Wednesday, 26 March 2008

It's not just sport, sport

I have been doing other things than playing sport. I managed to track down a copy of Phoenix, an ABC drama from the early 90s. I remember watching and enjoying Janus, its successor show, for its season-long story arcs and depth of character development, and Phoenix exhibits the same characteristics. It paints a really good picture of the "boy's club" vibe in the police team, and although Phoenix doesn't develop the criminals as much as Janus did, the character development is admirable.

I also finished off a book for the first time in a while, Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim. I wouldn't say it was an easy book to read, as testified to by the 2-3 months that it took me to complete it. Nonetheless, the prose is very beautiful, and I thought the story was well-developed, albeit if a little artificial feeling, probably a consequence of the changing view of concepts like personal honour between the time of writing and now. One of the reasons I picked Lord Jim (besides our shared nomenclature), was the reputation of it and other Conrad works in lists of great novels. This book has not necessarily made me a fan of Conrad (the way Grapes of Wrath made me a fan of Steinbeck), but nor has it dissuaded me from my intentions of reading his other works.

My next book is one I had already started, Possession: A Romance, by A.S. Byatt. I started when I was in France, before I started writing up my PhD, but got distracted by other things and didn't finish it. Emily took it across to England with her, and returned it when she arrived back for a holiday last week. I expect it will present a stark contrast in style to Lord Jim.

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