Sunday, March 02, 2008

Eighteenth Sunday Salon 11.15

It is Mothering Sunday in the UK. Accordingly, Hodmandod Senior has ensured that he, I mean Hodmandod Minor, has bought me a present - a box of chocolate truffles which we are going to scoff once breakfast has gone down. Hodmandod Major has sent me a voucher from Boots (the Chemist) which makes me smile every time I think of it - my son, who I still think of as little older than a child, giving his mother a voucher - and I am going to head out to town to spend it soon.

In the meantime, I have been doing a little reading: the first few stories in KAFKA IN BRONT√čLAND by Tamar Yellin and enjoying them enormously. They have a yearning quality and also a tart hunour which I like. Here is a quote from the other Mr. Perella (the phone has just rung):
'My mother put on her best voice: Mr. Perela had a deeply refined accent, and she was a snob. On the same grounds she was reluctant to reveal much. Our own genealogy was hardly in Debrett, and she was not going to ask him if he was Jewish.'
So far the common theme seems to be the search for identity. Each character has a feeling of restlessness and not belonging; and yet seems powerless to do anything about it. They seem like exotic creatures trapped in the dreariness of northern England at the end of the twentieth century; softly padding about this cage of the humdrum growling and questioning: why am I here? where do I belong? what can I do to get out of here? Each of the characters is Jewish, and although aspects of this culture inform everything that they do, there are elements here that are universal. This feeling of displacement, after all, affects many: I know few people who live where they were born and where their parents and grandparents were born. All humans have a tendency to migrate - after the hunt or after better land. It is why genealogy is so popular. We are all fascinated by our roots.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I too got a bunch of flowers and two boxes of chocs from the MP, oops, sorry, my daughters. As I am constantly battling not to eat, the present is not exactly what I would have chosen. The only thing I like on mother's day is a home made card from said offspring. (This year, one of them made one in about 5 mins and the other co-signed it.) I love your voucher story!

Sun Mar 02, 12:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the local shops were full yesterday of children accompanied by Dad clutching bunches of daffodils. I don't go near chocolate outlets - the temptation is just too great.

Sun Mar 02, 01:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helo, Clare! What about your new novel ambienced in Patagonia?

Sun Mar 02, 05:17:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chocolates were a disappointment - bought hurriedly at the local post office (yes, we are still lucky enough to have one!)- they were a little stale, so we've regretfully thrown them out...I shouldn't eat them either - but I am very weak-willed and love them too much. My two were never big on home-made cards. the only ones they ever made were under duress at school. I agree - they are the best thing you can get on mother's day, though.

Very wise, table talk. I should follow your example.

Hi Ivy - more on this very soon, I think...

Sun Mar 02, 11:09:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Wow what a lot of reading you've done; you put me to shame. Still ... I've gleaned (and benefited) from reading what you've posted - thanks!

Tue Mar 04, 07:34:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you CB - you are so very kind!

Tue Mar 04, 09:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clare, thanks for all these piece on your reading. They are noted! And some go on my list.

Yes, it will be pleasant to hear about Patagonia soon!

Thu Mar 06, 01:47:00 pm  

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