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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Red Moon
Kim Stanley Robinson
Progress: 26/446 pages
Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collected Works
Thomas Middleton, Gary Taylor
Progress: 28/1183 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 6/160 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 76/534 pages
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Progress: 385/615 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 16/160 pages
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
The Art Book
Editors of Phaidon Press
Progress: 60/515 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 78/259 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 317 out of 2016 pages.

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works -  MacDonald P. Jackson (Editor),  John Jowett (Editor),  John Lavagnino,  V. Wayne, Gary Taylor, Thomas Middleton

The Patient Man...Sc.12: Viola has Candido dragged off to Bedlam; he is unmoved towards anger.

Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 1183 pages.

Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collected Works - Thomas Middleton, Gary Taylor

The Patient Man... authorship: It seems that Dekker and Middleton collaborated closely on the plot and structure of the play. Whilst the bulk is by Dekker, a few scenes are thought to be Middleton's, some of it subsequently revised by Dekker.

Reading progress update: I've read 26 out of 446 pages.

Red Moon - Kim Stanley Robinson

So far, feng shui and physics. Oh, and murder - but more feng shui and physics than murder.

Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 410 pages.

Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales - Herman Melville, Robert Milder

The Lightning-rod Man: Religous allegory? Attack on the new science of electricity? The narrator has been proved a fool in the latter case.

 

Ray Bradbury wrote a story about a lightning-rod salesman, too. He also adapted Moby Dick for film. So I wonder if the Melville story inspired the Bradbury one in any way?

Reading progress update: I've read 427 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

Boece: Making heavy weather of this. Not surprising given the original title, "The Consolations of Philosophy."

Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 446 pages.

Red Moon - Kim Stanley Robinson

The KSR exclamatory sense of wonder is all present and correct! Unfortunately it makes all his view-point characters seem a little same-ish.

Reading progress update: I've read 313 out of 2016 pages.

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works -  MacDonald P. Jackson (Editor),  John Jowett (Editor),  John Lavagnino,  V. Wayne, Gary Taylor, Thomas Middleton

The Patient Man...Sc.10: Hippolito is pining for his allegedly deceased love when Bellafront enters, disguised as a man (a manouvre I've never come across in Renaissance drama before...). She tries to woo the unrecptive Hippolito.

Reading progress update: I've read 97 out of 410 pages.

Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales - Herman Melville, Robert Milder

The Paradise of Bachelors...: Not really a story at all but a mildly comedic piece of social commentary reminiscent of some of the pieces in Washington Irving's Sketchbook.

SPOILER ALERT!

Blue at the Mizzen, Patrick O'Brian

Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey/Maturin #20) - Patrick O'Brian

So here ends the Aubrey-Maturin epic saga, though a further book was left incomplete at the time of O'Brian's death. It's a good thing, really. The struggle to find anything original for the pair to do, growing ever more difficult since as far back as book 11, had by this point proved impossible. With the Napoleonic Wars over, reasons for further voyages were also getting contrived. Maturin's drug abuse with no real  consequence was getting a little preposterous. Hence ending on the upbeat note of Aubrey finally gaining his Admiral's flag and sailing off to take up command of a squadron on a ship-of-the-line seems the perfect conclusion.

Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 1183 pages.

Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collected Works - Thomas Middleton, Gary Taylor

News from Gravesend authorship: Dekker is believed to have been sole author of the lengthy prose "epistle" whilst Middleton definitely contributed a small section of the subsequent poem and possibily more.

Reading progress update: I've read 350 out of 615 pages.

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World - Nicholas Ostler

When the Imperial Spanish arrived in the Americas there were >2000 native languages.

Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 410 pages.

Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales - Herman Melville, Robert Milder

Suddenly, from London's Temple Bar, we are in wintry New Hampshire.

Reading progress update: I've read 309 out of 2016 pages.

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works -  MacDonald P. Jackson (Editor),  John Jowett (Editor),  John Lavagnino,  V. Wayne, Gary Taylor, Thomas Middleton

The Patient Man...Sc.9: Bellafront, the former prostitute and swindler, has been honest this last month and more - her former pander runs off with a "bawd."

Reading progress update: I've read 341 out of 615 pages.

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World - Nicholas Ostler

The spread of Spanish in the Americans was greatly facilitated by the accidental drastic depopulation of the natives by introduction of new diseases. Well, that will no doubt come up again regarding English in North America and it was suggested as a possibility for the success of Anglo-Saxon in Britain.

 

I'd say the few remaining Stone Age cultures left on Earth are doomed just on these medical grounds unless they remain isolated from the rest of humanity. I've read elsewhere that there are most likely no indigenous peoples left who have no idea of the existance of advanced technology, even if they don't interpret it as such.

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 515 pages.

The Art Book - Editors of Phaidon Press

Karel Appel, Phantom with Mask:
https://twitter.com/MenschOhneMusil/status/648956706110742534/photo/1

Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 410 pages.

Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales - Herman Melville, Robert Milder

The editor also notes the mock-heroic tone; it really seems to be a style of humour that leaves me cold, but I don't know why.