As promised here is the list of books to accompany ‘On Reading’ my post from Saturday.
I hope you got them all!
1. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
2. The Stranger (Albert Camus)
3. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
4.The 39 Steps (John Buchan)
5. The Trial (Franz Kafka)
6. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carrol)
7. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World (Haruki Murakami)
8. The Vegetarian (Han Kang)
9. The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Italo Calvino)
10. Hotel de Dream (Emma Tennant)
Just a bit of silliness, really, (the versethat is, not reading itself without which…).
Points will be awarded for anyone who can recognise the books from the (sometimes slightly obscure) precis. There are ten points up for grabs…but no prizes other than self-satisfaction!
I lost myself
Between the sheets
Lived each page and
I was the lover on the moor
The killer on the shore,
Sat in a garret wracked with shame
Keeping secrets on a train,
A man on trial without a charge
The girl both small and large,
The man with shadow never seen
A woman turning green,
My stories told in Tarot cards
Where dreams collide and play,
I lost myself
Between the sheets,
And found myself
Within the words.
Answers (for those interested) on Monday.
A short piece taken from the collection of poetry, prose and lyrics entitled ‘Another Tease’ (links at the end of the post. Enjoy!
I sat on the bus, watching the night-lit streets as they passed by like frozen, shrouded memories. The juddering, stop-start motion seemed to bring an uneasy comfort to my body, detached as it was from my consciousness. Other vehicles, heading in the opposite direction, appeared and then disappeared as if they were on some mythic quest, their headlights dull and dim below my position on the top deck of the bus, illuminating nothing but the first few steps on a journey without end. For a moment it seemed as if only they knew the direction in which to move in order to find some salvation, some respite from the pain, and yet I knew, contained within each metal box, was nothing more than one more lonely figure hoping beyond all hope that something, some miracle, would appear to snap them out of their coma.
Buildings rose up on either side of me now; giant monoliths, some pale and dark, devoid of life, tired and waiting for release, others still humming under the electric glow which gave them purpose. Their eyes stared out without seeing through the dark, and were gone again, lost to me as I moved steadily on. Their facades hung momentarily in my mind like all the faces of people I had met in my life, before fading into a sea of ashen memories. The night around me seemed to tighten its grip as, like an abandoned vessel, we sailed on.
To both the right and to the left of me roads sprouted off from the main artery down which I was travelling. They sparkled and twinkled with the hope of the newborn before even their lights were swallowed by the darkness into which, it seemed, the whole world had fallen. I shuddered as the bus lurched around a corner: not from the cold – I had long since become immune to that – but from the impending realisation that we were, at last, nearing my stop, my final destination.
And then everything was quiet, but for the pounding in my chest and the pulsing in my head. What if I were to remain on the bus? Would it eject me when it reached its destination, its point of termination, or would it show a glimmer of empathy, offer up a hand and cradle me to its heart? After all, my brain reminded me, what point was there to alighting, to leaving the bus to continue without me, if you were no longer there to welcome me home?