Posted by: Corri van de Stege | February 27, 2008

Hurrying along

No time this week to write anything sensible.  I’m trying to catch up with work – why does it always feel like a mistake when you take a couple of days off?  E-mail communication can be quite nightmare-ish: no one leaves you alone, even if you leave automatic responses that say ‘I won’t be able to answer your e-mail as I’m on annual leave’.  It does not stop anyone from sending the messages to you anyway and then you have to go through them and catch up with them once back.  So although I absolutely love internet and the way it opens up access to all kinds of information, I definitely don’t like this ‘hanger-on’ that prevents us from taking time off but relentlessly pours  stuff into your inbox!

So that’s off my chest now.  Actually I’m catching up so it’s not too bad.  Just have not had any time for reading or thinking about books.  Fortunately I pressed the ‘poetry button’ before going away last weekend.   Now I have to grapple with the next challenge: writing a brief biography (referred to as ‘life writing’ ). 

I have managed to read a couple of books, none of them for any of the other challenges that I have brazenly signed up for: just a couple of books I wanted to read while on the road.  One of them is the Costa Book of the Year Day by AL Kennedy.  I know, I should have gone for an Orange prize winner so that I could have ticked off one from that list.  But then, reading should be fun and not another chore to be completed!  So I read Day – and it is quite an intense book, including streams of consciousness that are truly amazing.  By the end of the book you get the hang of it, but the book does not allow any surface skimming: you’ll get completely lost in the story and end up going back to the quarter of a page you missed out somehow because you fell asleep or because you closed the book for a while and picked it up at the wrong paragraph.  You cannot afford to do it.  It is a real tour the force but an amazing feat. 

And the story?  Well, not that difficult, an RAF bomber comes out of the war, physically in one piece, but emotionally in turmoil.  How he crawls out of this, by reliving everything that happened is the gist of the story.  As I said, a remarkable act of writing!



  1. It’s funny you mention the woe of e-mails during vacation. I set up the automatic response and obviously nobody heeded it. E-mails still came in a deluge. But once the senders realize I’m really taking a hard stand on it and not replying to them, they stop.

    On surface skimming. Yeah…I sometimes find myself doing the same thing. Sleeping with my eyes open! Or I’d lose track of who is talking what when a dialogue goes on for quite a bit!

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