Monday, August 29, 2005

Whew. That was frantic. Just handed over to the courier a few reports that were already too late last week. Had thought to complete them during that much-anticipated three-day weekend. But immersed myself in books – and drowned. Woke up with a hangover today morning.

Sophocles’ Ajax, Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, Milton’s Samson Agonistes: O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon… – Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him / Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves…(Just two lines from Milton’s play: either has inspired the title of well known books – Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, Aldous Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza.)

Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw is one of the most gripping things I ever remember reading – a rich, suggestive, puzzle of a book – Poe and poetry…. It has been called the greatest ghost story ever penned; it is said to have inspired more commentary and discussion than Joyce’s Ulysses!

Sunday I spent with a collection of 20th century short stories edited by Clifton Fadiman. A treasure inspiring fascinating discoveries. Stunners like Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Babylon Revisited’, my first piece by Jorge Luis Borges – a tantalizing ‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’. The same collection had earlier offered me Kafka’s unforgettable ‘In the Penal Colony’. And I’m through only a quarter of this almost 900-page volume.