16 august 2012, homage to homage to catalonia

During the earlier part of our stay, I got through one of the few george orwell novels I have never read. Perhaps I was waiting for this occasion, as it made it so much more exciting to read of the paving stones of la rambla being torn up and thrown into barricades one day, and to be treading over them the next. Evenings with the book was history and the sarcastic culture of war, which complemented wonderfully the sights and sounds that filled my days. If it isn't his greatest work (apart from the obvious, that would be burmese days), it makes up for it in vivacity and the acuteness of its chronicling of a unique period in a unique place that has always fascinated me. It's very readable, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I did two from my current favourite author, paul auster: invisible and winter journal. The first showed patches of his best (the book of illusions, or perhaps the country of last things), and the latter touched me quite profoundly. So, as orwell said of his journey home, away from the mountain and the vine, back to the meadow and the elm.