This was originally going to be a different book, but then I picked up Angela Carter’s ‘Shadow Dance’ from the bedside table and collapsed onto the sofa last night. In between dozing off and trying to watch the West Wing, I finished it. And it’s just as seductive as I’d hoped. Carter’s first novel, originally published in 1966 (and the cover to the left is much more representative of the content of the novel than the one I have in front of me, which suffers from ‘clever illustrator syndrome’; indicating as it does that the illustrator hasn’t read a word of the novel itself) and now back in print, is a portrait of the 1960s, and of bohemian life and morality (incidentally, although you could do far worse than to read Jeff VanderMeer’s essay on Carter here, I’ve got a minor quibble with the assumption that the book is set in London – Carter was living in Bristol at the time she wrote it, and at one point Emily makes explicit reference to going back to London. My money’s on a muddled setting, with Carter actually intending Bristol). The book itself is an indicator of Carter’s later work, prefiguring the stylistic development, and especially the tone of her later writing. It is, in short; wonderful.
Song of the week is from Rick Rubin’s production of Neil Diamond’s 12 Songs. Evermore. Not because it’s the best song on the album (Delirious Love, possibly, is) but because the production allows it to build and loop and grow until it becomes something that I’ve been playing very loud while Hol’s away.