steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Pigeon English Literature

The quiet periods of an Open Day at work this Saturday found me finishing off Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa. I'd reread Stoppard's Arcadia a few days before, and the comparison wasn't to Friel's advantage, although I suspect DaL is a far better play than I was able to give it credit for. Once the thought "This is Father Ted meets Heart of Darkness!" occurs to you, it casts a pall over everything.

My mind seems given to that kind of facile soundbite - the mental equivalent of an ear-worm - and they're hard to shake. Henry and William James are now irrevocably fixed in my mind as Niles and Frasier Crane, and Seattle as Boston's mirror image in the Rorschach blot that is the map of the United States (or would be if Mexico ceded Baja California, and Texas were laterally inverted and towed to the part of Canada nearest the Great Lakes: the work of a moment!). It makes it hard to take The Bostonians as seriously as it deserves.

One of the rooms we were booked to use for the Open Day had to be abandoned, as a couple of pigeons had taken up residence on the rafters, poised to poop on the prospective students and their parents, so I spent a lot of the day sitting alone next door, ready to shepherd stragglers to the replacement room. Just me, my neuro-worms, Brian Friel, and a lot of cooing. Outside - as is always the case - the weather looked glorious.
Tags: books, maunderings, real life, work
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