The Reading Thread

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Thu, 2010-07-01 03:41

Rosie made the mistake of asking me for a list.

Below is a list of my non-technical reading over the last year ... I decided to not go back over the last decade, and not include the columns for publication date, my score for the book (yeah, I know, anal, I score books), where I got the book from, and where I was when reading it.

What are you reading at the moment? It might be interesting to see if we can keep an occasional thread going on reading, just posting what you're reading and people can comment on it if they wish (or not).

On the below list, there was only one book that scored 10/10, that was David Lodge's Thinks.

There were three that scored nine, they were:

David Lodge - Deaf Sentence
Maurice Gee - Crime Story
Ruth Cracknell - Journey from Venice ... this was a memoir.

My reading list for last twelve months

Apr-09 Lodge, David - Eng. Thinks ...
May-09 Marshall, Owen - NZ Harlequin Rex
May-09 Knox, Elizabeth - NZ Billie's Kiss
May-09 Lodge, David - Eng. Home Truths
May-09 Saunders, Tom - Eng. Inappropriate Happiness
May-09 Jerome, Jerome K. - Eng. Three Men in a Boat
Jun-09 Symon, Vanda - NZ Overkill
Jun-09 Woolf, Virginia - Eng. Between the Acts
Jun-09 Lodge, David - Eng. Deaf Sentence
Jun-09 Gee, Maurice - NZ Crime Story
Jul-09 Cross, Neil - Eng. Heartland
Jul-09 Seiffert, Rachel - Eng./Ger. The Dark Room
Jul-09 Knox, Elizabeth - NZ Glamour and the Sea
Aug-09 Lodge, David - Eng. Author, Author
Aug-09 Kennedy, Douglas - USA State of the Union
Sep-09 Armstrong, Adam (NZ - Norfolk) Song of the Sound
Oct-09 La Plante, Lynda (Eng.) The Red Dahlia
Oct-09 Lamb, Wally (US) I Know This Much Is True
Nov-09 Birmingham, John (Australia) Designated Target: World War 2.2
Dec-09 Grimshaw, Charlotte - NZ Provocation
Dec-09 Birmingham, John (Australia) Final Impact: World War 2.3
Dec-09 Cormac, McCarthy (USA) The Road
Jan-10 King, Rachael - NZ Magpie Hall
Jan-10 Torday, Paul (Eng.) The Girl on the Landing
Jan-10 Shaw, Tina (NZ) The Black Madonna
Feb-10 Yates, Richard (USA) Revolutionary Road
Mar-10 Koea, Shonagh (NZ) The Grandiflora Tree
Apr-10 Eldred-Grigg, Stevan (NZ) Oracles and Miracles
Apr-10 Capote, Truman (US) Summer Crossing
Apr-10 Barker, Pat (Eng.) Regeneration
Apr-10 Knox, Elizabeth - NZ The Angel's Cut
Apr-10 Gee, Maurice - NZ Access Road
Apr-10 Camus, Albert (Algerian/Fr.) The Plague
May-10 Brown, Dan (US) Angels and Demons
May-10 Cracknell, Ruth (Australia) Journey from Venice
May-10 Gregory, Philippa (Eng.) The Boleyn Inheritance
May-10 Barker, Pat (Eng.) Double Vision
May-10 Barker, Pat (Eng.) The Eye in the Door
Jun-10 Larsson, Stieg (Sweden) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Jun-10 Maugham, W. Somerset (Eng.) Of Human Bondage

[Do you want my movie list too Eye ]


( categories: )

NZ Book Review: Relief - by Anna Taylor. And My Best of 2010

Mark Hubbard's picture

My favourite New Zealand fiction for 2010. Anybody else want to put their list up?

Relief - by Anna Taylor (Easily the No. 1 slot: I've put a review on my blog here: http://tribelesshispursuitofha... )

Gifted - By Patrick Evans

Access Road - By Maurice Gee

Magpie Road - By Rachael King, and

The Angel's Cut - by Elizabeth Knox.

Gregster: I've not heard of

Mark Hubbard's picture

Gregster: I've not heard of that (or the author) so I'll have to Google soon.

Rosie: I've not had time to read all your post, and have a business trip this week so it may well be next weekend. Incidentally, though, regarding your love of BS, below is what my writer friend on the other forum wrote:

I think Katherine Mansfield was a far less self-aware writer than Virginia Woolf, a natural talent rather than a considered one. I don't find their writing similar, other than that both were trying to do something new. The thing about Dickens is the language, the way he never takes the easy way into a scene or into describing a character and always tries to create sentences that take you to your destination by unexpected routes. Flair and invention are what he's all about, not wonderful plotlines or refined psychology or tact and good taste. Dickens does what he does better than anyone before or since and studying him won't do any writer harm.

Tolstoy is one of the founders of the modern novel. Reading Anna Karenina it's difficult to imagine that he and Dickens were writing in the same century. I think you're right in saying that characterisation is the vital element in his work, a clarity of insight into the psychology (before the science had truly been invented) of his creations that absolutely convinces the reader of their reality. You're on the inside with Tolstoy's people. With writers like Dickens the characters are still in quotes, they're actors, vivid and entertaining but less easy for a modern reader to connect with when it comes to the day to day emotions.

(Edit: BS is Bloomsbury Set, of course Smiling )

Mark

Rosie's picture

Other Russian authors I enjoyed are Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn.

I am not sure exactly what you mean by evil - you used it to describe communism and Putin's government. Are you referring to the political system only or the character, behaviour and methods of the leaders? Or both perhaps?

Since reading about Imperialist Russia from the time of the court of Catherine the Great, I would say that the evil you describe in Russia today was not something that began with the Revolution and the advent of socialism and Lenin"s Bolshevik party. In the quest for power, wealth and favour, the political intrigues, assassination plots, ruthlessness, threats to family, disloyalty and insincerity of the courtesans and advisers were as prevalent in the court as they are part and parcel of the workings of the Communist Party system. The only difference with the court intrigue was that the peasants were not aware of it. Secret whispering and plotting behind closed doors was not exceptional to the Russian court of course - it was in every court. The question is, if it has continued in to the system that replaced the monarchy in Russia , has it done so in the other countries' political systems that have replaced or varied their monarchies? Or is it only because communism is so evil in its loss of liberties and free choice for its citizens that everything becomes more evil and on a grander scale?

All monarchies experienced social revolution to a greater or lesser extent during the last 300 years which left them either displaced, dislodged or disempowered by a new or varied order of rule. Common to this change in every society, was the growing awareness, the discontent and the rising voice of the working classes. Where the ruling classes tried to crush or ignore this voice, revolution occurred - as in France and Russia. (Interesting that both the French and the Russian national character is emotionality over reason.) Indeed, I believe that Lenin's intention was for the revolution in Russia to inspire and cause a similar mass revolution throughout Europe resulting in all of Europe's adoption of Lenin-Marxist philosophy.

This didn't happen of course. First of all, almost all of Europe was made up of large numbers of small principalities, each governed by an aristocrat, and had been squabbling amongst each other and having minor battles for centuries. Each small principality was too concerned with the threat of his neighbour to consider revolution within its own ranks.

Only the monarchies of Britain, France and Spain were as comparably powerful, wealthy and influential as Russia - and thus capable of producing a disenchanted intellectual or excommunicated aristocrat, harbouring such resentment at his ousting from court by the scheming courtesans whose positions he unwittingly threatened, who no longer curried favour from the king or czar and thus had fallen from grace and felt it keenly - only such a one could feel sufficiently motivated to rally discontent amongst the masses by describing how their hard work has been exploited and used to feather the nest of the King and his court and by promising dreams of a better life where they will reap the rewards of their work if they followed his advice would be able to organise a revolution and, if successful, return him to power - top dog even - under a new regime where he could watch the fall of his enemies with satisfaction.

Yet it was only the monarchies of Russia and France that experienced such extremes from their once loyal subjects, in particular the brutal assassination of their monarch and his family - and a permanent end to that system of rule. Can you imagine the motive and energy required by some person or persons to create and harness the level of anger and mass hysteria needed to change a humble acceptance of the peasant's lot and replace his idealised faith and love for the King with a hatred sufficient to murder and so betrayed as to wish to destroy the entire system?

Why not Spain and Britain?

Spain's heyday as a major world power had been superceded in the 18th century by Britain and France. The forced abdication of the King victory by France in the Napoleonic Wars, Spanish resistance to French rule and the ensuing reinstatement of a King whose illiberal views and rule made the monarchy suddenly unpopular marked the beginning of instability for nearly 200 years and included coups and abdications followed by two attempts to form a Spanish Republic, civil unrest and divided public opinion over a competing claim to the Crown, a 40 year exile during Franco's fascist regime until the restoration of the monarchy was afforded with a Constitution signed in 1981 by the King giving sovereignty to the people and limiting his role to a non-partisan Head of State and which finally provided Spain with stable democratic rule and constitutional certainty for the monarchy.

Britain's monarchy and rule was by contrast relatively stable and popular. Only for a brief period of about 25 years following the unpopular rule of Charles 1 - where the request from Parliament for him to sign a Constitution was rejected - and his execution for high treason was the British monarchy abolished and replaced by a Republic. The monarchy was reinstated in 1660 with a Bill of Rights placing the sovereignty in the people. The UK system of democratic government known as the Westminster System is based on Greek ideas of democracy with the monarch as Head of State , responsibility for running the country in the elected government and the Judicary deciding any disputes. Under this system, the brutality that later occurred in Russia could not occur. Under this system, the political and constitutional instability experienced by Spain would cease. And this system was copied by Luxembourg, Norway and the other European monarchies which still exist today.

Queen Victoria had urgently impressed upon the czar, her Russian relative, to adopt the same system some time prior to his assassination. He refused to relinquish any of his power or authority however naively believing in his popularity and the monarchy's support by the public. The advisors to the czar were not persuaded either - cunning strategists with manipulative, self-serving goals and appointed for the czar's survival. I.e., His position was more secure with them on side than against him they also did not wish to forfeit their privileged and guaranteed positions of power to a system that may well depend on merit for any appointment.

I think religion also may have had a big influence. The church was strong, almost all people attended and it provided moral teachings to the public.

Russia of course had its own heavily ritualised Russian Orthodox church, related to the Catholic church, but Lenin declared that the church was nothing but a powerful manipulation of the people and it was made illegal and a crime to talk about God or to read a Bible. The church leaders were educated and respected. They were speaking out against Lenin and his views and were a threat. They were quickly killed and propaganda employed to justify their absences or deaths and fear was used to still any criticism. With the destruction of the church and its respected priests, the people were less informed and the moral teachings became less important and present in the absence of repetition. In time the lack of moral reminders and the authority of God in the community was forgotten which effect was to provide no objective moral yardstick from which to measure the government's policy or behaviour.

Since all reading material and information was heavily censored and travel documents very difficult to obtain the Russian people lived in a world cut off from any influence. I have heard it said that the iron curtain was put in place very firmly by the government of Russia and not the other way around. With this lack of scrutiny and inability to acquire intelligence about the activities within the iron curtain, any evils committed by the Government were answerable to noone and remained unchecked. In this environment, therefore, the capacity for any evil was unlimited and could theoretically be exercised by Government and their officials without fear of any reprise.

So, this may be what has enabled an unlimited capacity for "evil" in Russia.

Ooooh. Very long, sorry!

I better save my thoughts re Katherine Mansefield and the Bloomsbury Set for another day!

I'm reading

gregster's picture

Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape. (And there are some howlers to report.)

Hah! I shall report back my

Mark Hubbard's picture

Hah! I shall report back my mood on finishing AK, Olivia Smiling

I can understand your comments on Les Miserables, but I just bogged down in that book completely. My only real time to read at the moment is when I go to bed, and it's a time I look forward to, however, as I said, everytime I poured my nightcap and looked at the Hugo - well, in a virtual sense, I was reading it on a Kindle - I just had that old 'having to go to Sunday School' feeling when I was a kid - that is, depressed. Fusty is the best way I can descibe the prose, as you refer to with your comments on excess description. I also wonder whether it loses a lot in the translation.

Perhaps I shall try again when in better spirits - or on less spirits (you have to cut down on the imbibing when reading the Russians anyway, with all those twenty letter long surnames that sound the same).

Anna Karenina

Olivia's picture

The thing with Anna Karenina is that the story is so unrelentingly defeatist whereas with Les Miserables, by the time I read the end chapter, the story was fulfilling and complete. I felt as though I had met Aristotle's Great Souled Man in the person of Jean Valjean but in AK there was no character noble enough to really attach my heart to.

Also, Hugo was the better writer, there was something in his soul and mind which could just express the very essence of great human dilemmas. I highlight this excerpt to illustrate my point:

"What are the convulsions of a city compared with the convulsions of a soul? Man is even a greater profundity than the people. Jean Valjean was at this moment suffering from a great internal earthquake, and all the gulfs were reopened within him. He too, was quivering like Paris, on the threshold of a formidable and obscure revolution. A few hours had sufficed to cover his destiny and his conscience with shadows, and of him, as of Paris, it might be said, "The two principles are face to face." The white angel and black angel are about to wrestle with each other on the brink of the abyss; which will hurl the other down?....

.... then, as we have just stated, he had a quivering of revolt from head to foot; he felt even in the roots of his hair the immense re-awaking of selfishness, and the "I" yelled in the depths of this man's soul."

Oh! *That's* Hugo! I've read all his books and although Les Miserables is his greatest achievement, they all contain that degree of powerful insight. I've read Tolstoy's War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and although I couldn't put AK down, I was furious by the time I finished it.

I confess that at times one has to "bear with" Hugo's penchant for excessive description which appears to not directly move the story forward, but the steady development of his characters allowed me to do just that. (I'm thinking particularly of his whole chapter on the underground Parisian sewer system in order to later have Valjean rescue Marius through its grisly channels.)

Knew you'd be there

Mark Hubbard's picture

Knew you'd be there Rosie.

Agreed about the Bloomsbury error: she sat just outside that group (Murray was one of the leading lights though, wasn't he?)

Fascinating that you say 'she liked them more than they liked her'. What did you mean by that? (Her letters to Woolf seem very warm, but the book includes none of any correspondence she received in return).

Also interesting what you say about first Russians, then Russian writers. With my only references being Tolstoy and Chekov, I agree with you on the latter - what would your Russian reading list be?

As to the former I know no Russians at all, and though I don't doubt you, as the two Russian authors I've named would be in agreement about the 'national character', but given that, it's just weird and indecipherable why that nation has produced such evil, thinking of it being the foremost example of the most brutal form of communism, and now a mafia state under Putin, which is looking to be every bit as evil and brutal. How has that happened?

(Oh, I'm adding Gilesian to my SOLO vocabulary Smiling )

Mark

Rosie's picture

I too really like Tolstoy. In fact I have enjoyed every Russian author I have come across. One of my close friends lived and worked in Moscow for two years and eventually married a Russian girl. He said that the Russians were the most openly expressive, emotional and passionate race he had ever encountered. Also very thoughtful about important philosophical questions. Unlike Western civilization who worship the young and beautiful only, the old people are the revered generation which i guess indicates a certain deep respect for wisdom and experience.

I don't wish to be Gilesian in my pedantry (!) but Kathereine Mansefield did not figure greatly in the Bloomsbury Set. She liked them more than they liked her. I was a BS fan from my teens and have a very large collection of books about them (and read them!) . I feel as though I know them irl!!

Anna Karenina

Mark Hubbard's picture

[Why waste a post: just a cross-post of mine from an overseas writers/readers site - password protected. Not an Objectivist or libertarian thread, necessarily. I don't think I need to provide context.]

I've started Anna Karenina now. As I said on the other thread (somewhere) Tolstoy's able to write with a very modern sensibility somehow: his characters seem relevant to me and real. (Conversly I had to give up on Les Miserables, written about the same time, because it felt old, musty, irrelevant to me, indeed, like going to bed and reading the bible.)

So Tolstoy is very interesting in how he achieves this.

Related to nothing, I am simultaneously reading the Letters of Katherine Mansfield, compiled by her husband Middleton Murray. She was part of the Bloomsbury set, good friend of Virginna Woolf (and of Lawrence), and due to ill health had to spend many of the English winters in France (her and Murray can have spent very little time together all up). But of course, Mansfield was a Kiwi, still one of our most 'important' - read studied - writers. Her name and style is in her short stories, relying on symbolism, with many similarities in style to Woolf - Mansfield says in one of her letters to Woolf that they 'are both trying to do the same thing' with their writing. Yet the interesting thing is that the writer most mentioned throughout Mansfields letters, and the novels of whom she is always asking Murray to send her, is Charles Dickens; a straight out story teller representing so much what Mansfield saw herself as breaking away from.

Perhaps that Tolstoy's strength, at least partly: he's a very good story teller, that and he creates vivid memorable characters (actually I think the latter is the key).

All thoughts going nowhere ...

Is it daylight?

Brant Gaede's picture

Who's got the stake? Who's got the hammer? Who's got the guts?

--Brant
creak! creaky creak!--open it up!

Whole lotta Rosie...

Marcus's picture

...becuase of the name of this thread and the current obsession on SOLO with your Christian beliefs.

Because Rosie...

Marcus's picture

...if not on this issue, why on any issue?

How can you proclaim to know about the eternal nature of Jesus and the holy spirit and then turn around and proclaim you can't speak for God on the issue of Jesus' birth.

Perhaps being inconsistent or "full of BS" would be better description of it?

Marcus

Rosie's picture

Although I recognise the title is a song by ACDC, and can also appreciate the continuing theme throughout my life of people often singing me songs that contain my name in it, why this song? and why for a bottle of wine?! I.e., is there a joke beyond the title?

Having a SOLO line may not be such a bad idea.

Marcus's picture

That may require a fact-finding wine expedition Smiling

Unfortunately I'm not in country, but perhaps you could label one bottle "whole lotta Rosie".

SOLO Shiraz

Kasper's picture

There is a company which sells select wines that allows companies to do their own logo's and designs on the bottles. They obviously have some sort of contract arranged with the wine makers. Having a SOLO line may not be such a bad idea.

Mark

Rosie's picture

On long sentences:

The same supposedly condemnatory accusation was given to Henry James during his lifetime so the inability to comprehend or concentrate from the beginning to the end of the sentence is not necessarily a product of modern times or airheads.

I agree with Linz that the long sentence is to provide subtleties to the idea being expressed or the character being described. It can be phrased elegantly or inelegantly however and it is this that distinguishes the literary man from the long-winded bore!

Love it Gregster. Lots of

Mark Hubbard's picture

Love it Gregster. Lots of wineries cheap on the market at the moment, and unfortunately about to be joined by a lot more over the next six months - thanks to the evil Mr Keynes. If I win Lotto, a SOLO Shiraz will be a sure thing.

SOLO Shiraz

gregster's picture

Not available unfortunately. Found this in Bacchus Cellars, 427 Remuera Rd, where their motto is "Veni vidi bibi." There are a few in the shop.

Oh my!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

High expression in the aroma intermingling sensations of red fruit, with toasty notes due to its aging in wood and soothing aromas of eucalyptus and sandalwood. The passage of mouth is huge, fresh and harmonious.

Sounds like the SOLO Credo!!

Seriously, there's a merlot called SOLO?? Do they do Shiraz?

I know what you mean Mark

gregster's picture

I'm accompanied by this one tonight:

It's described: ruby red color well covered. High expression in the aroma intermingling sensations of red fruit, with toasty notes due to its aging in wood and soothing aromas of eucalyptus and sandalwood. The passage of mouth is huge, fresh and harmonious. $14.90.

The passage of mouth is true, now to extract the high expression.

I believe you might have

Mark Hubbard's picture

I believe you might have accused me of wordiness once, Linz, or twice; on a press release coming up to the last election.

I didn't take it to heart though; I probably just thought you were wrong Eye In the management accountancy course example, I managed to bully the essay that was the subject of the Bacon gift, from an A- to an A+ (well, he was a management accountant; what would he have known of the English language.)

['Straying' can be bit of a problem , though. I'll admit to that. Bin 555 is dreadful for it.]

By the way, some of the philosophical debate continuing on other threads, currently, is bloody good. More power to SOLO.

Quite so ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The great beauty of semi-colons and other devices that fall short of a full-stop is that they allow for elaborations and slight tangents to reinforce or qualify the main point, to which one returns before the full stop. Possibly in your case, my dear Hubbard, you once or twice strayed too far from the point, or failed to return to it, to earn you such opprobrium, of which I believe I myself might once or twice have been the source?

Eye Evil

Of Human Bondage and grammar.

Mark Hubbard's picture

The below is a very average sized sentence from Maugham.

Every other table was taken, for it was a fine night; and Philip looked curiously at the people, here little family groups, there a knot of men with odd-shaped hats and beards talking loudly and gesticulating; next to him were two men who looked like painters with women who Philip hoped were not their lawful wives; behind him he heard Americans loudly arguing on art.

That's over sixty words and three semi-colons. I've seen much bigger sentences, the biggest I've counted had six semi-colons and one colon.

Throughout my academic and working life I have been told by professors (accountancy, not, fortunately, the English Department) my sentences are too long and too heavy (I once gave a management accounting lecturer some Francis Bacon essays). I've been told by editors that my sentences are too long, no one will be interested in what I write. My wife tells me my sentences are too long. Even bloody Microsoft Word underlines my long sentences in little green dots and suggests I might like to change them, so this goes to the heart of our popular culture. Maughem is therefore doubly refreshing.

What has happened here? I can only think the Age of the Airhead is the age of the attention deficit and teenage drunken disorder, and from this it follows that a frightening number of individuals can now not remember the start of an otherwise fine, long sentence, by the time they get to the end of it; this is why I don't read on Friday nights. We've been dumbed down to writing in sentence fragments.

The result of this, to mix in all the sexual content that has made its way into this thread, is that when I write anything, it becomes an exercise in castration, and the premature ending of sentences I would otherwise have preferred to carry on with. And I don't know where that leaves me.

Edit. I've just posted this to Word, it warns me of two 'long sentences', and also of wordiness.

Um. I thought it was as a

Mark Hubbard's picture

Um. I thought it was as a result of the money coming from the public that all this broke in the first place. I agree that in his case "the public" was not any old Joe Bloe but people he knew but they were still members of the public in the sense of the Securities Act. Am I wrong about this because my understanding is that it was one of the investors who complained to the Securities Commission that although the investments were supposed to be in first mortgages only, he discovered that second mortgages and even unsecured loans were being issued and this particular investor was concerned about this and his position? The point here is that it probably may not actually have been a private arrangement at all in terms of the law. And wasn't this one of the issues investigated?

Until the final report I'm hesitant to say too much more - though I retract none of my positions on how I think AH is in desperate trouble, but don't think he deserves to be, per the reasons given in previous posts.

Re your above statement, my understanding at the beginning was this is indeed the nub of the problem: did Aorangi soliticit for public funds and thus need a prospectus: if not, in my mind, then the Government intervention has been completely unjustied, as the issues involved were up to the relevant contracting parties within Aorangi (given there was 'no need' of a propectus, any vouching or promise made would be pursuant to that reached between the parties, and the law would follow the lines of those 'private' agreements.

It still looks like there is basically only one investor - see qualification to this following - out of the 407 who is upset, and thus it looks like there is one investor who has mistakenly ended up in the wrong structure. The logical position I took from the outset was, why would Aorangi be soliciting for public funds; that was what South Canterbury Finance was for, so there was no need for Aorangi to be doing so?

I've seen one man called Shaun commenting on NBR that his parents were solicited to invest in Aorangi and they did not know AH, though mind you, it was not AH who soliticited them, but another party ... I'm not saying any more on that.

In one word: messy.

Also you cannot have a charitable trust without trust deeds. He had five charitable trusts that did not have trust deeds! I am not sure whether he was claiming tax advantages despite not having the deeds. Trust deeds are required at first instance to receive charitable status for tax purposes, as I am sure you know as an accountant. They are also required to provide the "computer programme" as to how the trustees must act in certain circumstances and to prescribe what they can invest in. It is a breach of trust for a trustee to invest in or act in any way outside of the terms of the deed. They are also needed for changes of trustee and on winding up. This would make things rather tricky on winding up, his death etc! (My specialty is trust law.)

I don't deal with entities that have charitable status, but my understanding is worse: you can't claim the beneficial tax status of a charitable trust, now, if you are not on the official chartitable trusts register. I agree with the balance of what you have said here, other than a question:I've not heard that the charitable trusts had no deeds even? Are you sure? Without such there were surely no trusts in existence. If that is the case, and I find it incredibly hard to believe, then where on earth are AH's lawyers in all this (or the lawyers of any of the investors of Aorangi, for that matter?)

The other unusual thing here is that if you search the Companies Office register, Hubbard Funds Management is not a limited liability company. That doesn't perhaps mean anything in its own right, but I find it perplexing.

As I said: messy.

There's so much misinformation now, I've formed the opinion that:

a) This sad episode highlights for me one definite fact: this State of ours is way too heavy handed in the way it has dealt with this, and has far too much power (despite the fact I believe one of the few legitimate functions of a minarchy is to protect the individual from the initiation of force and fraud - again, if there was no public solicitation here, then I still don't see what right the State had to involve itself in the manner it has).

b) I'm going to pretty much hold my opinions from this point on until we know more facts.

Mark

Rosie's picture

No, you've got the wrong end of this argument completely. So long as Aorangi wasn't soliciting the public for money, so long as Aorangi was Hubbard and associates, then whether he was abysmally organised or not, it's none of the government, my, or your business; only the consenting adults involved in the structures. Laissez faire is the only economic system that allows individual freedom, and it works on caveat emptor. It ends there for me. (I respect him, but I would not personally have invested with him, those who do take the risk if they don't ascertain to their own satisfaction the veracity of his systems). [And then despite that, AH has been working on his estate planning for some time now, I'm sure there is a lot more detail than a few memorandums of wishes.]

Um. I thought it was as a result of the money coming from the public that all this broke in the first place. I agree that in his case "the public" was not any old Joe Bloe but people he knew but they were still members of the public in the sense of the Securities Act. Am I wrong about this because my understanding is that it was one of the investors who complained to the Securities Commission that although the investments were supposed to be in first mortgages only, he discovered that second mortgages and even unsecured loans were being issued and this particular investor was concerned about this and his position? The point here is that it probably may not actually have been a private arrangement at all in terms of the law. And wasn't this one of the issues investigated?

Also you cannot have a charitable trust without trust deeds. He had five charitable trusts that did not have trust deeds! I am not sure whether he was claiming tax advantages despite not having the deeds. Trust deeds are required at first instance to receive charitable status for tax purposes, as I am sure you know as an accountant. They are also required to provide the "computer programme" as to how the trustees must act in certain circumstances and to prescribe what they can invest in. It is a breach of trust for a trustee to invest in or act in any way outside of the terms of the deed. They are also needed for changes of trustee and on winding up. This would make things rather tricky on winding up, his death etc! (My specialty is trust law.)

Clarification - David Lodge

Mark Hubbard's picture

For Rosie. I put you wrong down below.

Lodge's Thinks 'is' what I scored 10 out of 10. I gave Deaf Sentence a 9. It's very good though, obviously.

I got Thinks through the library inter-loan service as well - there's not much you can't get through it (very useful after I blow the book buying budget each year).

Maugham

Rosie's picture

Maugham was gay. "Bisexual"? Bullshit!

In Violet: The Story of the Irrepressible Violet Hunt and Her Circle of Lovers and Friends Maugham is one of the lovers of Violet Hunt.

"Although he was homosexual, he married once and had numerous affairs with women, many of his female characters mirroring real life lovers. " (from a biography written by C. D. Merriman )

His affair with Syrie went on for years while she was married. She had his baby in 1915 while still married to her previous husband. She did not marry Somerset Maugham until a few years later (1917 or 1918). Although it was not an "exclusive" relationship I think that his own description of himself :

as “three-quarters queer” to “one quarter normal”

is a fairly explicit statement that he was bisexual - but with a leaning towards homosexuality.

I agree that when he was older he had exclusively homo affairs with his secretaries, Haxton and, after his death, Searle. In his youth this was not the case.

So where is your evidence that he was ONLY gay? You will not have any because he was not and I have some private information also as to this.

Can't stand knowalls who simply swear an expletive for their evidence but are wrong. Why bother pretending to know? I thought you liked the truth. And what has happened to your thinking capacity?

Why don't you lead the sycophants on the Say It thread as to whether you are a libertarian or not? (The sycophants who cannot think for themselves and are simply stunned in to silence by the prospect that they might have to think - God, maybe they simply didn't understand the point, I suppose that is perfectly possible! Only the artist had the courage to speak but played it safe by only addressing the joke at the end instead of the substance! But in so doing he did leave it clear for the sycophants to go back to complaining and moaning and repeating and quoting what everybody else has to say about BP instead of any independent thinking!! )

Honestly! Looking over the conversation during the week I was in bed reads like an old Anglican ladies knitting and sewing tea party. Getting all excited when the newbie joins for a cuppa and makes the error of challenging the stitching in Ms Olivia's tea cosy!! LOL

I looked up "gay" in the dictionary...

Marcus's picture

...and there was this photo.

"Having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits."

Hubbard ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Maugham was gay. "Bisexual"? Bullshit! Waugh? Evelyn? Gay too, of course, but went through the motions of straight. Forster? Hahahaha! Have you read Maurice? It's beautiful, but if memory serves me correctly (which it seldom does these days) was published posthumously.

Hemingway? I don't think he was gay. He was a misogynist, as any rational person is, but had about twenty wives—which no doubt accounts for his committing suicide. Evil

Actually, there's a genetic thing with him. His father committed suicide and so did his grand-daughter. I think there were others as well within his family.

We do not know, and should not judge, the cross some people have to bear. That's not to depart from the need for moral judgement; it's simply to acknowledge the fact that many folk are afflicted with things for which they are not responsible. Goblians would say their goblin put them there for "character-building" purposes; I say that position is contemptible.

Linz; Maugham (now),

Mark Hubbard's picture

Linz; Maugham (now), Isherwood, Auden ... were there any blokes writing in that era that actually preferred the physical company of women? Perhaps Hemmingway, but then he went in the opposite direction of trying to shoot everything in sight - yeah, I know, I'm now stereotyping gays as not liking shooting things Smiling. Um, if I think about it I can't remember Hemmingway being linked to any women: I can't find by a quick Google, don't tell me he was also?

Rosie.

Bloomsbury Set - have you heard of them?

I'm not afraid of Virginia Woolf, I read all of her novels in my twenties. I tried reading one last year again, though, and couldn't make it past twenty pages. I don't know what that means.

I've also read well in Forster and Waugh (both gay, right? Good God!)

And as for John Keynes, I prefer not to mention his name in these hallowed halls: his mind ranks amongst the most evil history has produced.

Re Allan Hubbard, yes, I understand well your points, but, for me, this is what's important:

* The manner of the public shaming by way of a too powerful government - before any guilt proved, Simon Power-Lust holds a press conference on Sunday afternoon! He's had a six decade career of wealth creation, is respected by his investors, he deserves more respect that this. Indeed, given the way this has started, the logical conclusion will be the 'show trial' surely.

* The first SM's report was big on 'might' and 'may' but had little of substance. And oftentimes I'll take a well kept manual accounting system over a badly kept computerised one. As for the securities paperwork, none of us know if that is wanting yet. Talking to a staff member, when the managers went into H&C Partners offices they asked his PA for his computer, when she said he didn't have one, and instead pointed to stacks of boxes that took one wall, they were apparently a little depressed. I'm not prepared to say at this stage the paperwork will be found wanting; it is reported by an investor today AH could find you any fact about Aorangi within a few minutes ... but we'll see.

* In addition to my chief concern about the power of the State that this signifies, I've been disgusted by how quick the sheeple that have no contact with South Canterbury have clambered onto the blog comments to denigrate a man who has achieved more than any of them. And worse, led by the MSM. Bernard Hickey's headlines have been appalling.

* Also, if the investments collapsed AND he and his wife died, say, and there was no written document declaring his intentions then these would be difficult to ascertain from a legal perspective so that the safety fund would be used in the way he intended. Do you see what I mean?

No, you've got the wrong end of this argument completely. So long as Aorangi wasn't soliciting the public for money, so long as Aorangi was Hubbard and associates, then whether he was abysmally organised or not, it's none of the government, my, or your business; only the consenting adults involved in the structures. Laissez faire is the only economic system that allows individual freedom, and it works on caveat emptor. It ends there for me. (I respect him, but I would not personally have invested with him, those who do take the risk if they don't ascertain to their own satisfaction the veracity of his systems). [And then despite that, AH has been working on his estate planning for some time now, I'm sure there is a lot more detail than a few memorandums of wishes.]

Linz

Rosie's picture

He was queer as a coot you know.

Actually, he was bi sexual and had quite a few liiasons with women as well as men. He was named as co respondent in a divorce case and later married the woman (Syrie - daughter of Bernardo of Bernardo Childcare / Orphanages) whom he had got pregnant while she was married to her husband (Wellcome who, I think, began the pharmaceutical company) although they too divorced after about 10 years.

Mark

Rosie's picture

Oh! I thought it was David Lodge's Think that you gave 10/10. I shall have to return to the library because I recall they did have Deaf Sentence and I did think that looked interesting at the time! I haven't read Ian McKewan. Never heard of him even! Not to be confused with Ian McCallum!

Maugham was an interesting character. He began studying medicine but, whilst studying, would look out the window of his lodgings in Lambeth (East End of London) and noticed the courtship of his neighbour's daughter. (You know how in those days they would "take a turn about the garden" if they had a garden or "go walkin'" if they lived in the slums?!) It captured his imagination and he began writing a story, Liza of Lambeth, his first novel. It was an instant success and so he put away his medical studies to write. Although a homo he married and had a child. That marriage ended however. He then lived abroad (in France and Singapore or thereabouts - Raffles being the hotel he lived in and made famous as a result) and later became very friendly with Noel Coward. I have just finished a biography of Noel Coward and so was very interested to read about their friendship. It lasted decades but ended rather abruptly when Maugham publicly wrote very bad things about his wife and daughter. Noel Coward was a very loyal, decent fellow and this act appalled him to the extent that he made some criticism of Maugham and their friendship ended. A bit sad really. The biography of Noel Coward is called A Talent To Amuse and is really worth a read; not only for the story it presents of a child singlemindedly knowing what he wanted to do and making it happen with the tireless and loving support of his mother but also for the interesting things it says about the changing English society before, during and after the two world wars which he lived through and is captured in his life and plays. Also the relationship between the UK and America in terms of drama, war and finance is interesting.

Once you start reading the biographies of all these people who lived at about the same time you see how interrelated they all are. That is partly what I find so interesting. Smiling I have been reading about these literary/artistic types from about age 13 so feel I know them very well!! My first "craze" was for the Bloomsbury Set - have you heard of them?

I am enjoying your Hubbard thread btw. As a lawyer I see things a little differently from you although I can also see how you see it and it makes for an interesting "tension" in terms of the law (which in these sorts of things are almost requirements in case things go wrong). I think I would have to state, though, that no man is above the law and this has to be remembered in terms of Mr Hubbard despite his character and all all the points in his favour as a result of this. Otherwise, where would one draw the line to say, "you need to comply with the statutes because you are a shady character but you don't because you aren't and you have a back up fund which you say you would use if things did go wrong." And if things went wrong without trust deeds and the like, there are problems ranking creditors etc. Also, if the investments collapsed AND he and his wife died, say, and there was no written document declaring his intentions then these would be difficult to ascertain from a legal perspective so that the safety fund would be used in the way he intended. Do you see what I mean?

Hubbard ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... you may be too young and sheltered to read a Maugham bio. He was queer as a coot you know. Someone once wrote of him "sniffing the Mediterranean air for sailors." It may have been his nephew, Robin, also as gay as Gertie. Disgraceful, really. Eye

Glad you enjoyed some of the

Mark Hubbard's picture

Glad you enjoyed some of the books Rosie.

Lodge's Deaf Sentence is not about Henry James, indeed, it's a contemporary setting, about a professor who is going deaf - it reads like an intelligent, often witty, Ian McEwan. (McEwan - have you read him - has a great prose style, but content-wise is a bit vacuous.) I don't know where you live, but I got it through the inter-loan service of Christchurch library.

I have to say shame-facedly, I've not read any Henry James - he's on the list though.

I'm busy with work, so I'm making slow progress on Maugham's Of Human Bondage, but am 'starting' to enjoy it - it must have been quite risque for 1915, and it's making me interested to look into a biography of Maugham.

Goodness Rosie, you've been

Mark Hubbard's picture

Goodness Rosie, you've been busy. (I've spend too much time off the timesheet today, I'll get back to your post soon).

Thank you, Mark

Rosie's picture

I have been laid up in bed, barely able to move, so took the opportunity to read some of your recommended books. Thank you very much indeed.

I particularly liked the David Lodge book, Author, Author about Henry James, another favourite author of mine. Doesn't he capture Henry James' perfect manners and fine feelings well? When I lived in the UK I used to go on literary tours (of my own creating) with friends and we had a great time in Rye and the Romney marshes one time where we visited HJ's home, Lamb House. It was as beautiful as he states. Do you like HJ's books? I didn't know that HJ had embarked on a playwriting spree in an attempt to raise some cash. I just loved that part of the book where we see George Bernard Shaw, H G Wells and Arnold Bennett all starting out, as it were, as play critics and being the few critics who saw the poetry in his writing - unlike the booing, hissing masses from the gallery. I couldn't get my hands on the David Lodge book you gave 10/10 unfortunately. Is that about Henry James also? It was a bit sad that he did not live to see how successful he became and how his books became loved by later generations.

The last letter from David Lodge to HJ telling him so, reminded me of the Dr Who episode where Dr Who teleports Vincent Van Gogh to a VG Exhibition at the Louvre so that he could see how famous and appreciated he is in the future. Nice thoughts. Smiling

W. Somerset Maugham on Wagner (and Ibsen)

Mark Hubbard's picture

From the novel I'm reading at the moment, Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage: apologies to Peter C. if he ever happens across this Eye

Quote:

"No, Helene, I tell you this," he shouted. "I would sooner my daughters were lying dead at my feet than see them listening to the garbage of that shameless fellow."

The play was The Doll's House and the author was Henrik Ibsen.

Professor Erlin classed him with Richard Wagner, but of him he spoke not with anger but with good-humoured laughter. He was a charlatan but a successful charlatan, and in that was always something for the comic spirit to rejoice in.

"Verruckter Kerl! A madman!" he said.

He had seen Lohengrin and that passed muster. It was dull but no worse. But Siegfried! When he mentioned it Professor Erlin leaned his head on his hand and bellowed with laughter. Not a melody in it from beginning to end! He could imagine Richard Wagner sitting in his box and laughing till his sides ached at the sight of all the people who were taking it seriously. It was the greatest hoax of the nineteenth century. He lifted his glass of beer to his lips, threw back his head, and drank till the glass was empty. Then wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he said:

"I tell you young people that before the nineteenth century is out Wagner will be as dead as mutton. Wagner! I would give all his works for one opera by Donizetti."

Olivia

Rosie's picture

Do forgive the big leap if that is not what you meant.

But let me explain my error:
Olivia:I have to say I think that is probably the SADDEST story every penned.
I'm serious. I actually became quite depressed after Jude the Obscure, I just couldn't get it out of my mind. (I think I'm a bit sensitive to literature.)
On the other hand, two [other]books had the most profound impact on me for the better.

"for the better" I took to mean the opposite of "saddest" "depressed".

Thus I thought you only liked literature that made you "happy" or an emotion of that ilk. I.e., whose purpose provided that emotion.

Silly me.

Atonement was far better read

Mark Hubbard's picture

Atonement was far better read than watched. McEwan used to be one of my favourite authors, unfortunately he's gone evangelical Warmist in his last novel. Also, all his prose reads really well, but when you think back on much of his work, content-wise they're pretty vacuous - there's probably some type of musical corollary to that?

Anyway, the movie had sumptuos production values, it looked very good, but the ending of the movie, I am quite sure - can't quite remember - was different to the novel, Olivia. The movie had an unremitting feeling of hopelessness, as you say, but I don't remember that being the emotion I ended the novel with.

Perhaps someone else who has read the book can comment more accurately.

(I might have to add a notes column to my reading list, but it's already out of hand).

Movie thread ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

We've done film lists many times on this website.. they're probably in the search engines somewhere.

... is just a couple above this one. Eye I keep it on the front page but not stickied.

A Big leap Rosie!

Olivia's picture

So I guess I am not of the same view as you that literature's purpose is only to make me happy.

When did I ever say anything of the sort about literature's purpose??

Jude the Obscure is as dark as it comes in a more sinister way than Anna Karenina is sad or Shakespeare can be tragic. Horrifically so. I think partly because the evil that is climactic is done via the actions of a small boy.

A film recently hit me on a similar nerve, Atonement with Keira Knightly and Vanessa Redgrave. Powerful and beautifully executed, but too tragic for me to cope with. Something to do again with there being a terrible mistaken assumption on the part of a child which leads unwittingly to a great evil. Childhood is meant to be the realm of innocence, when it is twisted so (from an innocent mistake) and the results of that are irredeemably permanent it leaves me with a feeling of utter hopelessness.

We've done film lists many times on this website.. they're probably in the search engines somewhere.

Olivia and Rosie: Jude the Obscure

Mark Hubbard's picture

Have either of you seen the Winterbottom directed movie?

http://www.aliceinvideoland.co...

I really like both Ecceleston and Winslet, so it's been on the 'To-Watch' list for a long time; must watch it, I've had great reviews from friends.

Other than Tess which I studied for my BA, many years ago now, I've read no more Hardy. Not enough hours in the day. He's a very good writer. One day I guess ...

(Thanks for the explanation of Bach, Rosie. I've never been good at mathematics Eye )

By the way, Alice's Video in Christchurch is brilliant. I have an online account for Chch and one for the Marlborough Sounds: I can rent an email online today, have it in the mail tomorrow (anywhere in the country) and can keep it for a week. I've not come across a movie they haven't got. Great for Linz, he'd never need venture out and see any actual people (which is another part of the attraction for me).

Olivia

Rosie's picture

Yes, I would have to agree that Jude the Obscure is really sad in terms of the ending which is where honour and duty prevails over love for those of you who haven't read it (which is why it is such a tear jerker!). But also very beautifully written. I guess the themes are a bit like Dr Zhivago in that sense. The opposite theme, of course, where love conquered over honour and duty ended in misery also, namely in the book by Tolstoy, Anna Karenina!! And I loved all of them despite the sadnesses. (In this respect you could find some solace in the first two books in that valuing honour and duty over love - and the shame that attended it as in Anna Kareina - did not make the characters commit suicide!) Shakespeare's works also are profoundly depressing at times.

So I guess I am not of the same view as you that literature's purpose is only to make me happy. For me, so long as whatever emotion is aroused is extreme, I consider it is great literature.

Same with films. I think we should start a film list too, do you? But with a bit of a plot summary and what people like about it - I think a plot summary would be helpful for this book thread too. If only a link to Wiki if you haven't time do write your own.

Jude the Obscure... oh!

Olivia's picture

I have to say I think that is probably the SADDEST story every penned. I can't bear it! Hardy outdid himself with that one, even more so than the depressing tales of Tess of the D'urbivilles and Far From the Madding Crowd.

I'm serious. I actually became quite depressed after Jude the Obscure, I just couldn't get it out of my mind. (I think I'm a bit sensitive to literature.)

On the other hand, two books had the most profound impact on me for the better.

Les Miserables and Atlas Shrugged.

You might be interested to know Rosie, that it was Les Miserables that started to really lead me out of Christian thought - ironic since the themes are so Christian (law vs grace etc). But it was one particular chapter which made me think and think (and weep), it is near the beginning of the novel where the Bishop of Digne condescends to go and visit the dying, exiled Revolutionary and returns a changed man. It touched me so deeply and I saw that Christianity was a form of collective tribalism in a way (though I didn't think of it in those terms then).

Two Tear Jerkers from the 19th Century Romantic Period

Rosie's picture

Two beautifully written books that move me to tears every time I read them are:

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

The Mill on The Floss by George Elliot.

All the other novels by these two 19th century authors are very good too.

Bach, Accountants and The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

Rosie's picture

I think that the posit that Bach is the music for accountants would have been posed because of the relationship between maths and music and Bach's compositions are considered particularly mathematical. Not only is this because of the structure of his work but also because he devised something called the "well tempered scale" which used different tuning ratios so that musicians could move between different keys without it sounding awful. (There is a problem with any changes of key using the Pythagorean system - okay in changes between C, F, and G but not good for C, E or Eb.)

Bach used very strict mathematical relationships and patterns and formal rules of counterpoint. Bach used for instance the "golden section" as well as the Fibonacci succession (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc., in which each number in the succession is the sum of the two previous ones). In many ways he worked like an architect, joining the two different parts of a musical piece into one harmonious whole before the actual process of composition started. If you listen to that piece by Bach I posted a wee while ago (Toccata and Fugue in D minor) you will hear what I mean.

Just for interest, it was Pythagoras and Boethius who made the connection between maths and music. The story is as follows:

One day Pythagoras passed a smithy as he was walking in the forest. He stopped to listen to the beautiful sound of hammers striking the anvil. After he had worked out that it was the head of the hammer which was responsible for such exceptional sounds, he examined all the hammers and found that the weight of each individual hammer was in a particular proportion to that of another: 12, 9, 8 and 6 pounds. You could hear an octave each time the largest and the smallest hammer struck the anvil (12 : 6), a pure fifth emerged in the relationship between the 12- and 8-pound hammers; he found the straight fourth in the relationship between 8 and 6 or 12 and 9, and the whole note rang out when the two middle hammers were being used (9 : 8 ).' This means that the reason why these sounds were in harmony was attributable to the mathematical relationship that existed between them.

"Pythagoras' theory was that pleasing sounds resulted from frequencies
with simple ratios. What we now call octaves, perfect fifths, and
major thirds have ratios of 2 to 1, 3 to 2, and 5 to 4. For example,
if a note is tuned to a frequency of 440 hertz (which is how the A
above middle C is usually tuned nowadays), then a perfect fifth above
that note has a frequency of 660 hertz, because the ratio of 660 hertz
to 440 hertz is 3 to 2. (In symbols, 660 Hz : 440 Hz :: 3 : 2.)

Pythagoras, of course, didn't know that sound was a vibration, much
less that different pitches were different frequencies. (One hertz is
a vibration that cycles once every second.) He interpreted these
ratios in terms of the lengths of strings in stringed instruments.
From the mathematics of wave theory, we know today that the
combination of waves with different frequencies produces a simple
pattern only if the frequencies have a simple ratio. Apparently,
people find simple wave patterns beautiful and complicated wave
patterns ugly." (Mathforum)

Based on the story about Pythagoras, Boëthius concluded that music is a matter of numbers. The medieval conceptualization of music also led to the view that music is a matter of numerical relations translated into sounds. .

And now comes the God bit. Couldn't resist it. This is a quote from Pederson:

"Boethius's and Pythagoras's approaches to music can be seen as ways of discovering already existing natural phenomena, phenomena which are all created by God. When medieval man envisaged music in terms of a divine assumption concerning the relationship between tones, and was thus in the last instance to claim that God made use of mathematics to create the world, he quoted Solomon: 'but thou (God) hast ordered all things in measure and number and weight' (Wisdom of Solomon, 11, 20). In the beginning of the 14th century, a medieval theoretician of music wrote that 'music is about tones which are related to numbers and vice versa (about numbers which are related to tones)'. This notion is also found in the works of the 17th century philosopher and mathematician Leibniz , who was the creator of analytic geometry. He wrote: "Music is the hidden arithmetical reckoning of the unconscious spirit". "

So where is this leading to in terms of books?! (You may well ask! Now you know why Richard's comments have to be very brief and to the point!!!! Eye )

I love all the novels of Hermann Hesse. Narziss and Goldmund was the first I read and, possibly for this reason, is my favourite of his. Coming up a very close second, and the book that I thought of when I read Olivia's comment about Bach and accountants, (which led me to maths, relationship between maths and music, back to Bach, and JS Wilson's experiment) was The Glass Bead Game which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature. My link is to the article by J S Wilson, who gives a quick explanation of what the glass bead game was from medievil times, how Hesse describes it in the book and then how he applies it to the Toccata and Fugue in D minor with startling results!!

That's The Winslow Boy to go

Mark Hubbard's picture

That's The Winslow Boy to go on to both 'to-read' and 'to-watch' lists.

Jeremy Northam is a great actor.

Olivia

Curt Holmes's picture

I haven't seen it, but I'll look for the movie. It was a reading of The Winslow Boy that motivated me to purchase the volume of Rattigan's work. What a delight!

Curt & Mark

Olivia's picture

David Mamet's The Winslow Boy with Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jeremy Northam is one of my favourite films! I love films like that with a strong moral theme... "let right be done."
It's also such a treat to watch an upper-middle class family interact in a most respectful, honest and functional fashion. I just LOVE entering that world.

Thanks, Olivia

Curt Holmes's picture

Your post reminded me that "The Collected Plays of Terence Rattigan" (Volume Two) was included in an order of books I placed some months ago.

Good time for me to crack it open!

There you go, I've learned

Mark Hubbard's picture

There you go, I've learned something new already.

I'd not heard of Terence Rattagin, though when I Wiki I see he is, quote, one of England's most popular 20th century dramatists. His plays are generally situated within an upper-middle-class background.[1] He is known for such works as The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version and Separate Tables, among many others. He was also a screenwriter, mainly but not exclusively of his own plays.

I wouldn't normally read plays as I'd rather just go to the theatre - um, at least I'll start doing so again when the Court Theatre in Chch gets decent space between the seats so I don't have to sweat my way through two hours with some smelly person next to me half on my lap - but that you and Peter are reading Rattagin has my interest piqued enough to have a look, so I'll put him on the 'to-be-read' list (yes, I've got a list for that too).

At some stage when I get the time I'm going to have to trawl through here for that Bach link.

I'm reading..

Olivia's picture

a little book called The Elizabethan World Picture at the moment and Cresswell gave me a book of Terrence Rattagin's plays which I'm about to delve into this weekend.

Why Bach?

Olivia's picture

Because we established some time ago that Bach was music for accountants. Eye

No, why Bach? (Remember I'm

Mark Hubbard's picture

No, why Bach? (Remember I'm a music ignoramus).

Although if I park the harpsichord for a bit, then Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring is most certainly a joy.

What're you reading Olivia?

[Shame-faced confession: I would have been listening to Nanny State's Concert program; I have their online feed going most of the day when I'm working. Don't tell Linz.]

Heheheh

Olivia's picture

Accountants! They're a breed that's for sure. Smiling

Hey Mark, were you listening to Bach whilst you composed that list?

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