BLGF, Skopjle II: These Are Albanians!

Self is taking off to see Sole Fruit of Her Loins This Weekend. Jennie said to bring BLGF, but honestly, it weighs around 5 lbs. And she’s not planning to check in any luggage.  So, that means . . . . .

Anyhoo, here’s probably her last BLGF post until Sunday.  It’s just as well.  She hates to read without full concentration, and RW’s prose is so lush, it’d be a crime to read in snatches.  Self allots herself about two hours at a stretch.  That means no getting up for coffee or tea or TV or even to answer the phone.  She just reads.  That’s been her regimen for about two weeks now.

(She did dash to Barnes & Noble yesterday, just for a few moments, to look for Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Makioka Sisters.  She also looked up Owen Wister’s 1902 novel, The Virginian, and found it!  Sandy said she remembers a television adaptation from way back when she was a little girl)

Right now, she’s on p. 646, in the chapter Skoplje II.

There are about 75,000 inhabitants of the town, of whom over 10,000 are Turks who gave the town its colour in the first place.  There are fewer minarets than there are in Sarajevo, but they are potent.  And because there is so strong a Christian element in the town, there are constant dramatic disclosures of the essences of Christianity and Islam, each being shown up by its opposite.  Soon there came past the window some Albanians, to begin the revelation.  Though I had my back to them I knew they were on their way, for a look of fatherly concern on my husband’s face told me that he had just caught sight of his first Albanian.  “They are not really coming down,” I said.  No Westerner ever sees an Albanian for the first time without thinking that the poor man’s trousers are just about to drop off.  They are cut in a straight line across the loins, well below the hip-bone, and have no visible means of support; and to make matters psychologically worse they are of white or biscuit homespun heavily embroidered with black wool in designs that make a stately reference to the essential points of male anatomy.  The occasion could not seem more grave, especially as there is often a bunch of uncontrolled shirt bulging between the waistcoat and these trousers.  Nothing, however, happens.

Oh, that RW, she cracks me up, she really does!

Stay tuned.

And It’s Back to BLACK LAMB, GREY FALCON

Self went browsing for on-line reviews of Black Lamb, Grey Falcon (which she always does when she’s wavering), and after reading a couple of meaty ones on Amazon, has decided that she should approach the book as a travelogue.  Because then it works.

And now she also has a word to describe the affliction of a Rebecca West Sentence (henceforth to be known as RWS):  prolixity.

Self’s impatience about Black Lamb, Grey Falcon (henceforth to be known as BLGF) stems from the fact that she just finished reading Jane Goodall.  Goodall is a writer who makes it easy for readers to step into her world because she is vivid without being circumlocutious.

On the other hand, when Rebecca West gets lumped together in a train carriage with German passengers in first class, one simply doesn’t know whether to believe her, because she turns them all into caricatures.  (Earlier, she called them all kinds of names in her head, but now she’s had time to get used to them.  If this is the way she’s going to be writing about each and every person she meets on her journey, then no wonder the book is over a thousand pages):

They were all of them falling to pieces under the emotional and intellectual strain laid on them by their Government, poor Laocoons strangled by red tape.  It was obvious that getting the population into this state the Nazis had guaranteed the continuance of their system; for none of these people could have given any effective support to any rival party that wanted to seize power, and indeed their affairs, which were thoroughly typical, were in such an inextricable state of confusion that no sane party would now wish to take over the government, since it would certainly see nothing but failure ahead . . .  I reflected that if a train were filled with the citizens of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth century, they would have made much the same complaints.

And, just before getting up to make herself some coffee, self reads this (p. 33):

A little while later my husband and I went and had dinner in the wagon-restaurant, which was Yugoslavian and extremely good.  When we came back the businessman was telling how, sitting at his desk in his office just after the war, he had seen the bodies of three men fall past his windows . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP