Sunday, December 28, 2014

Progress through the pile

Carl Larsson: Karin reading (from here - I have been an admirer of both Carl Larsson and Karin Larsson since my publishing days.)
I am steadily making my way through the reading pile.  Yesterday I finished Hermione Lee's excellent literary biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, and at bedtime read the first story in the latter's collection of short stories : The Means of Escape.  Bedtime reading will now be Ian McEwan's The Children Act.
This year the hibernation is not quite a total envelopment of books because both of the room exchange, and because I have a deadline for the finger-aching stitching of a seemingly endless piece of work.  But I have now completed my current thinking about the extraordinary work of Anselm Kiefer, and put to one side all the memories of German novels, poetry, and tales which rose up in my mind to accompany the contemplation of his genius.  The catalogue of the exhibition we saw is a meaty one, and I'm sure I shall be nibbling at it for years to come.
Before that I very much enjoyed reading the essays in the catalogue for the Fiber: Sculpture 1960 - the present.  Would that I could have visited the exhibition itself in Boston Mass.  I wrote a post in Ragged Cloth Café, and am pleased that I seem to have spurred interest in others to add to their bookshelves. 
My daytime reading at present is a collection of writings by and about textile artists: Cultural Threads, Transnational Textiles Today edited by Jessica Hemmings.  In a way this is to be an amuse bouche on the way to a good full course expected of the second volume of Christopher Simon Sykes' biography of David Hockney: A Pilgrim's Progress.  That should see me well into January.


  1. Thank you fro introducing Karin Larsson whom I did not know though her husband's work is well known to me. Many interesting links to explore here too. I did read your post at RCC and was delighted that you mentioned a favourite artist Abakanowicz, but must go back and explore your links when I have more time.

    Olga, you must be a speed reader to read so many books! I wish I were one for there are so many I'd like to read. I fondly remember my youth when I was always buried in a book (often ignoring mother's pleas for help in the kitchen or garden).

  2. It's always fascinating seeing what other people are reading, so I enjoyed your post. I did not get the Kiefer book, which I regret, but I still could, of course, and reading your blog post makes me think that I must.

    I enjoyed the Children Act enormously and was very pleased to see that he's back on form - I did not enjoy his last two books before that and I was afraid that he was 'losing it', but this is a delightful book, and very moving. Enjoy!

  3. Marja-Leena, I was always more drawn to Karin's work. It was her interiors which really made the look of his work, although of course the style was his own. I very much enjoyed the work, and published English translations of other Swedish books, commissioning delightful cover art to reflect the Larssons' style.
    I do not think that I read quickly at all. I too wish that I could read more. I was fortunate that my parents never believed that I had finished my homework and would make me stay in my bedroom for hours, so I read a lot of books then!

    Eirene, one does have to limit the number of books - but I must admit that I am very bad at this. No shoes, no handbags, but too many books and magazines!
    I too did not enjoy the last two McEwan books, ... I'll let you know how I get on with The Children Act.