‘Keep the Aspidistra flying’ is the novel equivalent of a Valium & Caffeine cocktail. Whilst the story and characters calm, the prose’s concept makes me feel agitated. Gordon Comstock is a personal hero of mine and I often feel like ‘declaring war’ on what he terms as an ‘overarching dependence’ on most things within my working life and the banalities of mundane things like ‘shopping’ and ‘social convention’ (i.e. not spending my lunch money on a new set of pencils rather than an ersatz sandwich)
When the ‘Art-man’ and I got into the motor this morning we noticed that we’d left our Aspidistra in the back of the car, its leaves clearly visible in the back window of the car. We decided to leave it there and like a toddler it enjoyed the journey immensely, shaking its leaves with every pothole. But I couldn’t help thinking when I locked the car and walked into work, what an ‘Orwellian’ symbol it was, sitting there in the back of our car until we’re released from the routine of work.
I think I may have my lunch with it later, that ersatz sandwich and the G2 crossword-for even symbols of Bohemian liberty may get lonely.