Tag Archives: literary pace and tension.

Lights Fantastic

Light matters. This is the first discovery on moving our Tricycle Readers meetings to evenings. It’s easy to follow a story on the page when a room is flooded with natural light, but electric lights cast shadows and create dark patches. Having struggled a  little with Kazoo Ishiguro last Monday, this week I set our […]

You’re Bookered

Many years ago I was on a theatre awards panel. The judges had to see around 90 West End productions across 12 months. Even when a play was truly awful, there was the possibility of an award winning performance. Then there were the costumes, the lighting, the set, the sound, the direction… After a while, […]

Causley for Thought

Last week, posting Derek Walcott’s The Schooner Flight on our blog, I linked to an audio of him reading aloud. Hearing a poet’s voice – the tone, the pace, the intonation, the inflection – can enrich appreciation of their work.  At other times it’s disastrous. Each year the Today Programme on Radio 4 invites finalists for […]

Face Values

On Monday, Tricycle Readers analysed a story by Salman Rushdie. After the reading, one of the group admitted she’d struggled to listen because she doesn’t like Rushdie: ‘He has a mean face. He doesn’t look a nice man’.  I was taken aback but not in a position to challenge her as, the previous night in […]

Rhythm Sticks

Yesterday at our first Tricycle Readers meeting, we touched on the importance of punctuation. Punctuation supports and highlights meaning. The jacket of Lyn Truss’s book on English grammar shows a hand holding a smoking gun. It is titled, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. If you remove the comma – Eats Shoots and Leaves – we’re discussing the […]

Grape Expectations

At a wine tasting last night, I was discomfited by my clear lack of sophistication. Others smelt figs and melons, fire and grass. All I could smell was grape. The Chablis grape was so acidic, I got a sour taste in my mouth just on raising the glass to my nose. The Riesling, apparently, was redolent […]

Mew and Cry

Like a lot of people, I struggle to retain poetry. While writers like Simon Armitage are retelling epic poems, those that we most commonly encounter recall a single scene or a feeling, a thought or sensation, and there isn’t a full narrative that we can take away and discuss over dinner with friends in the […]

Dashville Tennessee

This week I saw Gillian Anderson – the brilliant Dana Scully from The X Files – playing Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’, A Streetcar Named Desire. The audience  at the Young Vic theatre were seated around a central stage that revolved for the entire three hours. The big critics enjoyed seeing the action from different […]