September has just begun. Nature is changing, the wind gets chilly and the holiday season is over. On the 22nd we will welcome autumn. Every month people are looking forward to see what the next few weeks are going to bring and the feeling of a new beginning appears as you flip the calendar sheet. I’ve decided to take a brief look at what we associate with September and what we can expect of it this year, particularly.
In the film You’ve Got Mail, the main male character Joe Fox narrates that the autumn always makes him want to buy things for school and there would be nothing peculiar about it had it not been for the fact that Joe is a man in his thirties who has no need for anything to do with school. Similarly, in his poem ‘September’ John Updike enumerates erasers, chalk and new books among the things which remind him of this month. The message, therefore, is there – the autumn is a time when the academic year begins and even if you’ve graduated a long time ago, you still associate September with school and reminisce about it a little bit.
As far as literary celebrations are concerned, September is a month awaited by Tolkien fans as the 22nd of September is dubbed Hobbit Day due to the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. The celebration lasts more than one day, however, as the week which contains the joint Baggins birthday is frequently called Tolkien Week. There is one more connection between September and J.R.R. Tolkien as September 2 marks the forty-third anniversary of the author’s death.
If you look at current magazine covers or any news website you will notice that there are two cinema or TV releases which are most anticipated this month. The first is the second season of the popular drama Poldark while the other is Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third film about Bridget’s personal adventures. While both pieces are based on novels – Poldark was written by Winston Graham and published in 1945 whereas Bridget Jones’s Diary was written by Helen Fielding and published in 1996 – the third Bridget Jones film is not based on Fielding’s sequel.
For Dedalus September means two releases. The first is a new edition of Diego Marani’s New Finnish Grammar. Translated by Judith Landry, the novel is the first of Marani’s trilogy and it tells a story of a wounded soldier who, having lost his memory, is aided by a Finnish doctor who helps him recreate his identity. The second book from the trilogy, The Last of the Vostyachs, was published by Dedalus in 2012 while the third, The Interpreter, in January 2016.
The second Dedalus release this month is a Portugese classic written in 1888 by Eça de Queirós entitled The Maias. It was translated by Margaret Jull Costa and is one of the nine novels by Queiróz published by Dedalus. The piece tells a story of an aristocrat Carlos da Maia whose life is carefree and filled solely with pleasures until he meets Maria Eduarda with whom he falls in love. After that his life changes.
To sum up, as September begins and school starts, there are a few things to look forward to, be it the colourful leaves on a pavement or a new book.