A Month in the Country

A friend--my beekeeper friend--gave me a book on Sunday by a writer I'd never heard of, J.L. Carr. The book is called A Month in the Country, it was published in 1980 and set in Yorkshire shortly after World War I, which is one of the traumas that run under the story (the second is a broken marriage). It is a quiet, beautifully written, sensuous, touching short novel, like a Hardy poem or an Edward Thomas. It is in fact a masterpiece, republished in 2000 by New York Review Books with an introduction by Michael Holroyd. It is perfect, without any reservations. The kind of book that leaves you with a inner smile. As with one of Edward Thomas's poem you think, if I'd written that I would have justified my existence.

And now, I shall take my inner smile and my bike and head for the campus gym, down a long shady street lined with small Victorian cottages and larger boarding houses, around the corner past Whole Foods, under the Caltrain tracks, down the bike path that runs behind the shopping centre and the high school, up another street and onto campus by the soccer fields. What will be on CNN today? It's a good bet they won't have anything to say about Greece, which is what interests me, but lots on jailbreaks and gun crimes.