This article in the Paris Review sent me back to Olivia Manning, a writer I haven’t thought about for years. Remember her Balkan Trilogy, which was made into a 7-part TV adaptation by the BBC? That wasn’t until after her death, unfortunately – Manning was bitter about her lack of recognition, and particularly peeved about Iris Murdoch’s fame. I love her riposte when A.S. Byatt said The Rain Forest, the only one of her books ever listed for the Booker, was “slow”:
I wouldn’t call La Byatt exactly a sprinter.
So true. And I must say I share her exasperation at the canonisation of Iris.
Continue reading Olivia Manning: School For Love
How sad we are to hear of the sudden death of John Clarke. It seems impossible that this brilliant scallywag, someone who found life endlessly interesting and entertaining, just isn’t with us any more. It’s as if you woke up to hear there won’t be any more weather. There’s no public figure in Australia, none, who could be more of a loss to us. He is irreplaceable.
Continue reading John Clarke
Gert was delighted to see that Nan Shepherd is on the new Scottish £5 note.
Continue reading Nan Shepherd on the Scottish £5 note