Monday, July 19, 2004

The Office Revisited

First day back at work complete with post-holiday blues...

The day improves slightly as tonight at Book Group we discuss Brideshead Revisited. The first time I read this book I was impressed by Waugh’s style. The second time I started to really engage with the characters and became truly captivated. This time I’m bowled away by it, such a beautiful and skilfully crafted work. At times the sentences are incredibly long, but unlike some authors such as James, Wolfe or Miller I find that I’m rereading them not because I need to in order to fully extract the sense, but rather because I just want to revel in the language and the images conjured up. 
It was not till I reached the door that I asked the second-in-command, “what’s this place called?”
He told me and, on the instant, it was as though someone had switched off the wireless, and a voice that had been bawling in my ears, incessantly, fatuously, for days beyond number, had been suddenly cut short; an immense silence followed, empty at first, but gradually, as my outraged sense regained authority, full of a multitude of sweet and natural and long forgotten sounds: for he had spoken a name so familiar to me, a conjuror’s name of such ancient power, that, at its mere sound, the phantoms of those haunted late years began to take flight.
It may be hanging out with Tim all these years that is influencing me – this is by far his favourite novel. I have a feeling it is starting to become mine. Very few books grab me so much that I would want to read them again in preference to a striking out with some new, as yet unread, novel, but I know this is not the last time I will read this book and it will become a happy place to return to when I want a book to lift me up and delight me. 

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