It amused me to read the story in the Archimedes entry on Wikipedia. Allegedly he was killed by a Roman soldier during the siege of Syracuse. Archimedes was supposed to be engrossed in calculations and diagrams that he had drawn in the sand. His dying words were, “Do not disturb my circles.”
Archive for August 2nd, 2006
It’s deeply annoying that the minute that Bryan and i begin to post, the damned server starts crashing again.
One of my coworkers is now insane enough to take up reading novels that i suggest. I actually bought two as a birthday present months back, but those are still unread. The report on Pamuk’s The Black Book (new translation) is due any time now. Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles, Bazdulj’s The Second Book, Kis’ A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and Henirich’s The King’s Evil were in the bundle that i delivered yesterday.
There’s not much insightful that i have to add to this at the moment. It struck me that every single one of these books i’ve read within the past year. I even bought copies of a Pamuk and Schulz to give away as birthday presents for someone else. There’s nothing to match the fervor the recently converted.
From the Sofia News Agency:
Bulgarian archaeologists have continued their amazing streak at the ancient sanctuary of Perperikon, unearthing a temple five times larger than Athens’ Acropolis.
A bronze cross containing relics of the Holly Cross was also discovered at the site close to the southern city of Kurdzhali, and is the first preserved woodchip from Jesus’ cross found in Bulgaria.
The Acropolis-rivalling temple dates back to the Bronze Age and is the biggest on the Balkans. The whole complex is spread over 7.5 square kilometres and covers the whole Perperikon peak. People came to pray at that spot for a period of over 2,000 years, archaeologists believe.
The complex is checkered with metallurgy workshops and the team discovered many awls, and axe moulds. The discovery represents a success for the archaeologists because it is the first complex of its kind ever found on the Balkan Peninsula. The only site that resembles it has been uncovered at the Island of Crete.
Finders of the bronze cross were thrilled as well, as it dates back to the IX or X century A.D. Its sacred contents were very well preserved, because it was hermetically sealed. The cross, bearing Jesus’ image on the front and the Holly Mother’s on the back, had to spend over a month in a special solution before scientists could pry it open.
The ceramics found near a tower at the newly unearthed sanctuary are similar to the pottery from ancient Troy. This evidence brings new support for the hypothesis that the Troy Homer had described was founded by the Thrace.
Oh, fuck those high profile, trendy litblogs. I got suckered again. The title Special Topics in Calamity Physics caught my eye. The obsessive references to literature seemed fun. I read three chapters last night on break. No, no, no….i can be such a gullible bastard.
She’s very clever. I grant that. However, it’s very… ach… chatty. She’s packed worlds of literary references in there, mostly from the standard undergrad Western canon. Unfortunately, for as much stuff as she crams into there, it lacks obscurity and obsessiveness. What i read came across as cocktail party banter. The knowledge is broad, but not especially insightful, just enough to grant a smirk or chuckle to someone allegedly in the know, but not enough to require higher processes. There’s supposed to be a mysterious death in the intro, but i was so unengaged by the prattle following it that i forgot it until i went to check a review to figure out why the hell i was reading this.
It caused me to raise an eyebrow when a college town named Howard, Louisiana became part of the story. I’m sure it’s a fictionalized version of my hometown, Hammond, Louisiana, which is 30 minutes west of Baton Rouge, not 30 minutes north. (There is no college in that direction.) It disappeared in a single chapter though. I wasn’t obligated to stick it out to see how this author perceived my personal hellhole.
Inventive new fiction? Put it in the teen fiction section and i’ll grant it its niche. Go read Muharem Bazdulj’s The Second Book if you want truly inventive new fiction that uses literary references as more than trendy flash.