With two small children and a cat and a housemate and a partner who lives with me and another one who lives on the other side of the continent, I am very, very busy, and yet I write every spare moment that I can. So when do I read? Usually at odd times: when the children are home but very occupied in their own worlds; lying in bed at night before sleep; waiting to pick people up at train stations or from school. The usual lot of the working mother, I think.
Reading in this way means I start many articles I do not finish, getting a paragraph or two into something and then having to put my ipad down to go attend to the latest crisis. Fortunately for me there are Sunday mornings, on which my partner takes the children out on an expedition — and I may sleep late and then lie in bed reading and drinking coffee.
Here are five articles I’ve been saving for this morning:
The cultural conversation about reading continues with Joanna Scott’s thoughts on The Virtues of Difficult Fiction.
Shirley Jackson wrote deeply disturbing novels in the cracks between “wondering what to have for dinner tonight that we didn’t have last night, and letting the dogs in and letting the dogs out, and trying to get the living room looking decent without actually cleaning it, and driving children to dance class and French lessons…” and also found time to give lectures on writing.
I have been fascinated with the Bloomsbury Group ever since I saw the movie Carrington in 1996 — so I am looking forward to seeing what Susanne Berne writes in the LA Review of Books about Viviane Forrester’s Virginia Woolf: A Portrait. I really do not need another book about Woolf, and yet…
Also in the LA Review of Books, Ben Parker argues that literary “realism” is that it is not a descriptive term at all, but a period: roughly 1830–1895. Really? I must read it and see.
Finally, will Meredith Turit’s article in Vanity Fair talk about the entrenched sexism which relegates women’s history to footnotes? Will she mention any of the work that Second Wave feminists did to recover this history? Or is the wheel to be re-invented again? I am, of course, hoping for the former.