Posted in book reviews, books, reviews

Book Review: England, England by Julian Barnes

This was a roller coaster of a novel, and not just because it’s about a theme park *bad dum tish*.

This book was one that I wouldn’t have picked up on my own accord but seeing as we had to read it for my Literature course I had no choice. And for the most part it was quite a pleasant read, albeit one rather odd and disturbing scene.

The novel explores what we view as nationalism/ patriotism and how this affects our outlook. It delves into the idea of authenticity and replications- taking a few Platonic terms here and there with a modernised version of “The Cave” allegory in Plato’s Republic. 

To summarise, the novel is essentially from the perspective of a character called Martha. In the beginning we are introduced to her life and see her growing up. The story focuses on her relationships with her father as well as men in general and we get to see inside the inner workings of her love life and thoughts. This however is just one facet of the story. She goes to work for a man called Jack who plans to buy the Isle of Wight and turn it into an amusement park based off of all the better things about being English. The park then becomes so popular that it quickly steals all of the real England’s tourism custom and leaves it in disrepair. In this way the book introduces ideas about what are real vs. the expectations we place on things. And whether our nationhood is justly founded and where and why it originates.

I liked the books way of picking up on the ironies of patriotism and how it often overlooks key factors. In particular, the fact that it highlighted the ignorance that people can assume without actually understanding all the factors and details of the very thing that they are defending deeply resonated with me. Although this book was written in the context of the Scottish Devolution Referendum in 1997 I also feel that it is relevant today what with Brexit. I liked how it emphasised the need to be educated on a certain issue and how little we are told or care to know when we are force fed propaganda by the media.

Anyway I rate this book 7/10 – It was something that I felt I benefited from reading, but not something I would necessary pick up to read for fun or re-read.

Thanks for reading,

-E xxx

Posted in Diary Entry

Diary Entry~ 4th July

This is a celebratory day for the Americans if I am correct? And yet I feel awful or perhaps mildly off and panicked.

I’ve had a reasonably interesting couple of days including prom on Friday in which I did indeed win the Most Breakdowns award because my school is incredibly sensitive to mental health issues. Still, I’ll  be out soon if things go to plan.

I still need to sort out my accommodation but the thought of it makes me feel quite sick. I went to the GP today, they did two tests on me one for Anxiety and the other for Depression I scored high on both and start cognitive behavioural therapy soon.

What has my life  become?

A series of paranoid steps and events, everything  becoming emphasised and blown out of proportion. Is this normal? Nope.

How am I going to cope in University? And how will my relationship last with Alex? How will he cope with me when he’s struggling now.

I feel sick.

I went shopping today. I bought far too much and that’s just another thing to worry about. It always happens as well.

I’ve also realised that I need to exercise and my chapter for wattpad still isn’t finished. So typical, my life is  just full of incomplete tasks with little to none achievements. Let’s see how long this blog lasts, okay?

I’m sure it will become an unused dusty place on the internet. A collection of memories that I’ll attempt to blank as things escalate.

The calm panic is scary.

Yes, I am aware that was an oxymoron but it’s no less the truth. It’s an undercurrent that follows me around on a day to day basis just waiting to jump out at me when I least expect it.

I’m meant to be going to Alex’s tomorrow- I don’t want to go outside maybe I should just stay in and watch stuff all day.

No that’s a bad idea then I’d be giving into it.

Isn’t it weird how the human body is capable of causing such severe emotions and thoughts, do animals and plants experience depression? Perhaps being “blessed” with a self aware brain was a punishment rather than an advantage.

I can’t even get away from myself. That reminds me of a quote Alex’s mum, Suzie told me the other day. I wonder if I can remember who wrote it…. The extract was from Essays In Love by Alain de Botton in which the writer comments on watching the sun set and the beautiful view he was experiencing, however the only problem with this positive moment was bringing himself with him.

How funny? And yet it’s completely true, these horrid emotions are unavoidable I can’t leave them in the other room and say I’ll come back for you later. There’s no break and no easy way out, it’s going to take a lot of work to get me back to my current state.

Can I do it by August?

Who knows.

Sorry for the erratic thoughts of this post, I’ve fallen into a rut and had to keep myself occupied even if it meant being scarily honest on the internet.

I am worried about this treatment, hopefully it works…

Sincerely,

E

xxx

Posted in poetry

Inner Workings

Inside my brain is a meeting,

Of important executives.

Each one of them feeding,

The monster caged in it.

They regiment my emotions,

Pass the cogs down the

conveyor belt.

Each one of these employees,

Ignoring the monster

Who exaggerates being heartfelt.

 

It burns

It seethes

Takes over me

The monster is finally out!

 

Disrupting the production line

This chaos I’ll admit is mine

Through the guise I wear discreetly

That answers you back so

Sweetly.

 

 

A/N: The lead up to a panic attack. I like to imagine the inner workings of  the mind as something organised and rational but with hidden complexities that we subconsciously hide away. Admittedly my idea of this “regimented” process of the brain in itself could be seen as exaggerated in the sense that the brain is just as fickle as our own emotions.

I don’t know if any of that made any sense,

Sincerely,

E