Tuesday, May 25, 2010
pace of life
Up early again and, as I sat on the patio and saw the clockhand move to 09.00, I realised how quickly time is moving. I thought that time was supposed to stand still at this time of life – but it is in fact moving too fast. I would happily freeze this time of day before the world moves into gear – and that, perhaps, is why I am drawn to my Carpathian house in Sirnea and to this part of the world. They move at a slower pace.
One of Le Monde recent features (in the book section) was about the new distance between journalism and literature, focussing on one Joseph Kessler (one of their greats at his height in the 1930s), on Ryszard Kapuscinski and on Hunter Thompson – with no mention of people like Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Jan Morris, Colin Thubron (whose Behind the walls I have discussed here) and Jonathan Raban whose 1979 Arabia through the looking glass I am now reading. The last two are particularly good in the way they let other people talk and say interesting things. The trouble, I suppose, is that there are so many excellent writers in this genre - Neal Ascherson, William Dalrymple, the great Hans Magnus Enzenberger, Joan Didion (perhaps more political) to mention but a few. And where do you place people like Theodor Zeldin (Intimate History of Humanity) and Robert Kaplan with his historo-travologues? It’s interesting (for me) that my taste in reading has become more journalistic and less abstract.