Monday, September 13, 2010

My Mum is a Legend!

What a bizarre yet enthralling story The Trial turned out to be.  The bizarreness of the situation and the strange characters ie  K.’s defence lawyer who is gravely ill in bed, but he is still working on the legal documents for submission.  Lawyers are not even officially recognised within the system; they are merely tolerated but are actually necessary.  The one person who can really advise K. on the legal system itself and his chances of acquittal is a painter by the name of Titorelli.  He is told that he is guilty (but of what he, or we, never know), and that there is very rarely an actual acquittal.  However, by manipulating the system he may get an ‘apparent acquittal’ but then he would be open to arrest again, or he could get a delay.  Delays can go on for years, and in the meantime he would be free to go about his business, albeit being shadowed by the men from the faceless and nameless legal institution. Apparently Kafka was involved in a legal case, and it must have been frustrating for him as it inspired The Trial.

I loved the parable about the entrance to the law and the door keeper.  I thought it would make a good stand alone short story only to find on Wikipedia that was it was in fact published separately under the name of Before the Law.

I was listening to it driving to work this morning, and it was rather funny as the narrator stated “Chapter 10”, then a bit of silence… then “The End”, then more silence and I thought it actually was the end which really threw me, then it started up again with it being the final chapter.  But, even funnier, at the end K. is abducted by two men and taken to a quarry.  They have a large knife and he feels that he is expected to take his own life, but he is unable to.  One of the men then plunges the knife into K’s heart and as K's sight begins to fade he says…..”Thank you Jeeves by P G Wodehouse”: one book had run right into the other – and at such a strange moment in the story! I had to listen to the end of it properly on my computer when I got home.  It’s such a sad end for K. but The Trial was an unfinished piece of work, and it would be so interesting to know how it was meant to end…  but we’ll never know.

I have been looking forward to listening to Thank You Jeeves, and after listening to a couple of chapters I realised that the storyline is that of one of my favourite episodes with Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry.  It will be a light change after The Trial.

The Mint Julep was Yum!
Yesterday (Sunday) was spent eating and drinking coffee (as usual) and perusing the book shops in a vain attempt to find some horror or ghost anthologies that may possibly contain Ringing the Changes.  I couldn’t find one, because I couldn’t find any anthologies.  There were shelves and shelves of vampire novels instead…. how disappointing.  Stephenie Meyer has created a monster, but it’s a dreary bland monster and I can’t understand why it has spawned so many novels and why they are being purchased!!  What a hypocrite I am, when I was 15 I probably would have gravitated to these too.  There’s just so much of it out there now, the publishers have saturated the market and even worse is that we are subjected to it on TV too, all the programming these days is aimed at this particular age group with this particular theme. It’s mindless depressing rubbish which this age group could really do without (says I who read nothing but horror and ghost stories as a child, and was told by my English teacher when I wrote one of my own that I needed to see a psychiatrist!!). I think we live in depressing times as it is, so let’s lift it up a bit you authors and TV programmers out there.

On the upside (er maybe…. I haven’t read it yet!) I picked up a copy of A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson for $4.00.  I’m still interested in his work despite the two rather bland reads lately, especially as I have been reading Nightmare at 20, 000 Feet.  The title story made my heart go a few times (I was reading it in bed) and last night I needed to keep my light on for a bit before feeling comfortable that I was soon to fall asleep and could switch it off!  Mad House, another of the stories is so well written it’s hard to believe that’s it’s the same person who wrote Somewhere in Time!

Right, time to listen to some more Jeeves and Wooster I think...........they’re a joy to behold.

PS my mother is a legend and found the ISBN number I have been looking for and I now have a copy of Mary Danby’s 65 Great Tales of the Supernatural containing Ringing the Changes wending it’s way from Amazon as we speak. Woo Hoo! I should be reading it by mid November.

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