What I’m reading, and more
I’ve been reading a lot of different things lately, and might write a few reviews over the Christmas break. I just finished
“Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
a sort of historical fantasy set amid the great scientific discoveries and political turmoil of the late 17th century.
It’s great fun, with a great evocation of the period and plenty of sly digs at the modern reader (I liked the Duke of Monmouth as the Dan Quayle of the 1685 campaign). At the same time, I can’t help feeling I’ve completely missed the point here. As I said, the style is that of fantasy, but the novel seems to be entirely historically accurate apart from the fact that the members of the Cabal have been replaced by new characters with the same acronym, some of whom play a minor role in the story, and that one of the key characters comes from the island of Qwghlm, apparently a British possession.
I don’t know exactly what gives here: maybe a reader can point me in the right direction. A lot of readers had much the same reaction to “Jonathan Strange which I loved.
There’s a whole Metaweb (a type of wiki apparently) about all this, which may be worth exploring.
In a completely different department, I’ve been watching the Slim Dusty memorial concert which my wife taped. Although he’s normally pigeonholed as country, a lot of his songs (particularly the early ones) appeal to folkies like me. In the free assocation department, I notice that another crossover performer, Ted Egan, is now Administrator of the Northern Territory Well done!
Moving on to sporting news, karate training has finished for the year, with the traditional 1000-punch workout. Very cathartic! If you’re in Brisbane, and want to study karate in traditional style, with a genuine master of the art, Seiyushin is for you. Also, we went last night to see the Bullets go down by one point against the Sydney Kings. It’s a great night out, taking the ferry down the river to Southbank for dinner, going on to the game and home again by ferry, but it would have been perfect if only one more shot had rolled in instead of rimming out.
fn1. Given my Manx heritage, the idea that Qwghlm is the Isle of Man seems appealing. Certainly the name has a certain resonance, though its disemvowellment makes it hard to interpret.
fn2. I don’t claim to be an expert on 17th century history, so there may be some other things I’ve missed.