Thursday, 7 June 2007

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Quite some time ago - perhaps years - The Lovely Clara informed me that I should read a book by Nick Earls. Not any book in particular, but I should read him. I think this was just after I read High Fidelity for the first time and she likened him to an Australian Nicky Hornby.

In Melbourne at the National Debating Championships I was at a school (Croyden College I think) and I saw a Nick Earls book on the shelf. There were several but I chose After January, his first novel. I started to read. After about half an hour I had to put it back and adjudicate and the like. At the next school I continued to read that school's copy. And when I got back to Tasmania I eventually placed an order for it through the State Library system. And it came today. I just finished it.

I think everyone should read it. It seemed at times as though I was writing it. Not in style, but... well, in experience. It's a book about a boy who's just finished school and is spending January on holiday and meets a girl. And he's nerdy and lanky and uncool and wants to get into Arts/Law. He's me in most ways - not physically, but in his analysis of situations. In everything. I don't surf but this book makes me think I should. He also watches cricket, which is unfortunate, but the point stands. He knows how I feel. Most of the book is about describing the way life works and it's exactly the way I think of things. It was brilliant. It reminded me of everything I felt in that summer 2004/2005. Indecision. Anticipation. Panic. Wonder. Everything.

The other point that comes from this book, though not directly, is about sex. Not sex per se, but sexual acts - kissing right on through (pardoning the phrase-pun). I think sex should be emotional. It should be innocent. What I don't think it should be is planned or contemplated, exercised for a purpose. I don't think it should be about satisfaction of a sexual desire. It should just happen because that's what's happening and that's what happens. It just flows. There's another line or two but they'll go in the libellus niger.

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