Friday 2 June 2023

A Mixed Bag of Anniversaries

 As well as being the 70th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – a day I remember, just about – today is also the inauspicious birth date of the Marquis de Sade in 1740 and, exactly 100 years later, Thomas Hardy. And, 100 years after that, to the day, the birth date of Barney Fugleman, the Hardy-hating hero (if that's the word) of Peeping Tom, Howard Jacobson's 1984 comic novel, which I'm rereading many years on, something else having piqued my curiosity about the morbid psychology of Thomas Hardy. This is a subject explored in some depth and in an unfailingly destructive spirit in Peeping Tom – which, I have to report, is pretty filthy and often very funny. It's been an entertaining companion while I continue my struggle with this tediously tenacious postviral energy deficit. Next week I'm resorting to Chinese medicine...

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