I’ve been severely remiss in writing to this blog. My excuse – not a reason I know – is that I’ve been proofreading and ,after peering myopically at pages of print seeking reversed quotation marks, stray periods and missing commas, I just haven’t felt motivated to write anything – ever again!
So, instead of writing I’ve been reading. I am nearing the end of Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon. I am a long-time fan of this author partly because I am captivated by Commissario Brunotti and his wife Paola, whose blend of worldly wisdom and astute comments bring her vividly to life. She is a paragon of good advice, wise perceptions and acid comments which reduce pretentions to absurdities. The one place I’ve always wanted to visit is Venice and of course life being what it is, it is the one place I’ve never managed to reach although I have been close on several occasions. Now I accept I never will ride the canals but Donna Leon brings the city to life so I am, almost, compensated. I love hearing about the dishes she prepares and the delicacies to which the Commissario treats himself. I would love to try the wines, and taste her meals. I make a stab at pronouncing the Italian words but doubt I am very accurate.
Delight in reading Leon’s books reminds me of a draft blog I began some weeks ago – another casualty of my concentration on minutiae – about the difference between European and American detectives. I concede that I am not really qualified to judge US detectives in literature and that my assessment of the breed comes mainly from the television versions but there do appear to be significant differences between the approach of, say, Brunotti or Maigret with the gun-toting, armour –clad avatars on the made-for-TV programmes. Perhaps I will unearth my draft and try again!
Meanwhile, I can only beg readers not to hunt to assiduously for punctuation errors in this or any past or future blogs!