Category: Reading and beyond

More reading of Heaney with Corcoran on my shoulder

Thursday 12th January 2016

Another dreek day. Cold, wet, darkish and that was just the day encapsulated. Staying in does not help either of us as we need the outdoors even just to walk. Spent most of the day reading through Opened Ground paralleled by Corcoran’s Critical Study. If I merely followed the poems with the text analysis, I’d be there forever. I’ve taken to reading the selected section ahead of the crit. There are some gaps and I’ll have to amend this deficit somehow as I seem to have either lost or given away much of what was my early Heaney poetry.  Having said that, I’m interested in what Neil has to say although I do find him a tad ‘professorly’ at times [a crueller man would say pretentious] but as I never studied English at this level at any time nor moved in his circle of academe, I can’t say much more than overly professorial.

Reading itself is a great pleasure especially in an area where I feel a kinship. The times I argued poetry at TASC with John, John, Eddie, Caroline & co,  plus the input from Reevus and Pete Saunders are warm memories if starting to disappear in their own historic golden realm of myth. Below are the lines which first hooked me and I guess countless others in the mid to late 60s and were to be drilled into countless O Level and GCSE kids thereafter.

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.

Did Heaney consciously see Poetry and being a professional Poet as his route out of the rural poverty envisaged by Kavanagh; but not the experience of Heaney as a child or was it just the reality of being what he was, a great Poet in the making?







Post re last Booklist

The list is long but it has been cut down by time and judicious pruning to  OXFAM Dulwich, a specific bookshop for used .

As ever, focal points still are Literature, History and Germany.  Germany is a given due to history and German predilections plus a return to City Lit courses in January. Germany also encompasses Literature, History and  more. The Holocaust as such is not exclusively German but reaches out to the rest of my reading matter.

I really must do something about getting on reading more. I have decided to write up the book sagas/reviews here rather than in notebook form. I have a strange inkling that this won’t last long as I can see flaws in the plan before I start. Currently stuck between Buddhism,  The Good Immigrant and ploughing through Wilkommen revision.

Booklist updated

Started the day by leaping [slowly] out of bed to large Americano and cereal. M still in throes of winter cold, Lil had just banged her way out of the house and Tom plus mates still asleep in the loft. Planned to start out reading The Good Immigrant, a collection of autobiographical pieces by a variety of non white immigrants to Britain. Did they open my eyes? Yes and No! However, the first three by an Indian, a Zimbabwean/Brit and a Turkish Cypriot, were engaging and pointed. The final chapter in the book ends with the poignant comment by Musa Okwonga, a Muslim refugee from Amin’s Uganda. In light of Monday evening and the tragedy in Berlin where 12 people were killed outright in a lorry terror attack claimed by ISIS, the comment re Germany’s welcome for him from An Ungrateful Country is telling; he praises welcome he feels in Berlin albeit being ‘different’ and  the open welcome; given in Berlin and Germany generally, to thousands of Syrian refugees in the following year. Just hope it doesn’t become unstuck by events like Monday evening and next year’s Bundestag elections. ( little men in lederhosen and long white socks are stealthily rising in the Öst!)

At that point, I decided to include my Booklist into these pages:-

bold = read

italic = passed on to OXFAM etc

Title   Author/Editor   Area   Genre 
 Patterns Of Childhood  Christa Wolf  Europe German  Autobiography
 Dog Years  Gunther Grass  Europe Germany  Germany Literature
 Nadirs  Herta Muller  Europe Germany  Autobiog\Novel
 Two States-One Nation  Günter Grass  Europe Germany  German Reunification
 Too Far Afield  Günter Grass  Europe Germany  German Reunification novel
 Germany 1866 – 1945  Gordon Craig  Europe Germany  GermanHistory
 Tin Drum  Günter Grass  Europe Germany  Historical Faction!
 The Glass Bead Game  Herman Hesse  Europe Germany  Novel
 Bury Me Standing  Isabel Fonseca  Europe Gypsies  Social History
 Gulag  Anne Applebaum  Europe Russia  History
 The Lion And The Unicorn  Richard Aldous  Europe UK  History
 I Was A German  Ernst Toller  Germany: WW2  Autobiography
 Towards A Jewish Theology of Liberation  Marc H Ellis  Israel/Palestine  Historical/Cultural Analysis
 The Arab Peoples  Albert Hourani  Israel/Palestine  History & Analysis
 A History Of The Middle East  Peter Mansfield  Israel/Palestine  History & Analysis
 Towards An Open Tomb  Michel Warschawski  Israel/Palestine  Political Analysis
 Fatal Embrace  Mark Braverman  Israel/Palestine  Political Analysis
 Dylan & The Professors  Neil Corcoran  Literature  Lyric Analysis
 The Magic Mountain  Thomas Mann  Literature  Germany
 Sons And Lovers  D H Lawrence  Literature  Novel
 All Souls Day  Cees Nooteboom  Literature  Novel
 The Merchant of Venice  William Shakespeare  Literature  Play
 Coriolanus  William Shakespeare  Literature  Play
 King Lear  William Shakespeare  Literature  Play
 Faust  Goethe  Literature German  Play
 Pavel’s Letters  Monika Maron  Literature German  Short stories
 The Hunger Angel  Herta Muller  Literature German  Novel
 How I Won The Yellow Jersey  Ned Boulting  Sport Novella  Cycling
 To Kill A Mocking Bird  Harper Lee  USA  Novel
 Catastrophe  Max Hastings  WW1  Analysis
 Hundred Days  Nick Lloyd  WW1  Analysis
 Our Land At War  Nick Bosanquet  WW1  Historical Sites
 David Jones In The Great War  Thomas Dilworth  WW1  Biography
 Sophie Scholl  Sophie Scholl DVD  WW2  German Resistance
 A Soldier’s Legacy  Heinrich Boll  WW2  Germany Literature
 Remembering & Imagining The Holocaust  Christopher Bigsby  WW2  History & Analysis
 I Shall Bear Witness  Victor Klemperer  WW2  Holocaust
 All That I Am  Anna Funder  WW2  Novel
 East West Street  Philippe Sands  WW2  Holocaust & Nuremburg Trials
 Judgement at Nuremburg  Nuremburg Trials  WW2  Post War Trials
 My Nazi Legacy  Philippe Sands dir  WW2  Post War Justice & Denial
 Rodinsky’s House  Rachel Lichtenstein  London  Biography & History
 The Streets Of East London  William Fishman  London  Social History
 Prisoners In Java  Various  WW2 FEPOW  Hiistory & Autobiography
 The Naked Island  Russell Braddon  WW2 FEPOW  Hiistory & Autobiography
 Crab Walk  Gunther Grass  WW2 Germany  Novel
 Cat And Mouse  Gunther Grass  WW2 Germany  Novel
 The Beat Goes On  Ian Rankin  Literature UK  Novel
 Even Dogs In The Wild  Ian Rankin  Literature UK  Novel
 The Good Immigrant  Nikesh Shukla ed  Literature UK  Hiistory & Autobiography