Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Beethoven’s Letters 1790-1826 Volume One was taken out of curiosity (and it was free) online. As I think I’ve said before the reader in his or her choice of books does play a certain type of Russian roulette as to how it well end up. In this regard I’m afraid the bullet was triggered.

For the general reader the problem with these letters are that they’re mundane. Not so much the processes into how [insert Beethoven work here] was created. More can I have payment for the work, or how it’s doing.

The one exception worth noting to the above are in the couple of letters where he discusses his deafness. They were truly moving. I forgot he suffered with this affliction when relatively young and yet despite this he would probably be one of the names anyone would mention when asked to name three classical composers.

For the most part though it’s a book for scholars of the man’s life. They’d be interested. Most people wouldn’t be.

Now for the second book:

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – Heat and Dust

I had forgotten when I bought a Penguin paperback version of his book in Maesteg a few years back that I’d already purchased it many years before when I was nineteen. Annoying when that happens.

In many ways it was an unusual book for me to have bought at that time. It’s relatively small and the blurb for the this novel has a quote from The Times review “It is a jewel to be treasured”. Words like “delicate” and “jewel” in this regard would have a male reader running to the hills. For it envisages something well, wimpy.
But I’d seen a couple of films where she was the scriptwriter and was a fan. This was not a wimpy writer. I could trust her. Was not aware though until I’d bought it that she was also a novelist.
So now decades later, when I’d bought the book again without remembering I’d got it in the first place have actually read it. And am happy to say that I’m still a fan.
This is the sort of novel where the plot is of secondary importance. Two British women in India in different periods. One in 1923 and the second in the present day (the novel was first published in 1975). I won’t spoil it by going further but let’s say there are no major surprises here.
No this is a novel where the key are the characters. You are absorbed into their lives and that includes the character of India itself.
It’s a book that doesn’t waste words on the atomosphere but those that it uses are effective enough.
Yes I’m still a fan.
Until the next time.