Yesterday, a superb day, though already unpleasantly warm. For the second time I go to the Bonnard exhibition. This morning I found my notebook entry from 14 February 1998 about the last Bonnard exposition in London. I was more easily satisfied then. I find pleasure in the high-key broken colour palette, but unlike twenty years ago, it is now the gracefully decomposing still-lives I find most mesmerising.
Looking through my photographs of Maria Gabriela Llansol’s Lisbon library I spotted Stefan Zweig’s Balzac, Dickens, Dostoevsky book. I’ve read little of Zweig, deterred mostly by the scale of his oeuvre. Being a completist I have an irrational nervousness about being drawn to writers with monstrous bodies of work, also an idea that if he wrote so much, a lot of it must be mediocre. Surely? I read enough of the Balzac, Dickens, Dostoevsky book online to be compelled to reread Le Père Goriot (Dr. Krailsheimer’s ‘generally accurate’ translation) until 4:00 A.M. Devoted to Balzac in my twenties, and on my fourth or fifth reading of Goriot, it fascinates me how my reading of Balzac has changed since my youth; how much more real his creations seem now I’ve met such ambitious, venal people outside of literature.
Oh lordy. I’ve read a reasonable amount of Zweig, although I’ve probably barely scratched the surface. And the completist in me knows I probably never will get to read everything Zweig (I may well have had more chance if I’d come across him at a younger age). Alas, I didn’t know about the “Balzac…..” book and so I may have to go off down a wormhole exploring, most particularly because of Dostoevsky. Thank you, I think….. ;D
(And I’m glad it’s not only me who doesn’t get on with hotter weather…)
Sunny, crisp spring days, with the golden evening light; but once it gets into the twenties, I retreat.
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