‘the little woman‘ by throwing a dinner party with her as hostess. Despite an obvious climax. the ; tension level remains high. with Bainbridge‘s acute observations on the social hypocrisy of society ensuring that the laughs keep coming right to the end.
EVENTS l GLASGOW ?
I Short Story Night llillhead Library. 3 348 Byres Road. info 334 8058. Fri 8. 7 7pm. £1.50 (£1 ). An Open Circle showcase for local fiction writers. featuring Neil Cameron. Mary MCCann. Alistair Paterson and Jack Withers.
IANight For PalestineQuccns j College. off Woodlands Road. info 774 2334. Sat 9. 8pm. £4 (£2). Palestinian writer. poet and critic Kamal Kaddourah and Syrian poet Lina Pibi will read from their recent work. joined by Scottish writers. ‘ including Alisdair (iray. Tom j Leonard. Margaret Fulton Cook and Susan Wighton. Food. musicand late 9 bar.
I Stephen Donaldson Waterstone‘s, 132 Union Street. 221 0890. Thurs 14, 6pm. The master ofscience fiction/fantasy will be signing copies ofthe latest instalments in his The Gap Into Vision series. The Real Story (Fontana. £3.50) and The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge (Collins. £14.99).
I lan Hamilton DC John Smith and Son. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. Sat 16. 1pm. A signing session with the author of The Taking ofthe Stone of Destiny (Lochar. £10.99). a first-hand account of how the Scottish national symbol was audaciously reclaimed from the Auld Enemy in 1950.
I Terry Brooks Waterstone‘s. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. Fri 8, 6.30pm. The best-selling US fantasy author will be signing copies of his latest novel Druid ofShannara (Orbit. £14.99).
lan Hamilton QC Waterstone‘s. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. Sat 9, noon-2pm. A siging session with the author of The Taking ofthe Stone of Destiny (Lochar. £10.99). a
A tasty piece
‘I don’t believe there‘s any such thing as good taste — the idea of good taste was invented by an insecure middle class to protect their own lragile system 01 values when it was threatened by the Industrial Revolution.’ So says design guru Stephen Bayley, and he should know, since taste-good, bad, indilierentor lacking entirely— is the subject oi his new book. Subtitled ‘The Secret Meaning ol Things“, it’s a detailed,
' wide-ranging examination at how
personal and public tastes interact with economic, social, cultural and historical lactors.
Most oI the book deals with the never-ending process ol change and evolution in matters oi taste, although Bayley was also looking lor examples oi permanence amidst all the relativity. ‘lt’s a truism that tastes change over time -the history at taste makes a complete nonsense oi critical judgements. For generations Shakespeare was regarded as an untalented builoon, while we see him
as an eternal universal genius. But il you accept that entirely, it leads to a rather alarming interpretation oi human aliairs — it suggests that there’s nothing Iundamental, no permanent value, whereas I think there is. I do believe that there are certains lorms and shapes, certain types ol gesture which are inherently superior to others; there are certain proportions, for instance, which correspond somehow with the architecture at the human 1 brain, they lit in with the way our Iield '
oi vision operates, which is why we Iind ; them satisfying. It's a ludicrously large subject, though—any area at human
’*d ;, ’é‘ , \.
it .1 1"
aiiairs where choices are made involves questions oitaste.’
The particular areas he locuses on,
after a long, wide-ranging
introduction, are loud, architecture, l interior design and Iashion because,
he says, ‘they’re the most obvious areas where questions at taste exist, as well as being things everyone has some experience oi.’ Bayley raises questions rather than seeking deiinitions, and the book, a mixture oi anecdote, historical/cultural analysis and the odd bit at polemic, is a
' fascinating meanderthrough the vagaries and ramilications at human
choice. It’s also very accessible, a point Bayley is anxious to emphasise. ‘I wanted it to be a iairly humane book,’
; he says. ‘Some people in the press
have been casting me as a kind oi
sneering snob, as though I’m setting , T myseli up as some kind at arbiter on the
1 subject, but the book's just meant to be
a pointer, to give people some hints about how to interpret things Ior themselves.’ (Sue Wilson)
Taste by Stephen Bayley is published l by Faber and Faber at £15.99. I
first-hand account of how the Scottish national symbol was audaciously reclaimed from the Auld Enemy in 1950.
I Stephen Donaldson James Thin. 53-59 South Bridge, 556 6743. Thurs 14, 12.30pm and Waterstone‘s, 13/14 Princes Street, 556 3034. Thurs 14, 2pm. The master of science fiction/fantasy will be signing copies ofthe latest instalments in his The Gap Into Vision series. The Real Story (Fontana. £3.50) and Forbidden Knowledge (Collins, £14.99). Thins are also running a competition with a chance to win £5 worth of Donaldson‘s books.
I Ramsay Campbell, Peter James and Kim Newman Waterstone‘s. 13/14 Princes Street, 556 3034. Wed 20. 7pm. Billed as ‘An Evening of Horror‘. this will feature the three leading exponents of the genre attempting to frighten you with talk of their latest books.
I Modem Egyptian and South American Novels National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. info 229 9808/226 6051. Fri 15, 10.30am-4pm. organisations £20. individuals £15 (£7), includes lunch. A Scottish Arts Council-sponsored seminar. kicking offa series ofevents to promote multicultural arts. Dr Michael MacDonald and Dr Philip Swanson from Edinburgh University will talk about post-war developments in Egyptian and Latin American fiction
I John Mitchell and Jack McLean Waterstone’s. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. Thurs 14. 7pm. An evening ofScottish humour with the authors of Absolutely (‘halked Off! The Further School Diaries of Morris Simpson MA (Headway. £4.99). and More Bedside Urban Voltaire (Lochar. £9.99).
I Dorothy Dunnett Waterstone‘s. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. Thurs 21. 6.30—7.30pm. The popular romance/mystery writer will be signing copies of her latest novel Scales of ( 1' old (Michael Joseph. £14.99).
STEPHE. ’ DONALDSON will sign copies of Real Story
Thursday, 14th November, 12.30pm.
at James 'Ihin, South Bridge.
To reserve a signed copy phone
031 556 6743
WA'I‘ERSTON E’S BUOKSELLERS
WATERSTONE'S BOOKSELLERS ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
TO OUR STORE
I so. . HE WILL BE SIGNING COPIES OF THE TWO FIRST GAP BOOKS THE REAL STORY AND
FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE (HARPER COLLINS) ON NOVEMBER 14th AT 6.00pm TO HESEF? VE A COPY PHONE 041 221 0890 WATERSTONE'S 132 UNION STREET GLASGOW GI
The List 8—2] November I991 79