Tuesday 17 February 2009

Acid Drops

Mapp and Lucia by E.F. Benson

There are times when you yearn
for really salty food
or the mouth-puckering acidity of lemons.
The subtle flavours of carefully balanced seasoning
seems a little delicate, a touch precious.

So it is with humour.
At the moment I have zero tolerance
of bland, delicate and precious.

The best prescription for this ennui
is the wicked, perceptive writing of E. F. Benson
whose biting satire of village life is just the tonic.
Like a dark reverse of Miss Marple
his characters are motivated entirely by self interest.
It is sheer joy to lose myself in the cruelties
of summer fĂȘtes and musical soirĂ©es;
to see LuLu and LibLib
pitting their wits against each other.
I feel that zing on the mental palate
as his writing outrageously explores
the boundaries of social conventions in the Thirties
and can't stop myself laughing out loud.


trash said...

Are your cheeks all sucked in and your lips all pursed up then?

Anonymous said...

I love those books, although I haven't read them in years. I devoured them all once, when I had the flu. I was in graduate school and was no doubt supposed to be reading Daniel Deronda or something -- which is also great, but just not what I felt like reading at the time.

silverpebble said...

I've never read these, although my Mum has - this sounds like a definite recommendation. I love the photo on the sleeve - great fun.

blackbird said...

A perfect endorsement.

Anonymous said...

I love these books too, they are the ones you always keep and can go back to again and again.

Have you heard the Radio 4 serialisation of the Mapp and Lucia stories with Prunella Scales as Miss Mapp? - just perfection.

Prunellas Scales is also in the Radio 4 series of "Ladies of Letters" perhaps a modern day take on Mapp and Lucia. I recommend the books!

Mary said...

I can feel some Amazon spending coming on!

Gina said...

I've never read these but that definitely sounds like a recommendation! Never could resist acid drops and lemons!

Jackie said...

These are my desert Island books. I first heard them being read aloud on radio 4 on long drives to see my then boyfriend now husband in Manchester after work. 1976. Then I read them all when I was totally immobilised by sheer size in my first pregnanacy in 1982.
I especially love the dress code..Hitum, Titum or scrub.
(I am usually scrub)

Lynn said...

If my humor ever gets bland, delicate or precious, you'll tell me gently, won't you?