Sunday, November 02, 2003

Last Saturday I left a lot of books back to the Linenhall Library, Graham Greene and Robert Graves. I felt that I had to move on and even though I was enjoying them sometimes a break is required. This I have tried, unsuccessfully to read 'Islands in the Stream' by Hemingway. Unfortunately it contains some wonderful passages and some quite disappointing passages, I am still in the middle of disappointing. This book was published posthumously and it is understandable that texts he wrote may not have even been intended for publication. I sense that parts of this book were just notebook jottings. In a way they are fascinating because this was the real man, in a way I really want to read the artist, the genius. I have quite a strange relationship with Hemingway, I admire him and yet most of his ideas are quite different to mine.

I am also reading 'Embers' by Sandor Marai, btw when I said 'in the car' I meant when the car was parked. I used to read a lot of books this way as it was the only time I had some time to myself but with the nights getting darker it is more difficult. Embers is a very mysterious book. I am finding it quite slow and yet there is a lot of tension, every time I suspect I know what is going to happen it changes. It takes patience to read a book that is slow and yet shows great promise.

The past day or so I have been thinking about Teilhard de Chardin. On my last day in Lima I went with Isabel to get CDs. While she went shopping I sat in the square reading 'The future of Man'. He gave a picture of the human race as a number of boats sailing down a river. Unknown to most of the sailors around the next corner there is a whirlpool. Apparently we had some choices, to turn around, to ignore it, or to face up to the challenge and overcome it. Unfortunately just as I was getting interested the book was misplaced and left in Peru. It does seem more relevant now considering the past century and that it was probably written at the latest around 1945. I wonder what Teilhard would be doing if he was around today.
Here is a link to an article about Teilhard de Chardin with a similar theme: Teilhard de Chardin and the Noosphere

I am also reading 'The Ukimwi Road' by Dervla Murphy. The quite incredible story of her bicycle ride through Kenya, Uganda to Malawi. She seems to be completely calm about the fact that there are tribal riots and shootings everyday. I have this grand idea of getting to grips with Africa, so occasionally I read something African. She did the ride 10 years ago, Africa is such a dangerous place I am amazed at the number of people who are friendly towards her. I didn't really think she would impress me but actually it is interesting.

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