My literary week (6), this and that
Life is a bit busy at present, but I am still reading – this and that, here and there, as you do!
First, there’s politics
I’m not a political blogger so I don’t want to focus too much on politics, but I did enjoy some of the signs carried by people attending the various women’s marches held around the world last weekend. Librarian-trained me, for example, loved “Librarians for Facts”. And “We shall overcomb” appealed to baby-boomer, not to mention wordplay-lover, me. But my favourite of all was “I know signs/I make the best signs/They’re terrific/Everyone agrees”. That one’s so clever it made me laugh … or would have if it weren’t so serious.
And, talking about clever commentary, here’s one I found in the latest issue of the Jane Austen Society of Australia’s members’ magazine, Chronicle. Scattered through the magazine are what they call “Austen citings”. I loved this one from a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald back on 29 June 2016:
To explain Brexit in literary terms: 48 per cent of Britons voted for Sense and sensibility while 52% voted for Pride and prejudice. (John Bailey, Canterbury)
And that’s all I’ll say about politics because I reckon you either have to say a lot or not much … so let’s leave it at the latter.
Except, there is one issue closer to home I should mention given today is Australia Day, now also known as Invasion Day or Survival Day. It’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for many of us to celebrate a day that is the anniversary of the beginning of our dispossession of Australia’s original peoples. Calls are being made for it to be celebrated on a different day. Would that be so hard I wonder, particularly if it would help heal wounds? There are other meaningful days that could be chosen. Daughter Gums shared a link on Facebook promoting one idea – and here again you’ll see my enjoyment of wordplay – because the date is “May 8”, as in “maaaate”! Hmmm, only trouble is that this one could be seen to disenfranchise women, but it still made me laugh. For a useful broad history of “the day” you can read historian Kate Darian-Smith at The Conversation.
The Australian Womens Writers (AWW) Challenge has a new Facebook Page titled Love Reading Books by Aussie Women, and I visited it a few times last week. All sorts of discussions were happening, from people announcing their latest AWW read to convenor Elizabeth posing questions like what we’d like to ask authors of a new book coming out. She is preparing to interview, for our website, a new bunch of authors. Quite coincidentally, American blogger Stefanie (So Many Books) made a comment about this on a recent post titled “Where do you get your ideas?” She believes that authors don’t like to be asked this question, but I’m not so sure. So, while we’re here, let me ask you what you’d like to ask authors.
Many moons ago, before we were married, Canberra-based Mr Gums and I went to the wedding in Adelaide of a good friend of his. Later, that friend (and his wife) moved even further away – to Perth on other side of the continent, in fact. We have stayed in contact through our Christmas letters, and now, with improved technology, Mr Gums and his friend occasionally Skype. Somewhere along the way, this friend also discovered my blog and has started commenting on it because, like all of us here, he’s a keen reader. Unfortunately, he has been coping for some years with a chronic health condition which will require him to go under the knife again tomorrow. So, this is a big shout-out to NeilAtKallaroo, who, commenting the other day from his hospital bed, wrote “thank heavens for wifi and tablets”. Hallelujah to that. As I say to my less technologically-keen peers, do try to keep up with communications technology. It is likely to be a godsend one of these days. Meanwhile, all the best, Neil, for tomorrow.
And of course there have been books
It’s very unlike me, because I don’t like having my attention split too many ways, but I’m currently reading three books – my next reading group book, which is a biography of Freya Stark, and two review books from publishers, one of which is the anthology Rebellious daughters and the other a cheeky offering from local independent publisher, Finlay Lloyd. One day, in the not too distant future, you’ll see reviews for these!
So, you see, while I haven’t completed a book/book review for several days, my life hasn’t been devoid of literary content. A life without literary content would not be a life worth living, nest-ce pas?
How has your week gone, literarily (ha!) speaking?