Tag: Doug

Apr 18 2005

Very Old Europe

New work by Sophocles? Hesiod? Lucian? Euripides? A precursor to the Illiad? All coming up, thanks to satellitte imaging technology and a century-old trove of manuscripts brought to Britain from Egypt. In the past four days alone, Oxford’s classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/04/18/very-old-europe/

Apr 11 2005

Slowsilver

Because I mentioned Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver a couple of times earlier this year, I will now add that I’ve finished reading it. The pace picks up a bit around page 800. To be slightly less unfair, I should say that a number of people have told me that the second and third books are better. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/04/11/slowsilver/

Apr 08 2005

As Trains Go By

The New Republic has published a long review of three novels by Georges Simenon. The thesis is that they are “are superb and polished works of art masquerading as pulp fiction.” Simenon wrote more than 400 novels, under his own name and various pseudonyms. One of them, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/04/08/as-trains-go-by/

Apr 05 2005

A Little Less Magical

I’m not sure what possessed the editors of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung to add Somerset Maugham’s The Magician to their list of 50 great novels of the twentieth century. In the preface to the edition that I have, the author admits that when it was republished, he had not read the book in nearly fifty years. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/04/05/a-little-less-magical/

Mar 06 2005

Echelon Back Story

The British edition of Body of Secrets, James Bamford’s second book about the US National Security Agency, gives equal billing to Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the subtitle, but that’s just marketing, making the home audience feel good. The same subtitle also alludes to Echelon, an eavesdropping program that was on its way to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/03/06/httpfistfulofeuros-netafoeechelon-back-story/

Feb 28 2005

If On a Winter’s Night a Publisher

Brings forth the fiftieth and last of its great novels of the twentieth century, a resolutely head-spinning inquisition of a book by Italo Calvino, one that keeps introducing a novel titled If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. In this, the coldest week in Munich in twenty years, the series not only takes notice of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/02/28/if-on-a-winters-night-a-publisher/

Feb 11 2005

Ray Bradbury

Through a series of stupidities, when I moved from Washington to Germany, I lost a fair number of books. Several hundred, I think, but it’s a little too sad to count them up. There was, and still may be, a list I made when packing. An indulgent winter evening’s thought is which one I would …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/02/11/ray-bradbury/

Feb 07 2005

A Note …

Upon Reading the First Ninth of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle It is a Frolick, a Cornucopia of interesting things, a narrative of the discovery of the calculus, scientific feuds, dissection, Religious Dissent, changing fashions in art, the return of comedy to the English stage, computation, coinage, banking and much, much more. One of the Leading …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/02/07/a-note/

Dec 17 2004

Halfway There

This spring, the German newspaper whose web site isn’t quite as bad as another’s began publishing a series of 50 Great Novels from the Twentieth Century. It’s an admirable project in many ways — not least a cover price of EUR 4.90 per hardback. Thirty-seven books have been published so far, and I’ve now read …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2004/12/17/halfway-there/

Jul 07 2004

49 Great Ones and a Stinker

Not too long ago, I noted that the Sueddeutsche Zeitung was publishing a set of 50 great novels of the twentieth century. I got into the game a little bit late, but since then I have been more-or-less keeping up with their pace of one a week, largely by the not terribly edifying expedient of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2004/07/07/49-great-ones-and-a-stinker/