Monday, 3 April 2017

Review!: Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett is from the Fitzcarraldo Editions. This is the first I've read from these lovely blue editions, and was a Christmas present from my best pal, and I enjoyed it very much. It's another collection of short stories/essays sort of about nothing but also everything, and I will be keeping it near at all times to use as a thesaurus because Claire-Louise Bennett's vocabulary is extensive and lyrical and extremely envious.

Beauty, wisdom, whim, and humour are found in the mundanity of a quiet life in an old cottage in a small town. Claire-Louise Bennett's writing is beautiful and full of much better words than I could possibly muster, like for example this passage from pages 56-57, which I definitely had to read a few times and also made me laugh at the extravagance of the language:
"However, the sensational mode by which the latest idea came to light was in fact not the least bit dazzling or unprompted but was rather the sort of consolidated outcome which is typically produced when a protracted and half-hearted analytical process aggravates the superior auspices of an exasperated subconscious. Consequently, the emanation's illuminating glare softened soon enough, enabling me to continue looking at the trees while at the same time according the contents of this most recent development a privileged yet manageable place among my thoughts."
Just, how mind tangling yet wonderful are those two sentences. I also enjoyed the short but sweet chapter Oh, Tomato Purée! pictured below:

And I keep returning to the chapter To a God Unknown on page 65-66, pictured below, about the character taking a bath with the window open while an old storm blows outside. The idea of an old, familiar storm really caught me:
"And then, from there, it was possible, unavoidable really, to listen to the storm going around and around, and I knew it was an old one that had come back- it seemed to know exactly where it was and there was such intimacy in its movement and in the sound it made as it went along and around and around. Yes, I thought, you know these mountains and the mountains are familiar with you also."

So, if you want to read something quite beautiful and quite strange. Quite wordy and quite lyrical. This might be the book for you! I'm not allowed to buy anymore books currently because my TBR pile is essentially a mile high, but I might treat myself to a new Fitzcarraldo Edition for my Italian adventure in May.

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