Thursday, 14 February 2008

Big smile

I’ve waited a long time for this - about 32 years in fact! A small, self-mocking sense of satisfaction assails me because my recent hay(na)ku to an, um, table has made the latest Best of New Writing on the Web compiled by Litlove of Tales from the Reading Room. Litlove, you see, is a lecturer in French at Cambridge University – a species from whom I received very little approval during my deeply undistinguished (frequently on the verge of being kicked out, actually) years as a student of Modern Languages at that illustrious institution. I’m chagrined to note that more than half a lifetime later this still matters to me. We never get over our youthful fiascos, do we?

But self-mockery aside, the reason Litlove’s approval brings a big smile to my face is that I love reading her blog and share many of her literary tastes and instincts. A big, big smile.

15 comments:

zhoen said...

We don't, true. And that is so sad, because when we are young, what do we know? Ah, well, I suppose keeping that in mind is how we learn.

Marja-Leena said...

What a lovely honour, congrats! Well deserved too, Jean. You have more than made up for your wasted youth :-) with ALL your lovely writing and photos.

rr said...

I don't quite know how to respond to this. Part of me wants to shake you by the scruff and say "of course your writing is that good, of course!" in the full knowledge that you're not indulging in false modesty and that scruff-shaking never did anybody any good.

So I shan't.

Instead I shall say how wonderful, marvellous and totally deserved this is.

Hurrah!

Tall Girl said...

Applause and smiles

Dale said...

Congratulations! That's terrific.

leslee said...

Oh, how wonderful. Love the hay(na)ku and photo. Toasting you with my (uh oh) empty glass of wine. :-)

Beth said...

Well-deserved congrats, Jean - it was a really good poem! Big smile here too, for you.

litlove said...

I wish you'd been at Cambridge as my student, Jean! We'd have had a wonderful time, I'll bet. I think it's part of the Cambridge effect to make you feel inadequate - that's why I returned to graduate studies there, to battle it out again somehow, and I ended up staying although always with the feeling that I'm not quite good enough. Time to put such unhelpful anxieties aside, yes? I can promise you that you have all the talent and creativity you need.

Jean said...

Litlove, I've no doubt it's quite a lot better now than 30 years ago, though still some way to go. And I wish I'd had a teacher like you :-)

rr, I love your fierceness, but how does remarking that once a long time ago I was a lousy student and that early failure never quite leaves you equate with false modesty?

In fact I feel very lucky that university didn't put me off writing or translation permanently and I did eventually come back to both with much greater than ever enjoyment.

tamarika said...

Hurray! Thunderous applause! *So* well deserved.

Ms Melancholy said...

Oh, lovely! A beautiful poem to a, well, quite beautiful table.

Rosie said...

good for you!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I really enjoyed that one. Congratulations!

Blogger is being recalcitrant, but it's me...
mb

Lucy said...

Big smiles all round, bravo!

Is it small of me to feel slightly reassured that your earlier, academic life was not altogether successful? That if someone so talented still suffers from a sense of 'early failure', there's hope for the rest of us?

Udge said...

Congratulations, Jean. Well done, well earned.