Sunday, 8 April 2012
now here's a thing
His story is one to be told elsewhere. For now, the book. I haven't read it properly, but have looked through it. It is a cruel story. But even in my childhood in the 1950s children's stories were cruel - Enid Blyton, anyone? In the days of this book they didn't put the date of publication in the book, so you couldn't be sure. But it was published not that long before 1925 it seems. I notice that the author is female, and that the main character is a feisty young girl, whose father often says to her that he would tan her hide, or similar, if she was a boy. But anyway, it was given to a boy as a Sunday school prize. Tigs lived all his life in the family house in Buller Street, Vickerstown, my great-grandparents' home, because he did not marry, and presumably when he died and the house was cleared my grandmother somehow acquired some stuff. And there this book still was, all this time later. And now I am blogging about it.
Readers, I know you wonder, why the swastika on the cover? The short answer is that I have no idea. In the 1920s in England, what did a swastika mean? We know that it is in fact a Hindu symbol from the Aryans of north India, which is why it was appropriated in the way it was in Europe in the 1930s. Incidentally, what we now think of as the Star of David is also a symbol with that heritage. Apparently you can, in some places in India, see a Star of David and a swastika together as a joint emblem. This to me is culturally mysterious. As is the cover of this book. The details inside the book give very few clues.
If you are knowledgeable about these matters, please comment. Googling these things really does not help very much.