|Once upon a time there were two young couples who among other things used to go camping together.Now time has passed and one of the older ladies wanted to write to one of the older men to send him a few visual memories, to wish him well with his visit to hospital and hopefully put a smile on his face. This is what she wrote.
! was sorry to hear that you are having a spell in hospital and hope that you make rapid progress and get home soon.
I was wondering if you remember anything about Set Theory, in particular the Intersection of Sets.
A ∩ B = ( x : x Є A ʌ x Є B )
So if we say that
A represents the list of possible ailments for a man, and
B represents the list of possible ailments for a woman
1. I am quite happy to empathize with you if your present trouble lies in the Intersection Set A ∩ B as it would be quite possible for me to have the same problem as you
2. I reserve the right to smirk whenever your ailment is such that A ∩ B = ф , i.e. your ailment doesn’t fall in the intersection set and there is no way in the world that I could possibly get that problem.
3. But I give you permission to smirk, gloat, snigger, grin, jeer, leer and generally poke fun at my distress in the nicest possible way if any ailment that I should suffer from also doesn’t lie in the intersection set and that there is no way that you could acquire that problem.
So….. whether your ailments lie in A ∩ B or if A ∩ B = ф
GET WELL SOON.
For those of you who don’t read The Matilda Project , a fascinating stroll through the bookshops of London, today she included Daniel Pennac’s “Rights of the Reader” which are -
1. The right not to read
2. The right to skip pages
3. The right not to finish a book
4. The right to re-read
5. The right to read whatever you want
6. The right to ‘Bovarysme’ (the error of identifying too much with the book)
7. The right to read wherever you want
8. The right to dip in and out
9. The right to read out loud
10. The right to silence!
That makes me feel so good. My reading is MY reading and doesn’t have to be approved by anyone else.
There was another piece of advice on reading which I heard a few years ago. It had to do with how far you should perservere with a book before discarding it. The rule was to take your age in years away from 100. This gives you the number of pages you need to read before deciding this book is not for you. So the older you get the less time you have to waste on uninteresting books while when younger it encourages you to continue reading in the hope of broadening your reading experiences.
I’m not going to have that trouble with the book that I’m reading at the moment, Normally our library lets us have books for four weeks but with new books the time is restricted to two weeks. So I only have two weeks to read the 700 pages of 1914, The Year the World Ended, by Paul Ham. There is no way I will finish it in time but it is very interesting reading, going back many years to talk about the many threads which led to this war.
Today Raf came out with the statement that he had become tired of trying to read The Luminaries in bed because of its size. So he got up the next morning, took the bread knife and cut it in half to make two manageable books. Later he was to stick them back together with gaffer tape.
Unfortunately for me I was reading, or trying to read, a library copy, so couldn’t follow his example. I was allowed the book for two weeks and could only read it by sitting at a table holding the book open with two hands, which doesn’t put you in a receptive frame of mind for reading. To me the book would have been more enjoyable if half the words had also been removed. Somewhere in there is quite an interesting story lost in the a world of cumbersome writing as well as the unwieldy physical size.
I was only hald way through the book when library return day arrived and I had no intention of mentioning it untl this delightrful segment from Raf today. I don’t know whether or not he enjoyed the book but he got people talking about the fattest books they’ve ever read and that was fun.
At the moment the fattest books on my bookshelf are the Complete Works of Shakespeare and the Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw, but I don’t think I would want to read those in bed.
Seriously though, being comfortable is all part of the reading experience, the pleasure of immersing yourself in a good story. And part of the pleasure is the sheer feel, smell and appearance of the book, But there’s always time for having a bit of fun with a book too, like cutting it down to size !
In a nutshell , not bad ! It didn’t grab me to begin with, but after a while I found myself quite absorbed by the story, slowly being carried along by the events in a small English village
It is set at a time when the enclosure of land was becoming prevalent, possibly late C16th Unfenced fields for crops provided good work for the villagers , But replacing crops with the more lucrative sheep required both fencing the fields and reducing the number of workers.
The story takes place within one week and is narrated by a villager, a widower who is not quite a villager as he came to the community after he became an adult. Through his marriage to a local girl he is accepted in good times but in times of trouble he doesn’t necessarily have the full trust he deserves.
When strangers arrive in the village, a party on horseback to the manor house and some wanderers who camp on the outskirts of the village, the disintegration of the village is set on its way. In a matter of a few days a stable, balanced community falls apart.
It reminded me of Geraldine Brooks’ “Year of Wonders” but in that case a village turned in on itself and cut itself off from the world. In this story the villagers deserted their homes to spread out into the world. Two different village reactions and two quite different styles of writing, but both enjoyable
One thing I did appreciate with this book was the author’s empathy with the countryside of the village. I don’t think even the best of researchers could give you that feeling of being at one with the living land. These days there is such separation between our food, clothing, shelter, water, warmth. and their origins.
The basic small town story still has it’s equivalent today with the closure of businesses, particularly in small towns. Lords of the Manor have been replaced with politicians and big business. Replace the fields with offshore processing, disregarding the human cost.
But to return to Jim Crace, on page 232 when walking in the rain as dusk takes hold and the sky blackens he writes —–
This downpour has not got the force to last, but for the moment it takes hold. The clouds carry too much weight before they reached this place. I can almost hear them sigh with relief as they let go their load.
In future I’ll be listening for the sighs.
“He came on a November day, a cold wind blowing, the fields soaked with rain.”
With this first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page, then the second page , I knew I was starting a book I would enjoy
Apart from Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel I haven’t found much to interest me in period stories set in Italy, such as Medici stories. But this rather tragic tale is unforgettable.
I hadn’t heard of it until one night recently it was discussed on the Book Show on Australian ABC TV and now having read the book I went back and watched their comments again more carefully. To them it seemed the love story was secondary to the Gothic, the darkness, the evil, the religion and politics. But I’m a people person and the meeting and the gradual involvement of the sculptor and the beautiful young girl was what it was all about. . It is set in the less affluent parts of Florence and the countryside with the brief ventures of the sculptor into princely circles.
Because it was set in late C17th Italy how a relationship developed depended on the laws and the morals of the time., and this historical background floats along underneath the characters of the story. There are also some fine descriptions of how sculpture in wax was done in those times and some unforgettable minor characters along the way.
Then there are the secrets. We all have our little secrets which we don’t reveal to casual acquaintances. And it is these secrets held by different characters in the book which lead the story to its conclusion.
It wasn’t until I had finished the book that I found out that Zumbo was a real person who spent his life fleeing foom his home in Sicily. He really did make the wax sculptures depicting the plague. This has made the book even more fascinating in retrospect.
The boy-girl story and the secrets were but the dominant factors of the book to me. I enjoyed the background, it was a necessary part of the story, but it wasn’t the story itself.
But, I found a different interpretation of the book in the Australian ABC TV’s Book Club. For the discussion the three regulars were joined by authors Junot Diaz and Sarah Dunant. I don’t think I’ve read anything by either of them but after listening to them talk I certainly intend to remedy that.
The background seemed to be everything to them -evil, hell-hole, darkness, gothic, pious, sordid were some of the words they used. True, but what did they expect in C17th Florence and was it very different to what is happening in different parts of our world and which we read in our papers and hear on the TV news each night.
I don’t think the panel made any mention of the title, Secrecy, which is such an important part of the story. As secrets are revealed so are actions determined. Knowledge determines how we react to a situation.
Soo…we all liked the book, but with different interpretations and for different reasons. My appreciation of the book was enriched by listening to these two discussions, the first from the ABC Book Club and the second from an interview with the author Rupert Thomson.
This was reblogged as it moves on to children's books from the 1930s.This week's Sepia Saturday's beginning point has a sick child in bed with his toys, attended by a doctor. Fortunately in life that doesn't happen too often . To me children and bed means bedtime reading. But reading is also a daytine activity.. The lass above, now grown up and at University, obviously got pleasure from the sounds whch are telling the story., whereas her mother, thirty years earlier preferred to concentrate on the pictures.