Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I am continuing my quest to find the most obscure Pelican book. I found 'Inventing the future' last week by Dennis Gabor. He was writing in the 50s about the future of the world and it is quite interesting reading. He realised that the cold war was not a struggle between ideologies but really about a power struggle between USSR and USA. He comes up with other quite interesting things including this paragraph about industrialisation: ( whilst commenting on whether the whole world will someday look like California)

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century the great industrialist Werner von Siemens sent one of his brothers to the Caucasus to mine the
rich copper deposits. But the people in that valley were happy,
they did not want to go underground, until one of the engineers
had an idea. He opened a shop in which beautiful dresses,
fabrics, and trinkets were displayed - but they could only be
had for money! It did not take long before the women nagged
their men into the mines.
There are some good reasons why the whole world will never
look like a Californian suburb. There is even hope that some
time it will again be diversified. A few little paradises may
survive unharmed until then, if they were artificially protected,
like big-game reservations. But for the overwhelming majority
of the world's population, once industrialization has started
there is no stopping and no return.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I started to read 'cut that fence' again and I came across a wonderful poem by Semezdin Mehmedinovec called 'This door is not an exit'. It appears to be a meditation based on the idea that perhaps at one time he was held captive and he looked at the door and had these images of his past life. It appears relatively simple but I keep going back to it because I get the feeling something much deeper is going on. For example these few lines:

I don't bear the sorrow of a people within me
but I know it

And I can't change anything in the world
since I'm scared

of even sounds I can't recognise ...

******

Sometimes I feel maybe his English is awkward or maybe it is a translation and it just takes me offguard. Also he uses this phrase 'blind as the encyclodaedia of crime'.

Anyway it is quite intriguing and it one of the few things I have re-read frequently for quite a while.