This week I’ve been reading…

basically nothing. Because first, I’m still reeling from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot which is the sort of book that slowly seeps into you and takes hold of your brain and also your feelings in subtle but strong ways (like, it took me a very long time to realise that it was making me feel a constant trickle of anxiety about social rules; also, it represents trauma and depression in complex ways that I still can;t wrap my head around).

Second, end-of-term wrap up has kept me busy. Final lectures to prep, and exams to write, and a Good Deal of Email. Plus grading, grading, grading.

I did start Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale a few days ago. It’s a fast, engrossing read. A change from Dostoyevsky. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a good modern-day romance along the lines of The Woman in White or The Monk or anything weird by Walpole. But that also means it’s got a lot of the sensationalising of violence (particularly sexual violence) for entertainment that I’m uncomfortable with in contemporary literature. But it also points a bit more to the traumatic effects of violence in ways that Walpole certainly doesn’t give a poop about (I’m looking at you, Mysterious Mother).

We’ll see.

(I don’t know what happened in that last paragraph. I’ve got no real eloquence left these days.)

((I am totally equating the Gothic novel with romance but you prove to me that they aren’t the same thing.))

9 April 2016


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