So a little while ago I was all things Karl Ove Knausgaard. That hasn’t changed, in fact I finished his book three and have book four waiting. It’s very thick and heavy, with a teen Karl Ove on the cover. Also, here is an interesting article I saw during the week, on what it means when we choose Knausgaard over Ferrante, and vice versa. My response to this was we don’t have to choose. I say pffft to choosing. I love both.
From the New Yorker, Knausgaard of Ferrante?
But at the moment I am all things raptor because I’m reading Helen Macdonald’s glorious H is for Hawk.
This book is about grief and training goshawks, but of course it’s not only about those things. The author bought a 10-week old bird for ₤800 and took her home, to train. The book is superbly written, her prose is so beguiling, not because it’s beautiful (it is) but because it’s powerful and so muscular. We learn that Helen as a girl was obsessed with birds, falcons particularly. She read precociously, consuming falconing literature from a very young age.
She slept with her arms folded behind her like wings.
If that one line isn’t enough to make you want to read this book, then it’s not for you. But in the manner of all good non fiction, the subject matter isn’t really what’s important here. Great writers can write about anything, and make it fascinating, compelling and amazing.
Macdonald is appearing at a couple of sessions at the writers festival in Sydney in May, but not coming to Melbourne This is a tragedy.
I came across these fantastic 25 writers at home article. My favourite pics are:
Old Hem of course, sans clothes (apart from modesty newspaper):
And Truman Capote in his Brooklyn Heights pad:
Jane Sullivan’s article in The Age today had a fantastic quotation from writer Jenny Offill:
You don’t become a writer because you’re a practical person who makes good decisions.
Yesterday a tweet caught me eye. It was on a Turkish twitter account but I found a link to this article:
Gallipoli centenary: Soldier almost left behind during Anzac Cove retreat, digger reveals in private recording of final days of war
The article reports that an Australian soldier was almost left behind at Gallipoli during the 20 December 1915 evacuation. Funny thing is while I was doing reading for my book I came across an account of a soldier who nodded off in the trench during the evacuation (which was performed silently as groups of men tiptoed off in waves). The soldier jerked awake, and ran terrified down to the beach to be gathered into the last group to get on the boat. This detail plays no small role in my book; it forms a central premise.
One of my favourite blogs is bibioklept, a melting pot of music, art and literature. There are always plenty of Egon Schiele paintings, so beautiful and provocative. During the week s/he posted this short story from O. Henry. As a person who doesn’t really like short stories, and usually doesn’t finish them, this was a delight:
This is a gorgeous article about a wolf called Romeo, and how he charmed a suburb in Alaska.
And finally I know this would be a BAD IDEA but there’s something about it I want to try.
I give you: The Nacho Cake. I’m imagining it with lashings of sour cream.