Posted by: gillarbuthnott | December 10, 2012

December 10th

imagesCACD1Y29‘It has been a disastrous half (term)…I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist… this would be quite ridiculous.’ I’m not sure which Biology teacher wrote this report, but its subject, a boy called John Gurdon, was bottom of the 250 boys in his year at Eton. Today he receives a share in the Nobel Prize for Medicine…. You can read the school report in its full glory here. Today’s picture is in honour of the fact that he worked on frogs.

My book of the day is Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. I was introduced to this Scottish classic at a ridiculously early age by my father, on the grounds that it sort of belonged to the family, since the author lived and was buried in the tiny Scottish village of Arbuthnott. It’s a book that has been a huge influence on me, both in its use of landscape as a character in its own right, and in its use of internal monologue. It was certainly the first book I read where you were inside the main character’s head, and it’s something I often do in my own writing. Apart from that, it’s a tremendously evocative picture of a vanished way of life, and touches on the terrible effects of World War I on those who were in trenches.

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