Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas reading

Christmas: fabulous! I'm clearly a great fan of this fesitval of light and food and company, which really Christmas is all about, and like to accompany the season with suitabe reading.

Now when I was young I read Terry Brooks The Sword of Shanara, timing my reading so that I finished it on Christmas Eve - allowing me to stay up late and hopefully catch sight of Santa or my father, which I think I did a couple of times.

As a slight cheat there was a BBC drama I recorded back in the 80s, which was all about the pagan themes of Yuletide - but which went missing a few years before I could convert that cassette to mp3.

Which has left me a little lacking, when wanting some literary Christmas mate4rial.

I tried Dicken's Christmas Stories, which include the Christmas Carol, but others besides. Enjoyable, but sometimes I just can't be bothered to go through Dicken's wordiness. My son loves The Snow Queen, from The Pink Fairy book. I don't bother reading it now, but just snuggle up and retell it, which always seems a more interesting way to experience a stopry.

For the last couple of years Simon Armitage's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, has filled my Xmas slot.

It takes part over two subsequent Yuletides, with the feasting and warmth and company, during the fantasitical reign of Arthur. There are some fabulous phrases - the grass being fixed with frost, swine swinging they swagger home!

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