Interests - Books

There are so many books to read and so little time in one life. I despair whenever I enter a bookshop. Here are some that come to mind:

  • Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter: Mario Vargas Llosa
  • The Flanders panel: Arturo Pérez-Reverte
  • Foucault’s pendulum: Umberto Eco
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid: Douglas R Hofstadter
  • A handful of dust: Evelyn Waugh
  • The heart of London: Monica Dickens
  • Labyrinths: Jorge Luis Borges
  • One hundred years of solitude: Gabriel García Márquez
  • Orlando: Virginia Woolf
  • Parents and children: Ivy Compton-Burnett
  • The periodic table: Primo Levi
  • The plague: Albert Camus
  • The sea, the sea: Iris Murdoch
  • The unbearable lightness of being: Milan Kundera
  • When we were orphans: Kazuo Ishiguro

    “And behold, where there is endless light with the testing of a straight line in the midst of the chasm as seen above, it did not extend and broaden until it reached the bottom. However, it expanded very slowly; at the commencement of the beam it started to expand. And there, at the very beginning of its expansion, at the source of the beam, it expanded and continued and was formed, like one wheel encircled from the outside”

    Introduction to Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, loosely translated from the mystical theory.

    “That was when I saw the Pendulum. The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty”

    No one saw him disembark in the unanimous night, no one saw the bamboo canoe sinking into the sacred mud, but within a few days no one was unaware that the silent man came from the South and that his home was one of the infinite villages upstream, on the violent mountainside, where the Zend tongue is not contaminated with Greek and where leprosy is infrequent”

    The circular ruins, from Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges

    [Aureliano (II)] saw the epigraph of the parchments perfectly paced in the order of man's time and space: The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants.… Melquíades had not put events in the order of a man's conventional time, but had concentrated a century of daily episodes in such a way that they coexisted in one instant
    [Aureliano (II)] had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth

    One hundred years of solitude: Gabriel García Márquez

    It said, 'lie down
    in the word-hoard, burrow
    the coil and gleam
    of your furrowed brain.

    Compose in darkness.
    Expect aurora borealis
    in the long foray
    but no cascade of light.

    Keep your eye clear
    as the bleb of the icicle,
    trust the feel of what nubbed treasure
    your hands have known.'

    Seamus Heaney, North

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