Friday, June 18, 2004

The Swiss team missed out on their free cow, shame. Watching too much Big Brother, calling everyone and everything ‘Chicken’, dog is now called ‘Chicken’, Ma is called ‘Chicken’, colleagues, customers, ‘Hello larkin speaking how can I help you chicken’, annoying, you bet. Emma is back in the house, yes. Nadia to win yeah!
I have set myself a task this year to read the new Penguin Translation of Prousts ‘In Search of Lost Time’ or ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’ all six volumes and also to attempt Joyces ‘Ulysses’ again, its a pre 40 thing.
'Lord help us all. "Pretentious drivel", "better off with a good walk rather than reading dusty books". What possible hope is there for a country which with such self-righteous philistinism scorns its own treasures? Ulysses is the greatest novel of the twentieth century. It is wise, warm, witty, affirmative and beautiful. it is less pretentious than a baked bean. Read it. read it out loud to yourself. It won't bite. It wasn't written either to shock or to impress. Only pretentious barbarians believe artists set out shock: and how these philistines delight in revealing how unshocked they are. Those who attack it are afraid of it and rather than look foolish they prefer to heckle what they don't understand. Ignore all this childish, fear-filled criticism, Ulysses will be read when everything you see and touch around you has crumbled into dust.
Stephen Fry, London, UK'.

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