Sunday, 25 March 2007

Hawksmoor

Happy birthday, Christopher Clavius, whom we have to thank for the Gregorian calendar and thus, indirectly, my getting an hour less in my bed last night. I think I have set up this blog so that we stay on God's time, though.
Today is also the anniversary of the death of Nicholas Hawksmoor whose churches seem to almost everyone to be deeply impressive but profoundly unChristian buildings. Christ Church Spitalfields has now been restored and is well worth visiting. Peter Ackroyd's novel (though it is a modern detective who has his name and the 18th-century architect is called Dyer) is one of those books which relies almost entirely on atmosphere - brilliantly so, I think. I've read it a couple of times and can remember almost nothing about what actually happens, but it is genuinely creepy, and the narrative voices are superbly convincing. It reminded me a bit of MR James.
Last night's dinner was Malaysian, rather than Chinese, food. Very good, though.

Today's choices:
sf: The Dosadi Experiment, Frank Herbert
crime: The Sins of the Fathers, Lawrence Block
from now on, I'm occasionally going to suggest books which I think are unfairly neglected or insufficiently well-known
try: Rupert of Hentzau, Anthony Hope
I'm listening to: A Love Supreme, John Coltrane.

Now I'm going to watch the South Bank Show on Humphrey Lyttleton.