Thursday, July 29, 2010

more cold comfort, and the '30s in color

Oh, Internet. I missed you. You too, air conditioning. We just got the electricity back on, after having it out since Sunday's big thunderstorm, so I'm catching up on everything I've missed.

I spend a lot of my electricity-free time reading, and one of the books I finished was Stella Gibbons' novel, Cold Comfort Farm. I'd talked about the movie, which is charming, but the book was really interesting too. The plot wasn't really changed at all for the movie, which I appreciate, but there is one big difference: Cold Comfort Farm, the novel, is science fiction.

No, seriously! There's a note at the beginning that says it takes place "in the near future," and it's full of random little details that Stella Gibbons thought would be part of life in the late 40s/early 50s, though the book was published in 1932. For instance, Flora makes calls on a videophone, people are constantly catching airplanes from place to place and owning private planes, and at one point a character thinks about how the train system isn't as good anymore, now that so many people drive or fly. And yet most of the details of daily life are what you'd expect of a novel from the 30's-- the farm doesn't have an indoor bathroom, for instance. It's very odd, and sort of charming.

Unrelatedly, I've been browsing this amazing collection of FSA color photos, taken in rural parts of America during the Depression. They're totally gorgeous, and speak for themselves: check it out! I picked out a couple of my favorites; possibly this is the wrong reaction to have, but holy crap I love those floral prints. The full set has a lot more in the way of farming and industrial images, I should note.

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