sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-06-12 03:01 am

Time jumps like some magic rebound

I am not sleeping at all. I can't think. I am very tired of it.

1. I was in the middle of a work crunch last week when I read that Helen Dunmore had died. Once again, I hadn't even known she had cancer. I'm not even sure I knew she was a poet as well as a novelist. (The poem quoted at the end of the obituary is excellent.) I had discovered her a few years ago with The Greatcoat (2012), a breathtaking ghost story set in the echoes of World War II; she followed it with the post-WWI The Lie (2014), a messier, equally haunting novel about a young veteran whose shell-shocked eidetic memory matches the way time seems to have crazed and jumbled in the wake of the war, like the mud-caked apparition he keeps seeing of his oldest friend and first love and commanding officer who died on the Western Front. "Things ought to stop once they're finished, but this won't stop. They say the war's over, but they're wrong. It went too deep for that. It opened up a crack in time, a crater maybe. Once you fall into it you can't get out again." I was reminded of Nick Murphy and Stephen Volk's The Awakening (2011). I am not at all surprised to see from her bibliography that one of her early novels was titled Talking to the Dead (1996). I had just been coveting the paperback of what I thought was her latest novel, Exposure (2016); it didn't look supernatural, but it might surprise me. She has one last novel and one last poetry collection. I'm sure I'll track them down. I just didn't want a last anything from her for a long time to come.

2. In the wake of Delta and Bank of America pulling their sponsorship from Shakespeare in the Park's Trump-inflected Julius Caesar, I hope everyone remembers that five years ago the Acting Company staged an Obama-inflected Julius Caesar which nobody seems to have boycotted for proxy-assassinating the President of the United States and the lesson here—aside from double standards as usual—is the multivalence of the play, which is why people keep performing and reperforming it against all kinds of different political backdrops and I trust it will outlast most of them, especially the current administration.

3. How did it take me until tonight to learn that the Ronald Reagan impression on the 12" mix of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Two Tribes" was performed by Chris Barrie? (The civil defense broadcast is Patrick Allen doing an impression of himself.) He also imitates Mike Read as well as Reagan on the 12" mix of "The Power of Love," but that was less weird for me. It wasn't already on my iTunes.

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