“Misplaced idealism unleashes darker forces which destroy the fabric of people’s lives” – Richie.
From high modernism to high times on the Cypriot coast. The unpinnable Inkwell Reader’s Group continues to traverse genre and spheres as we depart from Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds to Victoria Hislop’s Sunrise. When E.M Forster said that writers are not writing in a linear succession of history, one after the other, but instead as though all in a room borrowing influences, would O’Brien and Hislop be in that room together? I’m not sure, but they’d certainly be in different rooms in their own right.
It is of course, great pleasure to get one’s own reading boundaries challenged by what you do not usually read, and, of all the books we’ve sat and discussed (third Saturday of every month), nothing seemed to divide more than this novel about the travails of deep political divisions on the idyllic coast of Famagusta. Whether or not the construing of this paradisal setting was too laden with cliché for some, it certainly emphasised the inevitable destruction and misery wrought by the Turkish and Cypriot war.
More importantly, for some of our readers, it was the perfect antidote to a recuperative period. I know that I’m a lout for it, but perhaps we should never dismiss certain books because we never know when we might need them. I think you should judge a book by its cover, but then you shouldn’t be afraid to open it as well: marketing teams are there to do their jobs.
I also thought that this would be a good month to introduce myself as the organiser of the group. My name is Liam, and local to Leeds (it probably wouldn’t work that well otherwise) and I have been reading and writing about books since leaving University. I’ve also volunteered at Inkwell before whilst doing my MSc., where we tried to set up another Reading group, and although it ran for a while, the steam ran out of it. With a new time though and a new day, we launched the group again back in March this year.
You can visit my website www.curbcomplex.com to see some of my other thoughts on other books. You can also follow me on twitter @liamhbishop where I tweet about books, photography and film, and indeed post some updates about the book group (there’s also a picture of my face if you like putting faces to…twitter handles). And I’m also on Instagram (@l.h.bishop). A reading group should be able to connect across spheres that aren’t always physical.