Monday 26th March 2012
HOUR lost at the weekend: took almost that long to go round changing all the cocks in my hose – life’s too shot; size the day; of my three sore ears and ten…
Reminded me of a startling word game, starting with a nine-letter word and staring at it long enough to string together a sentence with a sting in the tail, when one can sing out that it’s no sin to spend time in such frivolity and so say I.
Which leads me to invite you, dear reader, to play what I call Bridged Tiles. These are revised versions, shortened classics, books that have not yet been written, but – you ever know – might well take off in an age when spelling checkers sometimes fail to spot a missing letter or to.
Younger readers will enjoy Beatrix Potter’s story of a furry animal’s conversion to Judaism, The Tale of Peter Rabbi, or the collaborative undertaking by Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl, in which two ugly, smelly, nasty parents send their son to the workhouse: Oliver Twit.
In Golding’s Lord of the Lies, teenagers can read about shipwrecked boys telling fibs, while those looking for a witty, intelligent girl need look no further than Jane Austen’s EMA, which explores caring for an elderly single parent while living on benefits in Regency England.
Cath-22 is a satirical work, featuring a female bombardier in the United States Army Air Force.
There’s a new translation of a play by Goethe, where a deal made with the Devil comes around all too quickly: Fast.
Also from Europe, an updated edition of Flaubert’s steamy novel about having adulterous affairs without getting pregnant: Madame Ovary.
Those wanting non-fiction will doubtless be drawn to Rachel Carson, who again examines how pesticides are destroying the planet’s flora in Silent Sprig.
Which brings me, finally, to two visions of dystopian futures: a lawless society dominated by all manner of wind-up machines – A Clockwork Range – and a world where the books burst into flames if opened at anything approaching room temperature: Fahrenheit 45.