Tuesday, 19 February 2008

I Capture the Castle - and hopefully, an audience

So, I was considering how one started a vaguely-literary but generally aimless blog (none of this niche rubbish), when my favourite opening line from any book ever popped into my head. Or rather, a paraphrase of it did, and the paraphrase was this:

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink, to catch the last of the light.

Of course, it isn't true, I'm sitting in my chair in my little room in Cambridge (nar). But that is no way to start a book, or even a blog. With that line, though, Dodie nailed it. Funny, she is one of many writers whose books have become independently famous; I wonder how many people would know that she wrote One Hundred and One Dalmatians, for instance, or that Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22. Whereas you will have heard of Dickens or Shakespeare or Jane Austen even if you could not name one of their books/plays.

I have a horrible feeling this is already overbearingly pretentious. NEVER MIND, onwards and upwards etc etc. I am off to the library to return my habitually late books and get some new ones out for this week's essay (‘The Partition of India created more minority problems than it solved’. Discuss this view of the post-colonial states in South Asia.) And then to Waterstones, to find out what the opening lines to I Capture the Castle actually are.


  1. >>So, I was considering how one started a vaguely-literary but generally aimless blog<<

    Don't look at me, mine's mostly just vague and aimless :)

    Ah, I miss having a big Waterstones nearby...

    Not quite as much as I miss sitting in Borders and reading books for free, though. You could spend hours in one of their comfy chairs, or sitting in their Starbucks with a big coffee... Falmouth library's just not quite the same, really.

  2. I did exactly that, once, in Adelaide. It was raining, and so I went to the museum (so far so conventional), not expecting it to be positively TINY, my dear, TINY, and so an hour later I was forced to take refuge in Borders, where I sat for the rest of the afternoon and read a book from cover to cover. Brilliant.

    Cambridge does bookshops very well indeed - as you'd expect, I suppose - but if you're like me then they are a minefield. Unless I have an hour free I refuse to step inside the door.

  3. In an affluent well-educated town like Cambridge it's the charity shops you really have to be wary of... although at least they're cheap. And I was always thankful that Galloway & Porter's warehouse was a good long walk away. Dangerous, dangerous place.

  4. Hurrah for generally aimless blogs, they are the best sort. Semaphore, I am already enjoying this one, and I shall be back.

    NB OPC - if you're still looking here, a very reliable source tells me that Waterstone's are currently eyeing up locations in Falmouth. Hurrah, I think, although it might put the Falmouth Bookseller out of business. Although as the manager of that shop is one of Mr BC's ex-girlfriends, maybe I ought to feel some sort of evil twinge of victory.

    (I don't, though.)