Tuesday, 6 September 2011

That Lack of Facial Recognition Thing - and Literature

We's havin' one of our literary conversations... The Old Man and me. This is because Mrs Doonuthin has taken up a new obsession which be reviewing crime books.

Honest. She's not just leaning out the window and pontificating on the state of the thrilling art to any unfortunate passer-by. She be reviewing books for the website Eurocrime. (Under another name of course.) And the place be littered with books now; chairs and tables stacked with crime, murder and mayhem; the floor knee-deep in discarded notes and review attempts.

Anyway, The Old Man is explaining to me why he doesn't read such stuff.

I have always taken this as hauteur on his part and a looking-down-his-nose at my (and Mrs Doonuthin's) literary tastes. But you see, I hadn't put two and two together had I?

I have long accepted that he can't follow crime series on the telly - cos he can't tell one person from another. Well in the main that is. I mean he seems to have a peculiar set of priorities when it comes to facial pattern recognition on screen. And as for the cosmetically polished world of Hollywood or even Telly phyzogs, well that's an infinitely slippery pole for him to slide down. And so, not being able to tell one character from another in a drama just about guarantees that he will never know whodunit, if you take my drift.

Well, he explains how it's a bit the same with reading. He can't remember one name from another, nor sometimes one character from another... And this, The Old Man explains to me with a beatific smile...

is why he likes to read Beckett .

He has a point. If there's only one character on the stage or in the novel.... it's harder to forget who they are.

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