(Co-ordinator Carole Jones on 01392 811123)
We have been fortunate to receive two excellent books from the Library Service for our last two meetings. In September, we discussed “The Noise of Time” by Julian Barnes; a short and skilfully crafted view of the life of Shostakovich, emphasising initially his fear of arrest, torture and death and then the inevitable compromises of his life and creativity under a tyrannical Russian regime. Barnes’ theories on art (“The whisper of history, heard above the noise of time”), on politics, power and survival are played out as he imagines the ageing composer full of shame and regret for what he had to do: “If you saved yourself, you might also save those you loved. And since you would do anything to save those you loved, you did anything in the world to save yourself. And because there was no choice, equally there was no possibility of avoiding moral corruption."
In October, we discussed the poems of the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, from her 2011 collection “The Bees” which won the Costa Poetry Award in that year. Using the bee as both a subject and a running metaphor for all that we have lost and are losing she writes of personal and public issues with lyricism and passion that strike at the heart. Both books are highly recommended.
Our next book is, coincidentally, “The History of Bees” by Maja Lunde, a novel described as “dystopian and electric”, “visionary” and “haunting and poignant” . Like Julian Barnes’ book, it is divided into three distinct sections as it explores events in 1851, 2007 and 2098, all linked by a connection with bees.
Next meeting on Monday 12th November in the Parish Hall.
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