Tuesday, 29 March 2011


I thought it was about time that I again interrogated my colleagues in order to ascertain with what forms of literary nourishment they are sustaining themselves. One cannot be too careful; sinister figures lurk in dark alleys, waiting to tempt the naive and unwary with unsuitable forms of prose. Here are the results, presented of course anonymously.

One colleague is reading One's Company: a Journey to China in 1933 by Peter Fleming, being an account of the Times Special Correspondent's eastern wanderings.

Another is learning about the grim connections between Hitler and Stalin's murderous campaigns in Bloodlands.

French maverick author, and challenger to British pronunciation, Michel Houellebecq is engrossing a third workmate in the form of Atomised, a novel which uses molecular biology as a metaphor for the 'atomisation' of modern society.

I am experiencing delightful frissons of psychological terror through the American gothic gloom of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories.

Are we a representative cross section, I wonder, and if so of what.


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