Rapid recovery to grouchiness

Idiotic illness is now going away. And I have booked tickets to go back to Delhi where I am going to watch the body and people around me  viciously for lapses in civilisation and logic. I do not appreciate the nonsense of the last fortnight.

At least now I can read tonnes and make small expeditions out of the house. This afternoon hung about Blossom with Bent, Bottle Imp, Manicmarvin and Focus Rani. Being cranky I did not find a single thing to read. Focus Rani kindly found a really strange little book, On first reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon. Weldon is not for timid souls. Her fiction can shake the marrow out of you. I had always enjoyed her biting short stories. Then I read The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, (a violent book that was made into a milky mild American movie) and felt pale for days. This particular book is a collection of her letters to her niece Alice who writes to her complaining that she has to study Jane Austen and can't bear to. But Alice would also like to write a novel. Weldon writes back banning her from writing until she has read a great deal more. If I were Alice I would have died quietly because the letters make no allowances or kindnesses. Instead Weldon writes letters packed with information and informed surmises about Austen the woman and Austen the writer. She writes grand, fascinating visions about Literature and readers and writers. Its a rude, funny inspiring book.

These days I am beginning to appreciate the non-mealy mouthed, people who have a sure sense of their place in the world and will stare away any whiny arrivistes. I have a long way to go before I have true convictions, apart from the writerly variety. But be warned, the next person to annoy me may get a dose of Weldon-like unalloyed no-cheeni truth. I have decided that baby steps are the answer.


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