30 June, 2008

Light reading

Two similarish and very enjoyable books, as a post-coursework, pre-revision treat (I am so behind with updating this blog). PG Wodehouse's Pigs have wings and the Damon Runyon omnibus. Both fun more for the language than the story: the silly literary jokes in Wodehouse and the marvellously unreal dialogue in Runyon. [30] [31]

Then as a post-exams mindless indulgence, four Georgette Heyer novels: The Nonesuch, Cotillion, Arabella and A marriage of convenience. Reading Georgette Heyer is like taking a hot bath, really. But I do like the fact that all her lovely men are so well-dressed. I can't think of any other novels in which such attention is paid to the details of the men's outfits. Maybe Gone with the wind? I think Rhett Butler does dress well, but I can't remember if there's any detail about it. The regency period is interesting, though: it's the point where men's outfits (that is, upper class men's outfits) lose the extravagance of the eighteenth century and start being modelled on riding clothes: women's clothes remain impractical and decorative. I suppose the fascination with the period is to do with the men being beautifully, elegantly dressed but also wearing recognisably 'manly' clothing: clothing which looks good on strong, athletic male bodies with broad shoulders and long legs. [32] [33] [34] [35]

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