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Too Worn Out for Ambiguity Wednesday

What I've Finished Reading

Certain stages of experience might be compared with the game of Russian billiards, played (as I used to play with Jean, when the time came) on those small green tables, within the secret recesses of which , at the termination of a given passage of time -- a quarter of an hour, I think -- the hidden gate goes down; after the descent of which, the coloured balls return no longer to the slot to be replayed, and all scoring is doubled. This is perhaps an image of how we live. For reasons not always at the time explicable, there are specific occasions when events begin suddenly to take on a significance previously unsuspected; so that, before we really know where we are, life seems to have begun in earnest at last, and we ourselves, scarcely aware that any change has taken place, are careening uncontrollably down the slippery avenues of eternity.

- A. Powell, A Buyer's Market, p. 274

When, in describing Widmerpool's new employment, Templer had spoken of 'the Acceptance World', I had been struck by the phrase. Even as a technical definition, it seemed to suggest what we are all doing; not only in business, but in love, art, religion, philosophy, politics, in fact all human activities. [. . .] Besides, in another sense, the whole world is the Acceptance World as one approaches thirty; at least some illusions discarded. The mere fact of still existing as a human being proved that.

- A. Powell, The Acceptance World, p. 170

I'm still way behind on everything, but I did finish that Anthony Powell three-novel volume, which was breezy and fun, no demands made on any faculty -- perfect for the past couple of weeks, when I've been physically exhausted. Powell's carefully overexplained metaphors are the joy of my world right now. Thank you for your total lack of faith in my ability to make connections between things, Anthony Powell! <3

What I'm Reading Now

It's C. P. Snow time again! The Masters is equally easy but not quite as breezy as Powell. Our narrator Eliot's in academia now (again, since we've been jumping around in time) and Vernon Royce, the Master of the college, has just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and given six months to live. Royce's wife and daughter know, and everyone in the faculty seems to know, too, but Royce's wife has decided to keep the news from him and bully everyone else into doing the same. They are pretending it's just an ulcer and will heal with a little rest. I have to agree with Royce's daughter that this is neither fair nor kind. It's terrible to be lied to, and anyway, if he is going to be dying of cancer, he will probably start to notice eventually. I hope someone tells him. This is the most anxiety I've ever felt about a C. P. Snow plot, muted as it still is by Snow's oddly colorless prose style. We'll see!

I started A. S. Byatt's The Children's Book, but haven't been quite in the mood - maybe now that I have less lifting to do, it will snap into place.

What I Plan to Read Next

The Caine Mutiny and The Dark Lantern for the 99, and eventually I'm supposed to get Men at Arms from inter-library loan.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2016 07:26 am (UTC)
Jul. 28th, 2016 03:37 pm (UTC)
Over explaining metaphors is one way to reach the publisher's word count;p

Hurry up with the loan, library!
Jul. 29th, 2016 04:59 pm (UTC)
I think he just really wants to make sure we understand what he's doing with his clever imagery! It would be too bad if he went to all the trouble of concocting a metaphor only for half his readership to miss out on its metaphorical goodness.

Men at Arms is ready for me to pick up today! I'm looking forward to (what I hope will be) more adventures in efficacy with the Night Watch! <3
Jul. 30th, 2016 02:06 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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