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Jan and me watching movies together has been a common feature of my movie comments for a half-dozen years. We’ve been reading aloud to each other for the same span, but I don’t believe I’ve included her as a participant to anything like the same extent. I now mention that, and also add details about my life-time of reading with girlfriend or wife.
In college I read John Donne to Naomi. She didn’t read to me, I read to her.
In grad school Hilary attended all my GBS classes, didn’t miss a single one, Shavian Dan Laurence presiding. She read every assignment, typically we read them to each other. That year we read more than sixty plays by Shaw! Hilary and I read other fat tomes together: Dickens’ Bleak House, George Meredith’s The Egoist … We should never have married, or should have gotten annulled the next day; but we did do some great things together. Too bad it was overall so negative: poor Hilary wasn’t equipped to understand me or Ivan Illich or deschooling … (Who else is instead? My professors were not one wit smarter!) Yet she was the Free Learning Exchange‘s sole regular financial support! her income $5/hour. $5 to feed and house me, bk, Hil: and the FLEX staff!
Now I read with Jan: me reading 90 to 99% of the load (comparable proportions to how Hilary and I shared driving, dog walking …) Typically we read on the Kindle. Sometimes we read on the Mac via Calibre. For the last month or two we juggled Tom Wolfe’s great but fat and awkward Man in Full. Before that we read his nearly as fat I Am Charlotte Simmons. Not long ago we read Faulkner’s Light in August. We also read lots of poetry; especially Shakespeare’s first hundred sonnets. And sometimes the poems tie to movies watched: Bright Star: John Keats …
I mention other examples as I think of them, or as they occur … and add comments, particularly if they’re family-reading-related.
Wilbur Smith: Adventure
2015 05 08 A couple of decades ago I began catching up on a lifetime of not knowing Wilbur Smith fiction. Great stuff, and apparently he’s still at it, as Peril on the Deep illustrates.
Jan was startled at the sexual frankness. I told her that once upon a time Smith consulted his wife on such matters: these days her advise is pedal to the metal.
Spoiled rotten rich bitch gets herself and her yacht kidnapped, smack in the middle of the Somali pirates. She quickly learns who’s boss. The Muslims are pissed off at English speakers telling them not to practice the slave trade, not to kill elephants for ivory: in other words not to be so damn Arab. Dressed down as harem fodder she smiles at her captor’s chief. He gives her a quick cut across the chops with a hippo whip for her audacity: imagine: she looked at him!
And I started rambling on to Jan about how slavery died a natural death, world wide, around 1860, but it’s not altogether dead, and, I believe, humanity will be dead before slavery is dead: especially “white” slavery. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was good on the subject: Sweden was filled with Russian whores, women with no legal papers and no other way to make a living. There’s always some disadvantaged country where the bastards can help themselves to profit from misery. How many of these refuges trying to sail to Italy will be lucky enough to wind up in some brothel, where they’ll be lucky to keep a nickel on the dollar for themselves. Chinese women last month, Syrian women this month … not to mention the men, the children …
Meantime, go to school, don’t wriggle when you’re lied to; or go to jail.