1) As I have mentioned briefly before I have a limited tolerance threshold for bloggers wittering about whether they should post, and introspective articles that question the inner nature of blogging.
2) I have little interest in the opinions of humanity - including my own, although they do tend to pre-occupy me. I read those of Michael Meacher for educational purposes, and those of some of my friends here (you know who you are) because they are amusing. I don’t think that anything written on blogs will have much effect on the world.
3) Except, perhaps, to spread a little laughter. Which was all I ever intended to do.
4) However, I am proposing to write something intentionally devoid of humorous content this time.
5) If you don’t like that, you can leave now, I am sure that the silliness will return next time. I will try to make each section brief.
John le Carre
I saw a really good interview with said gentleman on BBC4 this week. The longest interview with him I have ever seen. I have always liked his books, and can’t think of a modern writer whose work I look forward to quite so much. I was captivated by him. Intelligent, articulate and interesting. I have had my nephew staying these last few days, and he, having lived in America for a long time, finds everything “ossum”, which I think has something to do with bones, but I was in awe of Mr le Carre in a way which I seldom find myself, except when listening to someone who is super intelligent. If you haven’t read all of his books, I strongly advise it (you can give the first two a miss, although Smiley features in at least one of them). There were so many interesting things that he said, I could probably write a thesis, but I want to keep this short.
There was a three part documentary from some years back, also on BBC4, this week, about the lives and works of this gentleman. Before discussing old Evy, which won’t take long, I think that the style was more interesting than the substance in this programme. Most of his contemporaries and friends came from the upper and upper middle classes, society which he always pursued and tried to integrate into. Anachronistic specimens such as Diana Mosley, Michael Powell and Harold Acton talked at length. One hardly ever hears those accents any more (they’ve gawn). Really remarkable. Some of you were involved in our discussion about the works of Mr Waugh recently. I have to say that if he was the best novelist of his generation, as some of his pals seemed to think, then it was a fairly sparse time for literature. Such a silly old bugger. His friends seemed to think his acid wit was endearing.
I am not sure when these programs were made – I suspect around 1980. It seems impossible that these strange creatures were around so recently. A bit like find the dinosaurs only died out in 1832.
Probably the best thing that has ever been on TV (apart from the documentary that Tom was in). Art of the highest calibre. If you haven’t seen it, buy the DVDs (if you are English you will probably need those with subtitles). I have never seen drama with so many striking characters, subtly portrayed, an amazing mixture of sensitivity, cynicism, humour and drama. One of those moments where an art form suddenly finds itself at a higher level than anything that had gone before. It is very seldom that I find myself drawn in to film or television to this extent. I know that there are some of you who care about Ken Barlow’s dripping tap, but these mothafuckas were good. I intend to watch it all again someday. Come and join me.
(that’s enough of the serious stuff. Ed.)