Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 07 November 2008


Very interesting answers -- really enjoyable and thought-provoking. And not just because of the plug, for which many thanks.

Such thoughtful and impassioned responses. I am glad that you would squeeze Feynman in around your dinner table (I suspect Gell-Mann mught be even more interesting and one of his pastimes is bird watching), and it is entirely due to your recommendation that I read Dr Faustus. Im sorry I found it less rewarding than you obviously do. I sign up wholeheartedly to your advice about life, but will disagree on Mahler who I find rather tedious.

Dark Puss

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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