Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Perfect Day for Reading

Rain, mist, fog, a fire in the living room and a steady, hypnotic drumming of raindrops: who could ask for a better world in which to do nothing but read? We’ve been up at Sea Ranch for a couple of days, and the gray, wet weather remains relentless. When clouds deign to give us a break with a teasing hint of sun, we rush the dog out and throw a tennis ball to slake her all-consuming instinct to retrieve. If ever a creature needed a 12-step program, it’s our beloved Lab: “Hello, my name is Roxie and I’m a tennis-ball-oholic.”
Chris naps (she just finished "Lord of Misrule"), and I read. I decided early this morning not to brave the elements by driving to one of the few places up here where you can buy the Sunday Times. Without that distraction, I’ve made progress on “A Buyer’s Market,” the second volume of Anthony Powell’s “A Dance to the Music of Time.” I’m about a third of the way through, and Powell manages to set but two scenes: a high-society dance and a bohemian party, both attended the same night by narrator Nicholas Jenkins. The scenes are a tour-de-force, funny and insightful about a variety of characters, their pretensions and foibles, nastiness and occasional generosity.
I take a break and pick up April’s Vanity Fair to get to two articles I’d bookmarked. The first describes the making of “All the President’s Men,” in which Robert Redford laments that his friendship with writer William Goldman failed to survive. This leads me to Goldman’s “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” which confirms the reasons he and Redford parted (the script was rewritten, and Goldman thought Redford, who was a producer as well as star, had let him down by failing to come to his defense).
Next comes an excerpt from Alexandra Styron’s forthcoming “Reading My Father,” about life with William Styron, a fine writer (“The Confessions of Nat Turner,” “Sophie’s Choice”) but not the easiest of men. This led to a quick scan of “William Styron: A Life,” a 1998 biography by James L. W. West lll. While not an authorized bio, Styron (1925-2006) cooperated with West, and the book is comprehensive in covering a then still-living subject.
It’s after four. The rain pours. The fire glows. And Anthony Powell awaits.


Blogger MADHACK said...

I love this blog! lc

6:16 PM  

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