Cleverness is totally contagious, so we should expose ourselves to it as much as possible. You know, it’s like how – after an hour in Liverpool, Glasgow or Cork – you* start speaking in the local accent. Or how anorexia spreads through classes at school like a temporary plague, or a craze for yo-yos or earmuffs.
So, if I spend a lone weekend re-reading a few classics and thinking deeply about them, I revert to my English A-Level self and start having ‘brilliant’ ideas about, like, semiotics and stuff. Not to mention using words that I had forgotten I knew.
If I stay in for an evening and watch 30 Rock DVDs until my eyes bleed and I hear the plinky-plonk retro theme music in my sleep, I become a bit funnier and bitchier, in the style of Liz Lemon.
I am currently reading Moranthology by, um duh, Caitlin Moran. My love for her columns and her book How to Be a Woman is long-standing and well-documented. HTBAW lives next to my lavatory, so that I can flip it open and read a sensible idea every day. It sits alongside Prudence and a lot of dusty copies of Vogue, so I think you’ll agree it’s in pretty hallowed company.
So, as the title indicates, Moranthology is a collection of her columns and interviews. I’ve read nearly all of them before, but there seems to be something powerful about having them all in one volume, at my fingertips, a concentrated burst of funny/clever/cool whenever I want/need it. I swear, an hour of it on the train every morning this week has made me approximately 26% wittier for the rest of the day.
I mean, it’s not going to help me, like, work at CERN (or write anything as fiendishly clever as Gillian Flynn), but it’s a start. In fact, I would go so far to say that I really recommend you go home tonight and: read a bit of Tolstoy or a Brontë, then watch Mean Girls and read a few Caitlin Moran columns. You’re welcome!
* If you’re a bit of a dickhead, like me.