Category Archives: reading

museum

I’ve been terribly busy these last four months but I managed to read a couple of books during my commute. One of these books was Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal, in which I found another metaphorical punctuation mark.

That is what your Musée Nissim de Camondo is becoming for you, a place with no quotation marks, no vitrines, no ropes or guidebooks. You have made a space to talk to the dead, to welcome them in.

The book is wonderfully touching collection of imaginary letters by the author to Moïse de Camondo, the man who built the house now known as the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris. He lived there with his two children, filled it with his collections and bequeathed it to the nation in memory of his son, Nissim, who had died in World War I.

The museum’s website features this beautiful video by Anna-Claria Ostasenko Bogdanoff, in which Edmund de Waal reads fragments from his book.

The library. Image © Beth Wilson, reproduced under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence.

tiverton

I came across two punctuation metaphors last week.

Police life: a series of punctuation points. Mostly full-stops at the end of partial outcomes, doubtful outcomes and unfinished stories.

and

Wendy knocked. Clara appeared, hectic and warm. ‘Come in out of the cold!’ She speaks in exclamation marks, Hirsch thought, following both women into a small living room. Clara gestured. ‘Sit, sit.’

Both quotations are taken from Garry Disher’s book Consolation, the third of his Tiverton books. The main character of the Tiverton books is policeman Paul Hirschhausen, who has been transferred from Adelaide to a one-man police station in Tiverton in rural South Australia. He’s a likeable character but what I particularly enjoyed in the three books was the way in which the landscape, and the local climate, are described.

ruin of a building in a dry landscape with dry mountain rage in the background

Old Burra Road. Image © Royston Rascals, reproduced under a CC BY-NC 2.0 licence.

a little life

schiele-boy-with-hand-to-face-1910

Boy with hand to face (1910) by Egon Schiele. Watercolour held in a private collection. Public domain.

I’ve finished reading Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life. Oh my, what a book. Such compelling reading. I don’t know what else to say, except: Just read it.

I found two punctuation metaphors this time.

Willem always thought they clearly looked like brothers — they had their parents’ light, bright hair, and their father’s gray eyes, and both of them had a groove, like an elongated parentheses, bracketing the left side of their mouths that made them appear easily amused and ready to smile — but no one else seemed to notice this.

and

He was so discombobulated that he forgot that Willem was already onstage when he called, but when Willem called him back at intermission, he was still in the same place on the bed, in the same comma-like shape, the phone still cupped beneath his palm.