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Fri, Jul. 4th, 2008, 10:45 am
Finished Anthony Powell

Today I finished reading Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. I think it took me about three years, but I was not in any sort of hurry, mostly reading the novels at work during lunch.

Looking back I don't really know what to say having now finished. Of course, I would recommend that one should read them, but I would not make that recommendation to everyone. I don't think one would like them unless one was of an especially literary bent.

If you do start reading the series, give it some time, don't give up after the first novel. The further in you get, the more you can see how elaborate the tapestry was woven.

After I ponder this a bit, there might might be more to say.

I probably will start over again, and read them all through.

Next stop Proust?

Tue, Apr. 25th, 2006, 05:44 pm
Code Monkey - Jonathan Coulton

code monkey: n

1. A person only capable of grinding out code, but unable to perform the higher-primate tasks of software architecture, analysis, and design. Mildly insulting. Often applied to the most junior people on a programming team.

2. Anyone who writes code for a living; a programmer.

3. A self-deprecating way of denying responsibility for a management decision, or of complaining about having to live with such decisions. As in “Don't ask me why we need to write a compiler in COBOL, I'm just a code monkey.”

From The Jargon File http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/C/code-monkey.html

Good material for a catchy pop tune? Perhaps. Jonathan Coulton seemed to think so. Here is the mp3

http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2006/04/14/thing-a-week-29-code-monkey/

and a pair of mirrors if it is busy (it was Slashdotted yesterday)

http://thomastuttle.mooo.com:8080/~tom/Code%20Monkey.mp3

http://data.coolnicks.co.uk/Code%20Monkey.mp3

Wed, Mar. 22nd, 2006, 06:15 pm

In moments of spleen, I used to think that after America fell apart it would be remembered much as Rome is remembered - cruel, hardworking, patient at the begining, shortsighted at the end, but leaving an undeniably great, and undeniably flawed, legacy.

Looking about now, I wonder if the American experiment was not the equivalent of Imperial Russia, which is a much dodgier cultural proposition sub specie eternitatis.

Sat, Feb. 4th, 2006, 04:36 pm
The insurmountable gulf

"I was impressed for the ten thousandth time by the fact that literature illuminates life only for those to whom books are a necessity."
 The Valley of Bones - Anthony Powell

Wed, Feb. 1st, 2006, 01:53 pm
Quote for the day

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner. -- Tallulah Bankhead

Mon, Jan. 30th, 2006, 08:04 pm
Recommend a Roman Fleuve

I am almost finished with the sixth novel in Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. At some point I will run out of Powell. Can anyone recommend another roman fleuve?

I have read the 2 volumes of Alms for Oblivion that I could find here - Fielding Gray and Sound the Retreat. I enjoyed them, especially Fielding Gray, but Simon Raven is rare here. He is not even carried by Amazon, although I am considering a spree and sending for them internationally.

I have tried to start Proust 2 or 3 times, but those times were not propitious. I will, of course, try again.

Any other recommendations?

Fri, Jan. 27th, 2006, 07:47 am
Campiest Paragraph Award, Newspaper, Major Circulation

"In those circumstances, gay politicians managed as best they could. Some, like Tom Driberg, lived lives of extraordinary boldness - Driberg is reputed, walking over Hungerford foot bridge in a dense London fog, to have dropped to his knees before a surprised but ultimately rather grateful policeman. Others, such as Margaret Thatcher's PPS, Peter Morrison, were quietly desperate, largely derided in crude terms; it was of him that Jeremy Hanley remarked that at last Margaret had got herself an aide who knew how to carry a handbag."

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/libdems/comment/0,,1696036,00.html

Tue, Jan. 24th, 2006, 07:47 pm
Last words

"Nonsense, they couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

Major General John Sedgewick
September 13, 1813 – May 9, 1864




Sat, Jan. 21st, 2006, 07:39 am
Prize Prose Piece of the Day - The Bonfiglioli Award for Cultured Nastiness

"'...a bunch of inbred hermaphrodite proles with the collective appeal of an unflushed toilet at a curry house,' the PFY quotes."

BOFH: 'Did you know..?' - Simon Travaglia

Fri, Jan. 20th, 2006, 07:05 pm
Prize Prose Piece of the Day - Category: Bitchiness

"Ada was trying as usual to ram that odious Koriatoffski woman down my throat, knowing perfectly well I detest her, and in an unguarded moment she said: 'She's leaving her present house and going to Lower Seymour Street.' 'I dare say she will, if she stays there long enough,' I said. Ada didn't see it for about three minutes, and then she was positively uncivil."

"Louise" - Saki

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