Sunday, September 06, 2015

The same age inside

Back from Africa, but am still processing the experience. It's only been 6 days, during which our annual convention at work took place, so I haven't had much rest time since climbing Kilimanjaro and going on safari and seeing old college friends on a different continent and celebrating a friend's wedding.

I know Kilimanjaro changed me, but I've had precious few well-rested moments to myself to articulate exactly how.

In the meantime, other entertainment sources have flooded my brainwaves. I watched Midnight in
Paris on the plane to Amsterdam and LOVED it. Obviously, because it involves time travel to the 1920s and features both Fitzgerald and Hemingway (among other of my idols-between-the-World-Wars), it was practically tailor-made for me. It was also somewhat timely, since reading Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in my formative years contributed to my wanting to climb the mountain. I'm not a huge Woody Allen fan, but this was a light-hearted, funny movie that hit home in many ways: a writer who loves the 1920s gets transported back, meets his idols, and reassesses his life and priorities in the 21st century. And when every famous artist (writer, painter, philosopher) appeared, I almost clapped with glee. So delightful!

Miss Buncle's Book also took place between the World Wars. It came up in the library's "You might also enjoy this" suggestion list. I enjoyed it a bit, but it took a while to get into. The premise is seems trite now, but maybe 90 years ago was novel: an anonymously published book about the lives of villagers in a small English town starts to come true, and the townspeople start accusing each other of being the author.  The real author is a dowdy spinster named Miss Buncle, and I think the main reason I couldn't really get into the book was because she came across as something of a country simpleton. She didn't mean to upset the balance of her town, but her reaction was something of a "Oh gosh, gee willikers, tee hee, look at all this" and it was a little off-putting. Definitely not a modern heroine, but not an entirely dislikable one either. She had an idea for a book, and subconsciously wrote her astute observations into them; it wasn't her fault they storylines all came true.

Like Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris, maybe there's a lot I can relate to in that.