Wednesday, 27 January 2010

In the morning


7.40 am

7.45 am

Oops, I guess I really didn't have to add my own tiny bit last week to the bad news quotient. The fact is, putting things into words is my major coping mechanism. I don't do it for sympathy (though kindness never-ever-ever goes amiss - thank you!), but hoping someone will think 'you put that well'.

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The English translation of Henning Mankell's novel, The Man from Beijing, will be published shortly in the UK so he was interviewed this week on the Radio 4 Open Book programme. There was, inevitably, the clich├ęd question about 'Swedish melancholy'. No, he's not a melancholy type, rather the opposite, though all-too aware that we live in terrible times and wishing to reflect this in his work. The small melancholy he does acknowledge, he said, in himself and in his long-term character Kurt Wallander is the awareness, surely, of everyone in their 50s and 60s that our main life choices have been made, for good or ill, and the paths not taken will largely remain that way. Oh, the stream of horror and nonsense that comes out of the radio, and suddenly a gentle, eloquent voice that wryly murmers something simple, personal and true! 

This was the best thing I've heard for ages, apart from Dave Bonta's superb podcasts - which have already become something to look forward to on Mondays.

5 comments:

Dorothee Lang said...

beautiful morning sky moments. and a surprise match of colors across the distance: sunrise here came in the same frozen rose pastels. here the link: http://virtual-notes.blogspot.com/2010/01/frosted-colors.html

Beth said...

What a kind face this author has! I'm glad to hear about him. His comment about our 50s and 60s is largely right, I think, but one advantage of the times we live in (in spite of all its problems) is that older people are freer than ever to make their own choices and jump out of the boxes they've been in. Yes, the large choices have been made and we can't suddenly become someone else. But we can do a bit more than our grandparents could, and we'll likely live a bit longer too so it makes sense to try. (Can you tell that this is a pep talk I'm giving myself these days?) (Much love to you - I hope that rainy sky doesn't last too long!)

Jean said...

Dorothee, it's a sweet thought that you were looking at the same sunrise in Germany this morning!#

Beth, if you haven't read any Henning Mankell, you should, oh you should! - if you're not keen on crime fiction, not all his novels are that. He's a great hero of mine and he's certainly still adventurous at his time of life, dividing his time between writing and directing a theatre company, between Sweden and Mozambique.

Dave said...

Hey, thanks for the plug! I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

Tamar said...

Dear Jean,
I failed to say it - but I thought it and mean it because I think you do - often and mostly and especially then: ... you put that well! Very well!
Hugs and smiles,
Tamar