Thursday, 10 June 2010
Flax, film and my cousin Rachel
I was a little late is photographing the blue fields of flax/linseed. I've only just discovered, by the way, that they are the same thing. I often forget to take my camera with me so I miss perfect shots and a week later the magic scene has faded or the flowers have dropped. Perhaps it was the hot dry weather that caused the late Spring flowers to disappear so quickly this year. Am busy sweeping up the wisteria petals every day.
Books and Film
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. This is a beautifully written semi-Gothic psychological thriller. Not sure why it was considered a romance. I must have read it at school but didn’t remember a thing about it luckily as I was gripped this time and could hardly bear to put it down. I admire the way the plot, with its unreliable young male narrator, unfolds layer by carefully confusing layer and we are left unsure as to who is the villain. We don’t even see Rachel very clearly as her character is distorted by Philip’s emotional viewpoint. Sally Beauman in her introduction considered this to be a feminist novel depicting a (Victorian?) woman at the mercy of men with money, and in turn they are victims of her charms. A very interesting and impressive book. I’ll probably read it again fairly soon and make notes.
I'd been looking forward to the DVD of Les Visiteurs, about a time-travelling knight who appears in modern France and quite naturally does not behave in a politically correct manner. This is absolutely hilarious, I told the family, but none of us found it nearly so amusing the second time around. Ah well.
On the other hand, I am enjoying Small Island by Andrea Levy much more on a second read. The difference, and I hate to admit this, is that the TV film brought it to life for me.