I had big plans for this weekend but most of them fizzled. I was due to meet someone on Friday to discuss a collaboration and failed to find them. Saturday I had an appalling headache that drove me to spend the whole day sleeping. And, because of a (almost-healed) back injury, I missed today's Sussex Beacon Half Marathon.
But this weekend has not been a disaster. I've read some interesting books, most fascinating of which was In Praise of Shadows. This is a book on aesthetics by a Japanese novelist, Junichiro Tanizaki. I particularly loved the description of the effect of dark tableware on soup. The level of detail has left me spending the weekend noting little things about the world around me.
Downsides to the book were some unpleasant theorising on aesthetics and race, and the translator's appalling afterword. He claims "the urge to edit Tanizaki is "almost irresistable" because his essay doesn't have the "symmetry and logical progression" expected by a "Western reader". "His descriptions of lacquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness … are perfect jewels; but would they not stand out to better advantage removed from the company of that murmuring bowl of soup…?". No, not really.
(A quote I loved from the introduction to the book: "The sun never knew how beautiful it was until it fell on the wall of a building" – Louis Khan)
I woke up at 5:15am this morning feeling refreshed, so read until it was time to get up. After lunch I visited the Brighton Zine Fair's market. Wow. I picked up loads of interesting reading, but could easily have come away with much more. It was an exciting and inspiring event and I'll try to write a separate post about it.
I'm now trying to wrap up the weekend ready for Monday and will hopefully have time to write my piece for Other People's Stories, which is likely to be about high-paid commuters and cheap flats.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list