Friday, November 13, 2009
I am re-reading Quartet in Autumn by my all-time favourite author, Barbara Pym. I found a copy quite by chance at an op-shop this week and I just couldn't leave it to languish on the shelves, even though I already have a copy! Although Pym has quite a following, there are also a lot of people who just don't get her books, as I discovered while net surfing through some reviews... Even my mother - who is an ardent reader - exclaimed "But nothing happens!" when I tried to get her into Pym. And it is this very thing that I love about her writing. She writes about individuals quietly leading ordinary lives. They make cups of tea. They worry about giving the appropriate amount of coinage to a girl rattling a charity tin at the railway station. They fret about social gaffes. They have things on toast for dinner. No-one scales mountains. No-one is murdered. No-one has affairs. No-one scales the ladder of corporate success. They simply live, and make as much of every day and the everyday as they can. Above all else, I love Barbara Pym for depicting people who would otherwise be deemed as being of little interest - those people just eeking out their little corner of the world.