Tony Morrison, Porac O'donnell, House discussed on Backlisted
Dinner table. We were till those slow boats from China promised cheap. Cheap sheep can't grow a bloody teapot for toffee anymore. Four thousand kin's gone later and it's gone dark over bills mothers. Is You realize just how much daylight kilns it's letting it's just it's just lovely. He's the whole additions and it's gone dark over. BILLS BUILDS MOTHERS Andy. What have you been reading well when we went on our Guernsey many break. I felt like I was on holiday. I although we working I'm working hard but I did feel like it was it was really exciting to be backing Guernsey and so I thought I wanted to read was something that would be a a contrast to the we were there to discuss and also with Tony Morrison how is reading in preparation for this episode and so I chose a book that was published last Austria and which has just come out in paperback by Porac O'Donnell called the House on vesper sands now. Do you know anything about this noble. No right it sent in the winter of eighteen ninety three and as it Stoltze unclear what is going on what you know is that a seamstress mysteries has been invited into house in Mayfair that something isn't right that she has stitched something into her on skin and that before the chapter is out so spoilers on the first chapter she's committed suicide cranky and and this. This book got me within about six pages. Really you know I'm a fan on this podcast grunting away about the things he's having too much plot. I have a slightly queasy relationship with how I feel about plot. This is just the right amount of plots. You can put that on Makamba. House presents has just the right man. I thought it was absolutely wonderful a fantastic mixture of a detective novel and and a Ghost Story and a horror fiction and it seemed to me very consciously Porac O'Donnell is bringing in Wilkie Collins and Dickens and CONAN doyle not just in Sherlock Holmes Not GonNa read a bit in a minute with detective detective but also CONAN Doyle's interest in the paranormal in spiritualism is reflected in this book. It reminded me of the woman in black by Susan Hale it reminded me of the TV series Ripper Street John Young Roy so he has that really real energy and Sousse of Victorian Baroque but it's thrilling and stylish and it's also really funny. It has some really wonderful set pieces and then he manages to do that thing that I think lots of people trying to write this kind of noval would like to do but perhaps is more challenging than one might think that he's able to shift gear from the modes of storytelling quite brilliantly. I must say that you go from something which is making you laugh and then two pages lacy. I say you're absolutely horrified by what you're being presented with and really. It's a wonderful wonderful but never goes what you think is going to do it. Warden is a kind of Victorian Victorian so so so here's a little bit. This is a discussion between inspector cutter and a servant in the house where the seamstress has committed suicide. He is called Karoo but first we hear from Inspector Cutter Inspect Custody says now will you be an obliging obliging fellow and show us to the particular room in the upper part of the house where this misfortune occurred it was a room I take it and not a chimney or nest in the eaves for the good inspector inspector but I hope you will refrain from any further levity for you. Find us all greatly saddened. Waters occurred levity inspector cut his face darkened and and he clamped his hand for a moment over his jaw for an instant Gideon imagine that some predatory creature looked within a might burst from him at any moment like an unrooted Hawk from its perch levity. Will you tell me Carroo. Do you keep an eye to the newspapers tool on occasions as my duties permit it. Did you ever read the case of the children of doctors and John. The slow through the Jones carries is widened but he checked himself almost at once. I believe I saw some mention of it and do you recall how many children isn't Jones had and what ages were not to an exactness inspector. I would not have had the leisure to five there. Were five since John Children. The eldest was Antony a boy of thirteen and the youngest was Matilda. Matilda was a babe of fifty months and was still nurse at the time per day. Do you know how it is that I come to know that Noah inspector how could I you could naught and I will do you the kindness of keeping it from you for sure you it is a thing that would never leave you but I will tell you this much. I know their names and their ages I know the color of each one's hair and I could give you a litany of every scrap of clothing that was on them. It was I who made the photographic plates that was shown to the jurors. Since the Frenchman we depend upon in the normal course would come no further than the head of the stairs. Did you know carry that the adult take a small child of formed in her jaw long before the milk teeth and lost. I did not inspector yes. It's a remarkable thing they hidden away until recall for in a tiny imperfect ray the workings of nature a puzzle and I suppose I have been fortunate to have glimpsed them as others have not it but you may be certain of this much Karoo if I had any great store of Merriment when I went into that house and I suspect I had note if the truth be known then it was gone for me and Tali when I came out and it has never troubled me again so I I thoroughly enjoyed that. That's out in paperback. Many of you might be able to have a holiday this year if you do. I I strongly recommend the House on Vespa Sans Bright but now we have to move onto the main event which is beloved put by Toni Morrison. I thought maybe we would hear from Tony Morrison herself. We're going to hear from her a few times but I thought maybe she could read to us. This is from about fifty pages into the novel and it's where the character of beloved makes her first appearance. A fully dressed woman walked out of the water. She barely gained the dry bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree all day and all night. She sat there her head resting on the trunk in a position abandoned enough to crack the Bram in her straw hat everything hurt but her lungs most of all sopping wet and breathing shallow. She spent spent those hours trying to negotiate the weight of her eyelids. The day breeze blew her dress dry the night when wrinkled it nobody saw her emerge or came accidentally by if they had chances are they would have hesitated before approaching her not because she was wet or dozing or had what sounded like asthma but because middle that she was smiling it took her the whole of the next morning to lift herself from the ground and make her way through the woods past giant. Temple of Boxwood to the field and in the yard of the slate gray house exhausted again she sat down on the first hand he place a stump not far from the steps of one twenty four by then keeping her eyes open was less of an effort she she could manage it for a full two minutes more her neck. Its circumference no wider that policy service saucer kept the bending and her Chen brushed the bit of lace edging her dress prissy. I mean we're all sitting here. sleigh stunned by actually hearing that read aloud what are the qualities of Toni Morrison's pros that you can hear just in that one paragraph well when I listen to that power groff. I'm listening for all of the things make her work and her sentences in her language so exciting and you know what she's doing that is she's compressing language and distilling language to multiple meanings in every sentence so when you have this idea of the trunk then you're thinking not just about the tree trunk but you're thinking about the body parts of the body that we call the trunk so then you imagine that this young woman with this huge effort drags herself to this. House this mysterious young woman she sits down on the first thing she sees an. It's a tree stump so that part of her body which is trump actually becomes the next part of the tree and it's done so carefully and soaked easily and so beautifully it just happens at the back lack of your brain as a reader you just take that in and you just read. Is that somehow this the writer who can vote how much how much the human world and the natural world just few fused together then this will say this idea that this trunk has been that she's sitting on a stump a trie and that is his just exactly what her own story is. I don't want to ruin it for readers. You haven't read the book but it's a ghost story and this young woman has has had a violence done to her. She's grown out of into the ghost which has to do with axes and cuttings and of course the tree is very resonant in the context of this novel. It's the slavery novel. It's a place where a tree can be both the site of great an awful violence against is black bodies where bodies hung and it can also be something very sheltering and that idea of the tree and reclaiming the shelter the tree becoming something that takes nurture is is part of this book. It's ingrained in this book so it's got a lot of the layers of meaning Tony Morrison never ever straight from connecting the body through its experiences what she shows us to material objects either so when she talks about this neck as the size of a saucer we're in the parlor with something balancing really eighty gently and this such dread in the idea of the axe and this trembling and it's all there in that tiny paragraph that we just Harry I I read this novel in two thousand six and I read it as one of the books for for my uh-huh dangerously and I can remember reading that specific paragraph which is one of the reasons why we heard it. They're thinking how in a way preceived just explained it really anyway anyway was how is she doing that. How is she marrying lyricism and horror horror.