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Pickle Me This

March 2, 2006

All aboard for Utrecht!

Today is exciting, because my new PenPal project begins. Inspired by the new book Between Friends: A Year in Letters, my fabulous friend Bronwyn Enright are going to start exchanging letters regularly. Each letter must be answered within ten days, and contain a print-based treat of some sort. I will write the first one tonight, and mail it tomorrow.

In further excitement, why not let’s go to Utrecht? The Guardian is all Miffy manic of late- naturally. There is a new Dick Bruna museum in Utrecht, and the second tallest building in the city has a seven foot pair of her ears attached to it. And today is something called World Book Day, which means that the Guardian Books section is all abuzzing. And I have received a book in the post today, and yesterday, and tomorrow will be sad when it proves to be bookless. Unless somebody has sent me a present?

I am now reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, and so far it’s wonderful. It’s strange to be learning about two very disconnected ideas (literature and Iranian history) at the same time. And still on Woolf in Ceylon, which is such a weird book. I am enjoying it, as I have been really interested in colonial history lately, but Woolf was Ondaatje’s excuse to write a travelogue. There are so many gaps in Woolf’s interest that Ondaatje tries to contextualise, and this reads awkwardly. As in, “I don’t know why Woolf was so uninterested in the flora and fauna of this particular town, which I will elaborate upon for the remainder of this chapter”. Or some such thing. I am also reading the poetry of PK Page, who is coming to our class on Monday. And further, Camilla Gibb is reading at Massey College next Wednesday. And I only have to wait until October for Margaret Drabble’s new novel!

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