From my diary

Isn’t it odd that a difficult day at work tends to leave you too exhausted for anything else?  I’ve known husbands to make the same complaint of a row with their wives.  All these interruptions to what we think of as our “real” life!

I went to the library at lunchtime and picked up vol. 1 of the 2nd edition of Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Literatur, 1943.  It’s a remarkably old-fashioned looking volume in terms of binding and typeface.  But considering that the Netherlands were under Nazi occupation at the time, and that industrial sites on the continent were being bombed by the RAF, I suppose it is a marvel that Brill were able to produce it at all.  No time to look at it this evening.

Rather more to my taste just now was a large paperback book of literary anecdotes.  It’s ideal to skim through, looking for oddities, although the editors have allowed a little too much latitude in length from time to time.

Over the weekend I was also reading volume 3 of the collected letters of C. S. Lewis.  The charm of Lewis’ letters is considerable, and I am glad to own it.  But these monster volumes are quite hard to digest (and indeed even to hold!).  Instead of three volumes each three inches thick, the publishers should have split each volume into three.  Probably they had commercial reasons for their choice; but the smaller volumes would be much easier to handle!

I had to put the Lewis volume aside, tho.  It was slightly depressing to enter into of a man who grew old early — he says so himself — but, at my age, had achieved so much and was so well known to so many.  But … would we wish to be famous?  To be courted by the media, to earn large sums, to receive letters from lunatics and attempts to inveigle into marriage from cunning (and not so cunning) women?  Obviously not.

Unless the women are blonde, of course.  And the money is in hard currency.

Letters from lunatics, sadly, are the lot of every blogger.  Most of mine are friendly, fortunately.  And I keep a big, fierce dog.


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