‘Book Bites’ for Tuesday 16th May 2017

In The Footsteps of Marcel Proust – It’s somewhat befitting that director William Friedkin in this piece for the New York Times mentions devouring everything he can find on Marcel Proust, because ever since I took Monsieur P. into my heart, I’ve had much the same insatiable appetite (as with all lovers of Proust, I’d imagine).

Thankfully, Mr. Friedkin manages to quell the pangs of hunger for a short spell. His article may be long, and it may not present anything altogether revolutionary, but it remains a very readable, often personal snapshot of one man’s pilgrimage in search of the essence of Proust.

Are sheds the best place for writing? – I’m quite taken with the notion of creating a writing space in the garden. I’m enamoured both by George Bernard Shaw’s revolving hut at Ayot St Lawrence, and John Steinbeck’s Joyous Garde writing shed overlooking Sag Harbour (and to a lesser degree Roald Dahl’s writing hut at Great Missenden, and Virginia Woolf’s garden lodge at Monk’s House), and it’s long been a dream to set something similar up in my own modest back garden.

But whatever writing space I end up with in my garden, it’ll be nothing to the degree of course of David Cameron, with his designer ‘shepherd hut’. And the recent news of Cameron’s £25k acquisition has prompted Radio 4 to ask four prominent writers if sheds really are the best place to write.

“From the Desk of Simone de Beauvoir” – Honing in nicely from writer’s huts to writer’s immediate workspaces, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. are running an exhibition right now dedicated to Simone de Beauvoir, or more particularly to Simone de Beauvoir’s Paris studio alcove. Not so much a collection of original artefacts, as relative copies of original artefacts, the exhibition nonetheless sets out to not only give something of an impression on what it would be like to inhabit the French writer’s Parisian workspace, but also to stand as a reflection of the writer herself, and her contribution as a whole. NPR’s Susan Stamberg gets a little more exhaustive on the topic of the exhibition, so best perhaps if you just head over there.

‘Book Bites’bringing you tasty bite-size morsels of bookish news and delight from around the web.
About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Thanks for the Simone de Beauvoir link – off to check it out!