The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield
Katherine has always been one of those writers that I have been meaning to get round to reading but just never have. Now, I have little choice because her selected stories are on my Uni reading list this year! I’m still plodding through them as we speak but I have to say that Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding is currently my favourite. A lot has been written about Mansfield’s wonderful ability to capture a story in just a few pages but this is a perfect example. The only niggle I have is that I want to devour more about Frau Brechenmacher because she is a character worthy of having her own story, but I suppose that’s how Mansfield’s magic works; I am left wanting more and that is probably the effect a successful short story should have upon its reader…
I always love it when the books I am studying at Uni are referred to on TV or radio and I was lucky to find out that Radio 4 have a section on Katherine which you can find on this link:
Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard
Again, one of the plays I am studying at Uni this year and I absolutely loved it! From reading many comments from some literature Uni students, I have come to the conclusion that Chekhov is a marmite playwright and The Cherry Orchard is usually seen as one of his most melancholy plays but I thought it was brave, bold and a moral all of its own. It may have helped that I was able to watch the BBC production of it staring the wonderfully talented Dame Judi Dench, but I failed to see the melancholy side of it, it is in fact labelled as a comedy. I loved the character of Lopakhin and found him totally refreshing, practical and sheer bloody minded even though swamped in the face of those superficial characters around him. I’m looking forward to studying this play in more detail at Uni; I wonder if my opinions will change once we’ve hacked it to pieces!
The Most of Nora Ephron.
I was very lucky to receive this copy from the lovely Alison Barrow at Transworld books and I have to say that this is one of those books which you keep and refer back to and then pass on to the younger generation such is its wisdom. Nora was a diverse writer but perhaps she will always be best known for the hugely popular When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, films which she was Oscar nominated as screenwriter for. This is a lovely book holding a varied collection of her work from her journalism pieces to her personal essays and even her blogging encounters. For any woman interested in writing this is a great book to have close by. It is even introduced by my favourite, India Knight.
In other news I was miffed to find out that I had missed last night’s re-make of the classic Go-Between, but I’m hoping to find it later on BBC IPlayer. I remember doing this book for my first Uni year and I loved it. I managed to get hold of the original film on DVD staring the very handsome Alan Bates and it now has pride of place on my bookshelf alongside L.P.Hartley’s book. I’m just hoping the new film lives up to this one. If you get a chance to watch the original you won’t be disappointed!