Tuesday, 18 May 2010

seven days in new crete

I love the Robert Graves I've read, which means I, Claudius, Claudius the God and, and this is my favourite which I don't think is me being clever because it's the not-famous one, Count Belisarius.

The opening line of I, Claudius (read it out loud):
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot,” or “That Claudius,” or “Claudius the Stammerer,” or “Clau-Clau-Claudius” or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius,” am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the “golden predicament” from which I have never since become disentangled.
I've just been given, incredibly kindly, a beautiful copy of Graves's science fiction book Seven Days in New Crete, which I've always wanted to read and never got round to. It opens:
'I am an authority on English,' the man in the white suit said in a curiously colourless accent and with a good deal of hesitation, like an authority on Sanscrit trying to talk conversational Sanscrit.
Not as good as the Claudius, but still sterling work. I can't wait to read it.

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