I started book blogging because a really important (well, to me) idea would hit me during Sunday dinner and I would try to share it with the family… only to get this look of: “you’re not telling us something about Sophocles again!… surely?” Yes, I’m afraid I am. My family doesn’t share my more obscure tastes, such as Herodotus or Spanish literature… or Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche… or poetry… or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry… or… all right, they just don’t generally share my taste in reading. Full stop.
I understand how they feel when I go on about Aeschylus (did you know he fought in the battle of Marathon?)… the Spanish conquest of Mexico… the difficulties of ancient Greek grammar… Mark Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar (I studied that speech for a full term in a rhetoric class at university: it was the finest way of undermining the communist regime that I’ve ever seen). I understand full well because I feel the same way when they keep telling me about: the comings and goings of members of obscure American bands I don’t even like the music of… trilobites… iron age hill forts in Somerset… and their other weird obsessions. (I’m fine with elephants. Within reason.)
“Wrong audience! Wrong audience!” as one of the obscure English singers that my husband likes to listen to said to his American audience when they didn’t get one of his jokes. So I try not to bore my family too often at the dinner table now (in the hope that they will too stop boring me…). But there must be some other people out there who read Patrick Leigh Fermor, Yukio Mishima and Xenophon… and I’m looking for them.