Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 06 July 2009

Comments

I read this book when I was a teenager too, and I only remembered that I was very impressed by it. Like you, I didn't remember how much he focused on small things of daily life. However, it makes sense to keep one's attention on the present when they have no possibility of deciding for themselves, no freedom of any kind, and little perspectives for the future. I guess it is the condition for survival. Then it also makes sense to try and protect the body first and keep alive; this is the only goal they have.
Now, I am wondering if people still read this book now that the Berlin Wall and its political consequences are over (just 20 years ago).
Of course, there are the books you mention, but we shall not forget that there still are people on this earth who live in, or under the threat of, similar camps.
Anyway, enjoy your visit in Saint-Petersburg, it should be grand!

To Dark Puss
I just want to say hello to you, Dark Puss, I am glad to talk to you now and then. If you are on the continent, you may have suffered from the hellish heat lately. Happy holidays to you too!

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Quotidian

  • 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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