Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Closing tabs

Demanding week, but highly worthwhile, including a very good dissertation defense this morning (I always think it is a pity that these conversations happen in private, they are so interesting and stimulating [at their best] - this is the dissertation that drew to my attention some time ago to this particularly lovely bit of Adorno on four-handed piano music).

My laptop is fully functional once again, except that something the fixer did stopped the right-click function from working (will investigate this tomorrow when I am less tired); I think I still have two letters of recommendation that should be submitted before the clock turns from the 16th to the 17th, only I am not sure I have it in me, I might just have to hope for the best and submit them tomorrow in the hope that date-based electronic banning of some sort does not cause me to have to fall back some old-school stopgap!

(Fax - but really, it is very unlikely that all letter-writers made this deadline, I imagine the system will still take my letter tomorrow?)

Just got back from a delightful event for my friend and colleague Eleanor Johnson's learned and accessible book about Boethius and the mixing of prose and verse in the Middle Ages.

Light reading around the edges: Pelecanos's new novel The Double, which I liked very much; and Alan Glynn's Graveland, which I found something of a disappointment. He's such a good writer, but he's let all his books sort of converge on one single long conspiracy theory; of course it must be said that there is something quite prescient about the thriller plot of this book, which anticipates a Tsarnaev-style local terror plot and mashes that storyline together with a more Aaron Swartzian sort of paranoia about the way government and big corporate interests can bring down individual journalists and seekers after truth, but really the whole thing doesn't work as a true self-sufficient novel (it was the last straw for me when he brought in a performance-enhancing drug a-la-Limitless - on which note, this is up soon in the reading queue thanks to a good advance bit from B.).

Near the end of Aifric Campbell's On the Floor. The trading-floor bits seem to me superb, but the other plot is a bit weak - I wish she'd just written it as a more extremely descriptive fiction/non-fiction amalgam, more along the lines of this.

Finally, this delightful picture of my nephew, like other photos of both of the very young people who are quite closely related to me, causes me to reflect on the pronounced nature of family resemblance!

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