Monday, February 28, 2011

Anders Bouvin

Anders Bouvin, Handelsbanken

 This profile found in the business section, is a fascinating look at the 'old-fashioned' way of banking that is making big moves and becoming more popular. Very interesting to read about a bank that goes against all the conventions of modern business and is doing very well. Part of the secret is identifying good people and training them well. I would suspect that if a UK bank tried to imitate them this would be the thing they would fail with.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Man was created in the image of God

I have been reading F.D. Maurice lately and he ismuch impressed by a sermon preached by Robert South in the Cathedral Church of St Paul, London, November 9, 1662. I must admit I am impressed by the 'rare eloquence' too.

Try this for a new perspective on Adam as the first philosopher:

"It was the privilege of Adam innocent to have these also firm and untainted; to carry his monitor in his bosom, his law in his heart, and to have such a conscience as might be its own casuist. And certainly those actions must needs be regular, where there is an identity between the Rule and the Faculty. His own mind taught him a due dependence on God, and chalked out to him the just proportion and measures of behaviour to his fellow-creatures. He had no Catechism but Creation, needed no study but Reflection; read no book but the volume of the world, and that, too, not for rules to work by, but for Objects to work upon. Reason was his Tutor, and first Principles his Magna Moralia."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pearls are a nuisance

After reading a few Chandler novels I started to read Dashiell Hammett. I wasn't really convinced that Chandler was as good as Hammett. I discovered the above short story by Chandler and it is absolutely amazing. I can honestly say I have never read twists like this before.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Granta: Pakistan

I bought this with no idea what to expect. The first story by Nadeem Aslam was incredible. Pakistan is not somewhere I would have thought of as the location for the next literary fad. I would encourage everyone here to believe the hype.

New York (Gay) City Boy

Just finished reading 'City Boy' by Edmund White and it was a better read than I would have thought. White was part of the first generation to come out as gay in New York. Whilst I admire that, he does seem to be bitter about the prejudice that he faced in contrast to a previous generation of major literary characters (whom he names) who were gay but never revealed it.

I love reading about New York in the 70s, it was rough and cool, full of artists with wild times. I think he went overboard with the sexual detail. White mentions that Bob Dylan lived across the street from him but he never saw him and he didn't really like his music anyway. I don't think it is written as well as it could be, it is gossipy and reads as if he was discussing things over a glass of wine. It is full of famous characters from the New York literary scene and he obviously had a very exciting time. It is good to get a different view of the world every so often.

Whilst it does confirm my view that literary success depends on what friends you have, White did have a hard time getting his books published and I do have to admire that he stuck with it. It was quite lucky that Nabokov read his book and recommended him (even if he was never sure if Nabokov was joking or not!) He was even involved in writing 'The joy of gay sex', and openly admits that being published in whatever format, it helped him to get more published. 

I must admit I was surprised at how bitter he appears at his lack of success and the trouble he has had over the years. I would have thought that now that he seems to have a fairly good reputation he would have glossed over it. I'm not even sure if it does merit the position of a 'book of note' but for a while it was quite a good read.