all you've got”

Christopher Isherwood - A Meeting by the River

A Meeting by the RiverA Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can see why some people think this book is a mess - it certainly isn't as good as some of his other books. Still, I quite enjoyed it. I like the way the Brothers were both lost in their own way, flailing about trying to "find themselves", and how this lead to themselves becoming unreliable narrators to others, and to themselves for that matter. They still look for validation from each other and rely on mothers and wives and lovers and gurus and gods and sex. That each felt threatened by the other brother doing their own thing, and yet seek external fixes, for escape or crutches, but do discover something of internal strength through their meeting over a few weeks. It felt fairly realistic of a mildly fucked-up family, and though the ending had an air sentimentality about, it felt true enough.

I wonder if people who have lived or experienced such dysfunctional families or problematic relationships might relate to and value reading this book more than those who haven't? Poooooossibleeeee.

Not one I am going to read again, but it passed a couple rainy afternoons by the seaside.

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Monday, 19 October 2015

Party going

“and she asked Max if he did not think it often was the case that certain things people remembered about when they were children were important to them only because they were far more important to someone else”

Henry Green - Party going

Party GoingParty Going by Henry Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fog never lifts. It would be difficult to think of a more narcissistic tiresome bunch of people, without wit or self awareness - and yet Green keeps you interested. The mysterious interesting people are on the periphery - Miss Fellowes in her 50s who falls ill after washing and wrapping a dead pigeon; a strange man who's elusive accent shifts, and who seems equally at home/not at home wherever he goes; maids prone to fits; and who was Daisy, committed to an asylum? It hints that these young have it alls might not have such a secure future, and WW2 is on the horizon - although this was written before the outbreak of war but seems oddly prophetic of the malaise at the heart of European life.

Brilliant.

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