peteg's blog

Murray Bail: The Voyage

/noise/books | Link

A review by Andrew Reimer in the Smage woke me up to Murray Bail's latest novel. This one comes hot on the heels of The Pages, barely four years previous, and features a much stronger structure. Frank Delage stands in for all Australian inventors looking to enter foreign markets when he takes his innovative piano to Vienna. Beyond the artifice of his meeting Amalia von Schalla, wife of a wealthy industralist, Bail offers up a string of ruminations on stagnation, relations between men and women, the old world and the new, and not getting what you want but something else, quite distinct and possibly more valuable. I enjoyed how Bail silently moved between the parallel tracks of the story, of Delage's time in Vienna and the voyage on the container ship through the Suez, Malacca Straits and other markers of the now-unfamiliar sea lanes. The shipborne Dutchman minded me of Dijkstra, long on the terminal pronouncement.

Anatomy of a Murder

/noise/movies | Link

James Stewart stars, Otto Preminger directs. This is post-Gene Tierney (Laura) Preminger and rates the highest of his works on the IMDB top-250 list at #200. Eve Arden (Ida from Mildred Pierce) plays a sassy unpaid secretary, loyal in a way barely imaginable now, unless she was sleeping with her boss I guess, though it is implied that James Stewart's character swings the other way. It was great to recognise Ben Gazzara (Happiness, Tales of Ordinary Madness) so young and composed. As far as courtroom dramas go, this one is quick to assert the culpability of the defendant and offers up a series of engaging character studies.