Thursday, October 4, 2012


So...Fifty Shades of Grey!!! I was packing food into carrier bags at a supermarket in the UK, as a rather flustered, but cheerful cashier said to me in a giggly schoolgirl voice, 'I bet you were hoping to get your hands on that book, but it was swept off the shelves again after only 30 minutes!' She did mention the name of it, but I didn't catch it....Fifty Shades of Grey. But as the weeks passed, it seemed that every woman I met was talking about this book and men were self-consciously, but good-humouredly, cracking jokes about it. Anyway, I finally succumbed during a ferry crossing to the UK. I sat at a table looking out across the Irish Sea and noticed that two other women were reading the same book at the next table.

Yes, I gave into peer pressure, I'm afraid. In fairness, it is difficult not to feel curious about something that seems to have captured so many imaginations. I began to read, and trawled through the first fifty pages or so; as far as the first steaming sexual encounter, but I have to admit that I haven't re-visited it since. Actually, dare I say, I was bored. However, a friend, who stayed over last weekend, told me that she has read each book from the trilogy SEVEN times; that they're not just about SEX; they actually have a real story to tell. Her husband maintained, with a wide toothy grin, that 50 Shades has given her a new lease of life.

I guess I should go back and try again, but quite frankly I would much rather take Richard Strauss' (1864-1949) Beim Schlafengehen (trans. Going to Bed), to bed with me! Sheer ecstasy !!!

Please check out the recording below: Gundula Janowitz, perhaps the greatest singer of Strauss' Vier Letze Lieder. 

No comments: