Poe and stuff

I have just finished reading ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ by Edgar Allan Poe. I had not read any of his work before and did not know what to expect. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. For those of you who have not read it I would certainly recommend taking a look. It is short and takes only a few minutes to read, but is well worth it. The subject matter is a very interesting but I do not want to spoil it for anyone that would like to read it. It has certainly whetted my appetite for further reading of Poe’s works.

In addition to my interest in reading and writing I also have begun to collect books. I now have a small collection of Enid Blyton first editions. I mainly collect the adventure stories such as the famous five series, the adventure series, the mystery series and so on. I also pick up other random books when I find them. I am quite interested in the ‘beat generation’ writers and have a nice copy of the UK first edition of ‘The Naked Lunch’ by William Burroughs. I also found a first edition of ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams that I picked up from a hospital charity sale for 50p, a bargain! Collecting means that I periodically visit book fairs around the country, charity shops, second-hand book shops and market stalls seeing what I can pick up. Not as often as I should I admit. Identifying bargains is often easier said than done, but I am always learning. It gives me immense pleasure to admire these books on my book shelves, although I never actually read any of them.

Enough for today. I am now going to read a little more of Proust before the Arsenal game starts. Back to work tomorrow.

Weekend plans

Since the last post, where I said I was having trouble focusing on my reading I have found that this has become less of a problem. As a result I have been trying to finish of ‘The Iliad’. I have enjoyed reading it, despite the difficulty of the language and the literary form in which it is written. The version that I have been reading is based on the translation by George Chapman from around the early 1600’s. One of the problems that I have is that the names of many of the Gods involved are the Latin names rather than the Greek names that I am more familiar with. Initially this seems a little strange, although maybe it is not so strange since I believe that Chapman’s translation was actually of an earlier Latin version and not from the Greek. Getting my head around the fact that Neptune was Poseidon and so on added to the complexity of my understanding this. I have about forty pages left now so should have this finished by the end of the weekend.

I am also progressing with Proust’s  ‘The way by Swann’s’, although that will not likely be finished until early next week, when I can then move on to the next part of ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’ (In search of lost time), which is ‘In the shadow of young girls in flower’.  I am still waiting for the four remaining books to arrive from Amazon.  I was waiting to see how I got on with the first book before ordering the remainder of the series but I am happy now that I am going to enjoy it. The only other reading that I will probably be doing over the next few days is ‘The cask of Amontillado’ by Edgar Allan Poe. I have never read any Poe and so do not really know what to expect. I am sure I will let you know how I get on.

And before you think that all I do is read, I will be working on a little writing too. I need to plan out a few general ideas for some scenes that I am working on for a story. I can then use my daily writing time to expand upon and flesh them out. I find that I need to have a rough plan first though or I find it difficult to start. Often if I have a beginning and an end, and some idea of how to get from one to the other I can usually pretty much write the scene straight off, otherwise it feels much more difficult.

Hopefully I will post again in the next few days. I am doing quite well, given that until this year posts were often anything from six to eighteen months apart. I am not promising however that they are any more interesting!