Reading – Self and Iris

Away in Singapore for six weeks, with much time to read. So far I have devoured a couple of older Will Self books (My Idea Of Fun and Dr Mukti), addictive, disturbing, entertaining – I hadn’t realised that he’s been using some characters for twenty years, interlocking somehow, without it being necessary to know the backstory from each one. Looking forward to Liver next, but you can have too much of a good thing. So I’ve just read Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea – 500 pages of high class theatrical soap – I’m sure Iris M is meant to be very deep and spiritual, but the narrator was an obnoxious obsessive theatre-luvvie, who never really developed any self-awareness – most peculiar indeed. And yet gripping, once stuff started to happen, if only to see if he would ever realise how deluded he was. I can see it as a period adaptation on a Sunday night – Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry would have to be in it, it would be laughable.

Found a really nice independent bookshop (Books Actually) in Tiong Bahru, what seems to be quite an arty little area, low-rise art deco flats from the 1920s/30s – bought some local poems and a book of noir crime stories set in Singapore – I’m trying to find the sleazy underbelly here, or the radical ferment bubbling up, but it’s not become apparent yet.

And then a few books on psychoanalysis, for light relief – a little gentle Freud; Adam Phillips on Missing Out, how we shape our lives around our ideas of what we haven’t done yet, or what we might have done, or what we imagine everyone else to be doing. And other stuff.

Enjoying listening to Henry Threadgill, new and old, as ever – and Matana Roberts – and right now, Scritti Politti. At some point, all these random inputs will coalesce.

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