I have been finishing up books. Besides Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown, I finished The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder. This latter book I found extremely helpful in the face of the madness of the everyday news in America right now. Snyder was friends with the late, great Tony Judt and I find myself returning to his Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century.
This is a book I have laying around and have read in. After having read On the Road to Unfreedom I felt it was worth looking at again. Judt and Snyder were colleagues and even collaborated. They are rare voices of sanity.
I’m almost done with this book. I had this idea of sending books to my grandkids, kids, and my brother and sister-in-law. This is the book I sent to my grandson, Nicholas. All the books I have sent to people, I have inscribed. I know that means they can’t return them, but I know how much my inscribed books mean to me, So I thought especially in the case of my grand-kids, it would be nice to do that. I haven’t sent anything to Lucy inscribed yet, but I will when she gets a bit older. (Hi Sarah!)
I watched another couple of videos on YouTube. I searched for Marlon James on YouTube. The first thing I found was an interview he did with Rushdie. I watched that. It was okay. They are two peas in a pod though Rushdie is older. They both have an excellent perspective on America and England and use English with a lovely lilt that reflects their origin.
I found a better video of James and began watching it this morning. I struggled a bit getting started with his Black Leopard, Red Wolf. I was very interested and motivated, but the syntax threw me off a bit. He has a thick Jamaican accent and is intentionally writing an English that uses rhythms and myths of Africa. On my second attempt I read aloud. That helped.d Then I heard him say that he, himself, reads his work aloud. It does help.
I’m back to feeling a bit isolated. I think I turn to YouTube for literary companionship. I know this is a bit pathetic but it does help. I am looking forward to seeing family at Thanksgiving. We will go to Chelsea to be a part of that branch of the family’s Thanksgiving. That will probably help me a bit. But I think not rubbing shoulders with people who like what I like in books, music, and poetry is just a given of my current life. No matter. I find it very rewarding to read and think and play music and continue to be grateful for that.
Alan Lomax’s Massive Music Archive Is Online: Features 17,000 historic blues and folk recordings
I’m isolated, sure. But the interweb has fantastic things like this link and the next one. The actual archive link is here. Lomax has had a huge influence on me.