Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Quote... Unquote"

I'm currently reading the 4th in Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series: The World According to Bertie. And I broke up when I read this passage:
'This story concerns Charmian Mao,' said Humphrey. 'He was said to have a very good sense of humour. He was asked once what he thought would have happened had it been Nikita Khrushchev rather than President Kennedy who had been assassinated. He thought about it for a moment and then said: " Well, one thing is certain: Aristotle Onassis would never have married Mrs. Khrushchev!" '
McCall Smith is the creator of the wonderful Precious Ramotswe, a woman of "traditional build," traditional values, owner of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Botswana's only Lady Detective. I have yet to see the BBC screen adaptation of the first novel (it was director Anthony Minghella's last project) which was aired on Easter Sunday in the U.K. The reviews were mixed with most critics finding that the sweet, gentle nature of the books just didn't make it to the screen. I'm hoping BBC World will get around to showing it - maybe instead of the 200th rerun of Good Neighbours - so I can see for myself.

14 giugno - San Eliseo

1 comment:

david said...

The bit that makes me crack up is in the third volume, Love Over Scotland, where the perpetually six-years-old Bertie has taken up with French students in Paris:

'At one point, when Freud was mentioned, he let slip the name of Melanie Klein, which brought astonished stares from the three French students.

' "So!" exclaimed Sylvie. "You have heard of Melanie Klein! Formidable!"

'Bertie had learned that the hallmark of sophisticated conversation in Paris was the tossing out of derogatory remarks, usually calling into question an entire theory or oeuvre. He had been waiting to do this with Melanie Klein ((invoked constantly by his awful mother)), and now the opportunity had presented itself. "She's rubbish", said Bertie.'

I can vouch for the authenticity of Edinburgh life in these books. I never tire of Precious Ramotswe either. Call me sentimental, but I think something precious is invoked about human kindness.

I enjoy your blog, Willym: we both post on La Cieca's hilarious site (and my blog is mostly about opera and music as well as the odd garden shot, too).