“Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves.”
—Umberto Eco, from The Name of the Rose
Books occasionally talk to blogs, too, and vice versa. And blogs about books talk to blogs about books, and so on. This was one of those weeks where almost everything I read reminded me of something else I’d read or written, to the point where I started thinking that no one, including me, had ever thought a thought that had never been thought before. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’ll try to untangle the ball of yarn for you with a few examples.
The first is a new novel by English writer Jane Gardam called Last Friends. It’s the concluding volume in a trilogy that I didn’t know was going to be one. At age 84 she’s still working at the top of her game, and has surprised her fans by adding more nuance and depth to the saga that she began in Old Filth and continued in The Man in the Wooden Hat. When an author works the same territory repeatedly, my interest often wanes with each new release, but in this case I think Gardam has enriched the ground on which her series stands....Read More