English literature and geology do mix!
Here is a concrete example of why all English literature students should study geology! In the first B.S. Johnson story the main character is a teacher doing a lesson on geology - 'Albert Angelo'. Central to the story is this piece of gneiss – a metamorphic rock. The character is describing this small piece of gneiss to the class whilst at the same time he is remembering the holiday with his girlfriend in Ireland where he took the gneiss sample (the rock gets stolen by one of the kids). He goes on to describe gneiss as an igneous rock. This really shocked me because there is no way that gneiss could be considered an igneous rock. It is strongly layered, igneous rocks are hardly ever layered. I started to think how he could have made such a mistake. Perhaps he is doing it deliberately so that the character may have an argument with a geologist later on … unlikely, perhaps he really doesn’t know that gneiss is a metamorphic rock. Where would he have read this? As far as I know gneiss has always been considered metamorphic. The best explanation I can come up with is that he read this information in an architecture manual. One where the author got his information wrong and one that the author never managed to check up.
The question is, would anybody else realise this? I doubt if any English literature student would realise this unless perhaps they had just been watching Alan Titchmarsh’s guide to geology on TV. That perhaps is quite unlikely too! I still haven’t finished the story as yet, I will maybe find out . It would be quite amazing to be able to find an architecture manual where gneiss is identified as an igneous rock, one reason why cheaters never win, they repeat their mistakes!