Holidays! I am on holidays. Holiday reading (HR) is one of the best parts of holidays. HR makes me realise how narrow my day to day reading has become – relentless attempts to understand tetrapartite synapses or what microglia might do during a thought can lead to somewhat limited reading.
HR makes me aware how much of our tiny rehabilitation world is a part of the bigger world. I have just read Christopher Hope’s fresh new novel Jimfish (Atlantic Books, 2015). The Voltaire quote at the start dragged me in… “Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.” “That’s definitely me” I thought as I got happily sucked into a fantastical story and a reminder of the madness of last century – from South Africa, to the deadly fifth commando regiment of Zimbabwe, Uganda, and onto Chernobyl, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the demise of the Ceauşescus and back to Zaire with the great leopard Mobuto, even Sierra Leone and Liberia for the murder of Samuel Doe and somehow back to South Africa where Mandela’s rainbow nation doesn’t seem to fit with where we have been.
Over all, it’s a rather sad indictment on our species.
Jimfish for me was all about the conflict between irrationality and reason, and the disaster of dualistic thinking. The more I think about it, the world of “Jimfish” is reflected in day to day treatment of chronic pain and stress. I am not sure whether this makes it easier or harder.
All suggestions for holiday reading gratefully received.
PS. In the tradition of the What are you reading (and what are you drinking with it) posts, Jimfish was read with a sturdy Shiraz Grenache blend from Minervois in Languedoc, France.