le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


well, I have a large selection of books in varying states of read-ness, all at a standstill. the reason for this halt in reading action? NONE of these books are ringing my bell, if you see what I'm saying.

On this list we have:
Puck of Pook's Hill by my friend and yours, R. Kipling
Memoirs of a London Doll by Richard Horne
"A Very Ill-Tempered Family" by Juliana Ewing (in a collection of her stories)
"The Story of a Short Life" also by Juliana Ewing (in, I think, Jackanapes & other stories)
With Clive in India, by G.A. Henty
Floating Island by Anne Parrish

Truth be told, the London Doll and Floating Island are both all right. London Doll is more about London than the doll, which is pretty interesting. But right now, near the end of the book, nothing too captivating it happening. Floating Island I started today and I KIND of like it, but I'm getting tired of all the natural history lessons.

With Clive in India appears to be nothing but several hundred pages of small print of military history of the colonization of India. urgh.

Ewing's a good writer but her moralizing is tiresome. I don't know why children didn't rise up in some sort of pitchfork and garden-hook revolution against such preachy books.

Kipling....what can I say about you, Kipling? You're the source of my favorite joke, ever ("do you like kipling?" "I don't know, I've never kippled!" this joke never gets old to me).
I like Kipling. I like The Jungle Books and the Just-So Stories and Kim and the parts of Stalky that I've read. Puck of Pook's Hill has me somewhat baffled, though it's also pretty obvious what's going on (reinterpreting English history, reclaiming England for the English, teaching us all how to be good Englishmen).

I just wish these were all a little more - I don't know - compelling. I have most of my list of doll-and-toy-and-thing narratives to work through, and so far those have been much more interesting and enjoyable to read (ie, Floating Island!).

However, With Clive in India may kill me.

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