Monday, November 8, 2010


I've used a mobile phone twice, very gingerly.  I get dizzy at the thought of what I could do with an I-Pad.  Why am I still around?

There are a couple of reasons.  In recent weeks I've listened with keen delight to music by Bach and Haydn--neither of whom seemed to spark any fires before.  Then I have responded similarly to Dickens' Little Dorrit--definitely never read before.  Bach died in 1750, Haydn in 1809, Dickens in 1870.  Why are they sparking me now?  The last novel I read before Dickens was Martin Amis' House of Meetings which I am fairly sure was published in the 21st century, but though I did admire it, I felt none of the frissons which the older works stimulated, and it didn't give me that glow of life being, after all, worth the effort.

This being so, I feel it somehow fitting that the land of my birth is no longer to be found on any recent map of the world.  I was born in 1940 in Ceylon.  The geopolitical entity is now called Sri Lanka, the world in which my parents moved non-existent.  Some time in the late 1960s I was taken by an actor friend to visit Ceylon's best-known film director, Lester Peries.  The conversation drifted around to Turgenev's Fathers and Sons.  I said that though the novel was set in Russia in about 1862 it could easily have been in Ceylon in 1950, and Lester agreed, saying that in fact the idea of filming it had crossed his mind.

What am I to do in Australia in 2010?

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