Monthly Archives: March 2021

Michel Tournier – Friday or the Other Island


I am happy to report I have read the third in my (self-imposed) Great Twentieth Century Writers task.  After reading two large philosophical tomes originally written in German, I now move on to a slender book originally written in French. But for all its seeming smallness and two-hundred-page length, this book required as much mental focus as its German predecessors. For Friday is a deeply philosophical book. A book about a man stripping away layers of personality and conditioning, in the most extreme fashion. Continue reading Michel Tournier – Friday or the Other Island

Angus Wilson – Anglo Saxon Attitudes

The epigraph to Angus Wilson’s book is taken from Alice Through the Looking Glass

‘What curious attitudes he goes into!’

‘Not at all,’ said the King. ‘ He’s an Anglo-Saxon Messenger – and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does them when he’s happy.’

And what a curious world this book reveals. As well as a pre-first World War (possible) archeological hoax dating back to Anglo Saxon times, Wilson’s subject is post second World War life in Britain on many social levels, with characters ranging from academics to working class petty criminals. It is largely concerned with how to live. Or rather, how to live a good life according to one’s ethics, and also, how to be happy. Continue reading Angus Wilson – Anglo Saxon Attitudes