Monday 1 May 2023

Literary Taste and how to form it, Arnold Bennett at Blarney Car Boot Sale

After walking up and down a few rows at the car boot sale at Blarney GAA grounds, this May Day morning, already in a stupor of looking, I decided on a plan. I would find a book and go home and read it, preferably up at the pond. 

I could have bought Beach Reading, Sport, True Crime or Sebastian Barry. A Farmers Journal from 1965.  Literary Taste And How To Form It, With Detailed Instructions For Collecting A Complete Library Of English Literature, by Arnold Bennett. This was the only real possibility by halftime.

It's exhausting isn't it, I said to our neighbour in the clubhouse, tea and a fairy cake, a ham sandwich, strip lighting, photos of the teams. You'd need it, we agreed. There's more than buying and selling going on here. There's wholesale extrusion of lives, coins, ashtrays, 40-pack toilet paper, set of ware two euros, a lawnmower to try out, record player to play. A rusty saw, Pointless. Must be art. A boy with a blue trumpet blasting his way down the rows. Plates of chips slathered in ketchup and mayonnaise, A plastic dog rotating, a joyless buzz of pink on damp grass. Oil painting with a hole in it, of two apples. Now at our kitchen table.

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