Posted by: gillarbuthnott | December 19, 2012

19th December


This is the anniversary of the first publication of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Nice one, Charles.

Today I’m rescuing from the charred bookshelves Justine, by Lawrence Durrell, the first in his Alexandria Quartet. I say I’m rescuing it, but I’d have to track it down first, having lent it to someone who never returned it. Grrr. My husband has no sympathy with this. ‘You should make a note of who you lend books to.’  To my mind, I shouldn’t have to. But anyway, back to the book. I’ve read this at least 4 times, and each time I read it completely differently: love story, detective story, political story, dark comedy. I need to get it back so I can see what it’s turned into now.

A quote about people who don’t return borrowed books: Denis Finch Hatton in Out of Africa falls out with a friend over just such a transgression. Karen Blixen says to him ‘Surely you wouldn’t lose a friend over a book?’ To which he replies ‘No, but he has.’

PS If it’s you who has Justine, you can still return it. No questions asked. Amnesty…


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