An extraordinary book is a wondrous thing. But my gosh, it sort of ruins you for whatever book you pick up next. Do you find that?
I finished A Little Life last week (read my thoughts here), and have struggled to engage with anything ever since. I’ve downloaded a couple of samples but have realised (thanks again to A Little Life) that most books require you read at least 10-15% of them before you can decide whether or not a book is for you.
Anyway, I have heard (and keep hearing) so much about Elena Ferrante that I have decided it will have to be on my Summer reading list. I have no idea about the kinds of books she writes. I just know I have to read them.
The same goes for Ann Tyler’s, A Spool of Blue Thread, which sparked hilarious debate between Marieke Hardy and Jennifer Byrne (the normally peace-making Byrne accusing Tyler of bad writing) during the final episode of The Book Club.
Delved into a couple of different things over the past week, apart from my usual round of Homeland, The Knick, and The Affair.
The first was Sarah Ferguson’s extraordinary documentary on domestic violence Hitting Home (ABC TV – it screened last month but you can catch it on I-View).
Gosh it was good. Illuminating, moving, educational. The type of thing that makes television worth watching.
The message that came through loud and clear was that domestic violence is about control. ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is such an insulting question because it implies a woman in an abusive situation has a choice.
So many are made to feel they don’t.
Still on disturbing viewing, I also watched an Australian indie film These Final Hours (2013) which confronts the question – if the world was going to end in six hours, how would you spend that time?
Sadly, writer and director Zac Hilditch took the view that Perth would descend into a pit of drug taking, orgies and murder.
The performances are great, particularly from child actor Angourie Rice, playing sweet little Rose, a girl searching for her lost father as the hours tick by towards the apocalypse.
I would love to recommend this, as I believe Australia excels in making this kind of low-budget, creatively-edgy film, but I found it all too disturbing. The view of humanity was too grim.
I’m sorry but this Christmas season seems to have sucked every creative thought from my head. When I go for a walk, all I can do is think of gifts and wrapping and ballet concerts, and swimming carnivals, and cards and getting in touch with those I never see during the year.
My brain is fried. I can’t write anything but Christmas cards. I’m hoping that once I’m through the mental hump of Christmas day that my brain will free up some space for some non-Santa related thoughts.
How about you? Are you creatively spent? Or finding that Christmas ‘cheer’ is cheering you on?