I know most of the library acquisitions in the bunker have been to get us prepared for the coming conflagration, but as we suffer through the death throes of society, I can’t help but think of the need for some humour. Things will be grim. We need laughs.
Of course we need the collected Austen because:
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?
And in close quarters for long periods of time, we will need all the elegant snark we can get:
I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.
Barbara Pym is a must, too, though her sadly disappointed characters might also be a tad depressing at times. Dorothy Parker without question: mordant wit may be among our few escapes from the gloom. Gaskell‘s Cranford stories for quieter times, when you want to know the ladies have got your back. And Georgette Heyer for when you’ve just finished re-reading all the Austen and can’t bear another dull conversation about cleaning out the air vents.
Bunker Am Dram cannot survive without a production or two of Aphra Behn’s The Rover.
And I must say a special word for my much adored inspiration, the lovely Winifred Watson. If you’ve not read the novel behind the delightful Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day you are in for a treat.
Who are your favourite fun writers? I admit most of mine are, alas, beyond the veil. Got some more modern recommendations?
Mæg ic be me sylfum I can make a true song
soðgied wrecan, about me myself,
siþas secgan, tell my travels,
hu ic geswincdagum how I often endured
earfoðhwile days of struggle,
oft þrowade, troublesome times,
bitre breostceare [how I] have suffered
gebiden hæbbe grim sorrow at heart
How do we survive the days of struggle? How can we cope with enemies who besiege us from every side? The relentless assault is their primary weapon.
It wears us down.
It helps to remember important things: They’re on the wrong side of history. The majority of people are against them. Those who profit from fear have rigged the rules to win the game — they couldn’t win on merit alone. So they gerrymander districts, campaign on lies and when all else fails, control the media.
Make no mistake: they want you to give up.
What kills is letting it rule you. Fight, be determined but be joyful whenever you can. Concentrate on what you can affect. Look at the grand sweep of history: this is the last gasp of the troglodytes. Yes, they might kill us. I remember the Reagan years and all the beautiful people who died. But they will NOT have my joy even if they kill me. I will laugh in their faces when they do.