Saturday, 2 April 2016

oxford, geese, pool, jacob's room, sublime, best americano


Working in Oxford today.

The land warms up and spring flowers appear along the canal and Thames. Yet the reflections of the trees in the pool below Bossoms boatyard remain winter-stark.

Back to work this week after our wonderful Easter break.

Making some time for reading, though. A revelation has been Jacob's Room, a novel dipped into some years ago and forgotten. Reading it now on the bus on my phone (Project Gutenberg edition) and loving it. While the plot and the scene structures are broad and ought not to have much momentum, they really do compel you. Why? It's the beauty of the descriptions and the sharpness of the observations, whether of landscape or townscape or social situations, together with the audacious handling of perspective, space and time. Boundaries are freely broken, so that we switch from character's to character's point of view in the third person, so that the narrative loops and spools, unifying the world and the people. Well, of course, Virginia Woolf does that elsewhere to stultifying, straight-jacketing effect, but here, everything is kept light and sublimely supple.

Enjoying a regular American at Maison Blanc - the best coffee in Oxford, I feel. Soon heading for the library.

No comments:

Post a Comment