So I told my daughter, ‘Read M.R.James. You will be surprised and delighted with that horror genre! Besides, you can enjoy the BBC versions of every story!’
As a beautiful eyebrow was raised-the owner contemplating on the utility of reading a Cambridge don exposit on the supernatural and the impalpable in exquisite English -I rushed in: ‘ Start with ‘The treasure of Abbot Thomas’! Bet it can enchant you as much as the twistor theory..’.
This time, she laughed indulgently. She knows me well. It is better to humour me , when I am on a pulpit preaching the virtues of reading classics.
‘ What of it?’ She asks, with a smile.
‘ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…’
‘ Ciphers! Zacchariea 3:9 Super latinum unum occuli sunt!’
‘ Eh? Latin?’
‘ Upon one stone are seven eyes…’ And that is from Zachariah! More from Job and Johannes…!’
And a warning. In French! Gare a qui la touché!’
‘ Beware, whoever touches it!’
‘ Yup! There was a Guardian! Depositum Custodi! Keep that which is committed to Thee!’
‘ And you want me to read it before going to bed, Amma?’
I laugh in a theatrical manner!
‘Do tell me if you enjoy the imagination of a brilliant Cambridge don! He was a genius. Your generation probably has not appreciated him enough. He used to read out his horror stories by candle light in the Cambridge Chit Chat Club!’
‘ What an ideal life!’
This time we laugh together.
My teenager promises that she will meander from her safe Physics turf into some intriguing classic horror genre.
I grin happily. I know that once she starts with the wicked Abbot’s tale, ‘The Ash Tree’ and ‘ Casting the Runes’ will be consumed soon enough. After all, no one can stop with eating just one chocolate, can they?
And as for me, The Tractate Middoth awaits! And the warm afternoon sun is so delightful in accompaniment!