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Pickle Me This

February 8, 2006

Relics

For the past few years, my reading has consisted primarily of British women writers. The writers who do not focus on urban themes (and even some who do) share such a preoccupation with history and archeology. Relics are dug up in nearly every book, and characters are obsessed with the thousand years of history that came before them. Rarely do books not contain references to buried civilizations (Esther Freud’s The Sea House is no exception). I am fascinated by this, what the implications must be for all British people (not just the fictional ones) living on top of ancient worlds, and how this manifests itself. This is why I was particularly excited with my postcard from Margaret Drabble, which came from a museum in France and had a photo of some ancient pottery unearthed. Anyway, it’s such a vastly different thematic concern from Canadian literature, which still seems to be making sense of our physical geography. It’s an interesting contrast.

I got up early this morning to finish my seminar, which I am presenting tomorrow. I worked hard on it but don’t know how cohesive my vision is. It is on literary acknowledgments, and upon completion I learned that I have been spelling acknowledgments incorrectly my whole life. No “e”. I am quite busy with school work at the mo, and writing stuff stuff stuff.

The new Vanity Fair cover is creepy. Zadie Smith wins the regional Commonwealth Prize, and will now go to battle with Canadian Lisa Moore’s Alligator, which is the next book on my bedside waiting list (thank heaven for libraries). On how booklearning leaves us with questionable pronunciation skills. Jeanette Winterson says that not all books need to be books. And hilariously, from McSweeneys, The Elements of Spam Style.

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