Friday, November 15, 2013

The British Library and Paradoxymoron along with Proust

Nice sheep
Today I visited the New (-ish) British Library and well impressive it is, on the a couple of things you're not expecting like the Paolozzi sculpture of Newton  and some George I topiary.

Newton and his dividers
Inside it's even better, I wasn't after anything particular so didn't register and only had a bit of a wander but the free exhibition of treasures was brilliant .
What I like apart from learning about how the Decameron  perhaps led to  the birth of the novel was that the Football rules which form the basis of the modern game were decided in Holborn 150 years ago, also some original Beatles lyrics and a an interesting explanation and time-line of the Magna Carta (which means Great Charter)  (800 year anniversary coming up shortly in 2015).
It was pleasing to say work on the Natural history side of things by Hans Sloane a benefactor of the Chelsea Physic garden I visited a couple of weeks ago.

I also saw the astonishing Paradoxymoron  which has to be physically observed to enjoy it's by Patrick Hughes and is amazing (you can get a taste of it from this youtube).


Now Alain de Botton famously (well almost so) claimed that Proust can change your life and I think we're talking for the better so as BBC Radio 4 Extra is marking the centenary of  In search of Lost Time (or more romantically in it's French form A La recerche du Temps Perdu) with a six part adaptation that finishes on Monday the 18th November ( but the first 5 parts are currently  available on BBC iPlayer) I'm as Marcel wouldn't have said 'filling my boots' and really enjoying it - there's a possibility that I'm going to set myself the challenge of reading the 7 volume set having had a look at Swann's Way today (in Waterstones) it looks very readable.
Marcel gets into 'Mo-vember
Marcel Proust was something of an usual figure and wit in turn of the century (19th) France and I'm a little puzzled at why this series of books is in the fiction section as it appears to be autobiographical (or perhaps it as said  a novel disguised as autobiography).

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