If you recognise that phrase then you are both as sad and as old as I am. All will be revealed in just a tick – meanwhile… I am asking myself why I waited so long to read Zadie Smith. Why did I have the impression it was ‘not my sort of thing?’ I can’t imagine. She is utterly brilliant; I can hardly put ‘On Beauty’ down. I was wondering, having read ‘N-W’, whether she was the kind of writer who could only write about one milieu (surely we have enough North London-based writers, however brilliant?) but that is not the case: she has a true writer’s ability to transcend time, place and social group and writes about America with such ease that I repeatedly have to remind myself that she is British. Now I’ve got into it a bit I can see how it’s a take on ‘Howard’s End’, although my memories of that work are less clear than ‘A Passage to India’ or ‘A Room with a View’. I kinda like Forster and kinda don’t: I can’t put my finger on why, but perhaps I will by the end of the novel.
I shall post a proper review when I’ve finished it. Meanwhile… didya get it? The quote above is from… yes, ‘The Andy Williams Show’! This utterly and unreconstructedly cheesy affair was one of my fave programmes as a teen, when I went through an Andy Williams phase. Actually, though I don’t like his songs so much I still like his voice – it’s unique and quite hypnotic. Anyway, in said show, there was a bear (yes, yes, a man in a bear costume) which always came on and tried to steal his cookies – and the line was: ‘No cookies! Not now, not ever – never!’ Can’t find a clip of that but he always ended the show with the song ‘May Each Day’:
Yesterday I sent a story off and started my application for the Writer’s Residency. I also pre-ordered ‘A Casual Vacancy’ from the library, which I’m quite excited to read.