I continue to be distressed at the lack of North American access to Parade’s End. Ford Madox Ford is the kind of writer other writers of his day read and interacted with and then felt they must react to. A lot of this seems to have to do with Ford’s own talent for self-mythology, which Max Saunders tells us about in this Oxford University Press post.
Yesterday I saw an excellent movie called Hello I Must Be Going, starring the charming Melanie Lynskey. It’s one of those exceedingly simple scripts that get colored in by the actors in a really beautiful way. Also it made me want a house on Long Island, not a feeling I confess I often have but I want windows onto the water.
I am midway through what to me amounts to my personal daddy-and-mommy-fighting nadir that is Errol Morris’ A Wilderness of Error, in which he critiques the work of Janet Malcolm, a.k.a. Michelle’s Personal Idol. (I like Didion too which suggests a fetish for dimunitive women with ferocious intelligence and pens like steel traps.) But I also love Morris. Thus far, not that it will govern my ultimate reaction to the book, I am finding it hard to slog through. Morris is very diligent about quoting all the relevant transcripts, but in my former legal life I had to do this too and I can tell you that verbatim transcripts can be a terribly depressing thicket of nonsense. It’s annoying to have Morris’ comparatively elegant, incisive prose interrupted by them. But more next week.