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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

Cover image © HarperCollins. After watching a couple of films, Chocolat (1988) and White Material (2009), directed by Claire Denis, a French director who spent part of her childhood in colonial West Africa, I went in search of more information about the films' settings. In doing so, I discovered an interview with the director saying that the latter was inspired by Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing . The novel is set in rural, 1940s Rhodesia, although confusingly the setting is referred to as ‘South Africa’ throughout. Lessing said in an interview that there wasn’t “very much difference between the Rhodesian experience and the South African experience,” although, “The Grass is Singing is very Rhodesian because it was based on the life of the district which I was brought up in.” The focus of the novel is on Mary Turner, whom we discover at the outset of the novel has been murdered at the hands of her houseboy, Moses. The first chapter deals with the people of the dis

Looe Harbour

Looe harbour, Cornwall, as seen from the bridge. Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, I was lucky enough to go camping in Cornwall. Our campsite was actually the large garden of someone’s parents in Liskeard. Using quite possibly my favourite iPhone app, Instagram, I set about capturing the slowly darkening skies over Looe harbour whilst we returned back to camp after an afternoon of beach cricket.  The wonder of the Instagram app is that it allows you to place a variety of different filters and frames over the photos. In this case, the filter helped to emphasise the contrast between the slowly approaching dusk and the little remaining light hitting the water. For more information about Looe harbour, visit:  http://looeharbour.com/

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Cover image © Penguin Classics. When it comes to literary genres, I am the first to admit that Science Fiction is simply not something I ever even think twice about. I’ve never really liked Star Trek or Star Wars, and could just about muster the energy for one episode of The X-Files annually back in the 90s.  With this in mind, I decided that if one is to start anywhere with Science Fiction, one should do so with the grandfather of modern Sci-Fi, H.G. Wells – also the new cover art for the Penguin Classics reprint appealed to me! First published in 1895, the novella is told by an unnamed narrator who is friends with an inventor, enigmatically referred to only as the Time Traveller. A week after discussing the theoretical possibility of time travel, the Time Traveller invites the narrator and a group of friends to dinner at his house in Richmond, but is conspicuous in his absence. Midway through the dinner, the Time Traveller arrives looking dishevelled, tired and cover