Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A day in the life...

... is fine by me. Never read him and should probably have a break from VMCs. Good way to catch up in the 'other' classics.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Life Class

This is a very lightly written and easily read book which feels as though it is skating over quite profound themes. The title denotes the nude model classes at the Slade which the characters attend while young inexperienced art students and also the brutal reality of war which changes their views. Elinor single mindedly refuses to confront the horrors and is happy to concentrate on art. She does not wish to talk about the war, only art. She will not even train as a nurse to play her part. Her brother, however, gives up his medical studies to join up. Their father loses his argument with both his children!
Paul, who paints landscapes and is less talented than the others, finds powerful subjects in his wounded patients. He is not fit enough for the army and volunteers to be an ambulance driver. He also discovers his talent as a dresser. He emerges as a stronger person and his powerful war paintings are recognised by his old art tutor who had previously told him he lacked passion.
.We are asked to pit Elinor's attitude against the others. Were her views valid? I don't know.
I would have liked the author to have discussed her premisses more fully to help me.
The Imperial War Museum has an art gallery which is a very emotive place to visit. For depicting horror and suffering, art certainly seems to have a place alongside photography.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Next book suggestion

Sounds great to me, Valerie - let's go for it. Will get it from the library for me and Val.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Next book

I have, waiting to be read, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Would you like to read this very short book, or would the subject be too harrowing. Opinions please. I was also looking at Primo Levi, but his writing would not be a bundle of fun either.