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Right now I’m in the process of packing (while frantically swearing at Ryanair, Terravision, National Express, TFL and any other blood-sucking corporation that seem to do anything they can to make my travels as complicated, expensive and uncertain as possible) and it really isn’t easy. In fact it is close to disastrous. I’m terrible at packing. I always bring things I don’t need and leave the things I do need at home. And I always, always pack too much. And now I’m going to spend a week in a tiny East-European village where, I’m being informed, there is everything already and just ‘to bring the things I’d like to wear when we go into town’. Meaning; no need to bring boring things like towels, toothpaste and woolly jumpers, leaving loads of space for…well, everything else. Argh, this is going to be a very long night.
As for travel companions I have settled for Les liaisons dangereuses and Oliver Twist which I suspect will be on my reading lists for next year. I started Les liaisons dangereuses just now and it is absolutely brilliant. I love epistolary novels (isn’t it such a shame that no one writes letters anymore? By the way, it reminds me of this article I read today today. What a dream to find a package labeled ‘letters from distinguished persons: do not throw away’ and find correspondence form Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Flaubert.) and Marquise de Merteuil is so deliciously vicious. She writes to the Vicomte de Valmont (or as it plays in my head; Glenn Close writes to John Malkovich): He was very keen to arrange a return visit but I’m too fond of him to wish to wear him out too quickly. We must only over-indulge in people we don’t want to keep too long. He doesn’t understand this but luckily for him I’m clever enough for both of us. Brilliant.
I’m also bringing some Atwood novels, in case it gets too warm to read things I still need to remember in a couple of months. Atwood starts Life Before Man with a quote from Björn Kurtén, a name which sounded so Swedish I just had to google him a little bit. He is indeed a Finland-Swede and also a palaeontologist who wrote both fact and fiction. I had no idea this was even thought of as a genre but apparently he also coined the term paleofiction. I had an even lesser idea that this would be something I would get ecstatic about but I guess the Earth’s Children books, which was forced upon me in 8th grade’s history class, made some sort of impact.
Glenn Close and John Malkovich being immorally cunning + Rococo Sofa = Double Love.