Jo Falla Live Literature Session Summary

15th September 2016

Eighteen Borders writers met over early refreshments, all eager to welcome Jonathan Falla, the first Live Literature speaker of 2016. Jo, an accomplished author himself who also teaches for the Open University, wasted no time in setting out the timetable for the evening. Enthusiastic members were handed short passages from Madame Bovary and Hounds of the Baskervilles. Both were rich in examples of how the senses are used in different settings to drive a story. Members had the opportunity of reading aloud and placing their own emphasis on the key phrases they identified as adding the most atmosphere and direction in both pieces. Discussion ensued as to a real or imaginary sexual innuendo revealed on Dr Bovary’s chanced meeting with Emma.

A short refreshment break was followed with a piece from Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd where a middle-aged Farmer Boldwood reacts to young Bathsheba’s playful valentine card. The farmer’s senses were turned upside down by such unexpected attentions from the young beauty.

Jo finished the evening with readings from his novels based on experiences abroad. Q and A followed and concluded with one-to-one chats over yet another cup of tea. A follow up exercise will ensure members can put this new knowledge to best advantage.

Tony Parkinson