Friday, June 3, 2011

The Fry Chronicles - A Great Read

I loved this autobiography by the inimitable Stephen Fry: author, comedian, bon vivant and actor. This book gives a very good insight into what makes Fry tick. Great stuff on every page, with lots of laughs.

Highly Recommended



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Monday, May 30, 2011

Looking for those interested in Virginia Woolf

If you enjoy reading the fiction and non fiction of Virginia Woolf then I would love to hear from you at the Viriginia Woolf Discussion Group at Yahoo.

You can subscribe at

I also have a blog called Virginia Woolf - Radical Writer at

We are a mixed group of literature lovers and academics, common readers who share an interest in Woolf's work.

Hoping to see you there.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

I am still Prousting

I am now onto Volume Two of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I really enjoyed Volume 1 and Volume 2 has started well. I am behind schedule but still progressing, I will succeed but it might not be by years end as originally planned. As I progress through Volume 4 of Virginia Woolf's Diaries I am finding more references to Proust. I can see why she was fascinated and I think they are kindred writing spirits.

Have a great day



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Thursday, March 24, 2011

G K Chesterton on Fiction

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”
G. K. Chesterton quotes (English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1874-1936)

I have to concede with GKC on this one. I need fiction to live. Reading fiction exercises the imagination and allows me to go where I have not been before. I also like the luxury of literature. Literature is my hobby and I get great pleasure from it. Though ploughing through the Diaries of Virginia Woolf and Reading Proust's masterpiece can sometimes be a slog!

Keep Reading

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Great Quote from Charles Dickens

"No one is useless in this world," retorted the Secretary, "who lightens the burden of it for any one else." ~ Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

We can all do something to lighten the burden for another so none of us is useless. When I read this quote I felt strangely uplifted.

Keep well


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Monday, January 31, 2011

Proust Journey 3

I an still steaming ahead through Volume 1. The narrator has just spied Madame Guermantes and decided she is disappointing compared to the stained glass window depiction of her ancestor. The Ideal versus the Real.

Tonight I will add another excerpt from the book as a taster.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Proust Journey 2

I have got to page 143 of the first volume!!

Quote today is about fine things:

"The truth was that she could never permit herself to buy anything from which no intellectual profit was to be derived, above all the profit which fine things afford us by teaching us to seek our pleasures elsewhere than in the barren satisfaction of worldly wealth."

This quote realtes to the purchase of a set of classical books for the narrator.


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Books are a Joy

I had a very interesting discussion today about eBooks, Kindle devices, iPads and physical books. I am sure that these kind of discussions are going on all over the world. The end result was that we all agreed that reading was life-changing and enjoyable no matter what the delivery mechanism was. I love eBooks when travelling, which I do as part of my profession, as they weigh nothing and are very portable. I remember once when I went to Bangkok on business and had 20 physical books with me, that the Customs official asked me whether I was thinking of starting a library in Thailand. That was before the advent of the eBook where I literally do have a library on my iPhone.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Proust Comment 1

But then, even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is a creation of the thoughts of other people" (Vol 1, p23)

In this age of social networking Proust's words here seem prescient. None of us has a single persona especially not to others. This is as true of each of us as it is for Swann, Proust's protagonist here.


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The 2011 Romp Through Proust has Begun

The New Year Challenge is upon me, and you my reader are here to cheer me on. In 2011 my aim is to read through the 6 volumes of In Search Of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. many better people have stumbled at such a task but I am going to give it a try.

I am going to use this blog to keep track of my progress and any observations along the way.

Wish me luck


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