Monday, February 28, 2005

Jenny Diski writes

in the Guardian that snow

apparently has a magnetic power to draw cliche and sentiment. I found it was impossible not to start this article with the phrase 'blanket of snow'. Well, it is, isn't it? Duvet would have done: a better image even, floatier, but blanket is precisely the right word if, like me, you think of duvets as new-fangled 70s' arrivals. Blankets are what we snuggled under as kids, were wrapped in when we were ill. Fur blankets covered the Snow Queen when she collected little Kay in her sleigh, to take him off to her ice palace in Spitzbergen. We listened to Hans Christian Andersen's tale of frozen intellect versus the life-enhancing warmth of the heart, toasty ourselves under our blankets, but, if you were me, pretty disappointed that Gerda melts Kay's icy blood and makes him forget that he was supposed to be trying to make the word eternity out of the jigsaw of a broken, frozen lake. And we know that under the blanket of snow it is warm and sappy.

I love the Snow Queen, and I love Jenny Diski. Her novel Nothing Natural was one of the most mesmerizing books I've ever read, and I like her others a lot too, though they're difficult to get hold of in the US.

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