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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Shine On!



I sometimes feel like a living embodiment (tautology?) of Ruskin’s Pathetic Fallacy.

The sun is shining this morning: all is well with the world. Yesterday in the grey-bright misery of indifferent weather (which is as close as Castelldefels comes to a grotesque mimicry of the Principality Pall that drove me from my native shores) I felt that life was void and without form – and now antithesis.

Having wasted valuable living time trying to make some sort of sense of the welter of computer generated statistical gibberish connected to the finances of The School That Sacked Me, I have decided that the combination of lots of figures with helpful subheadings in a foreign language is not conducive to my peace of mind.

It is therefore sensible to submit the whole farrago of nonsense to somebody who can read the financial runes and sense whether there is black or white magic enwrought (thank you Yeats – though in the translation into Spanish Daniel Aguirre has chosen the word ‘bordado’ which means embroidered; a word (in English) that Yeats uses in the first line of the poem, so Yeats is able to gain the rich distinction between ‘embroidered’ and ‘enwrought’ and add an element of the archaic, whereas the beggared Spanish translation looses . . . I better stop there) in the incomprehensible rows of figures that confound and blast my sight.

That last sentence is an obvious example of what happens when you start reading Milton for fun! A couple of days ago I was re-reading the first couple of books of Paradise Lost and marvelling again at the modernity of the Weasel Wisdom that Satan (or Stan as I typed it: it gives an altogether more homely and Northern feel to the Evil One!) uses as he raises his fall’n legions. “What tho’ the field be lost: all is not lost.” How many times do you hear that logic on the Today programme voiced in a myriad ways but the central theme being, “Black is white: believe me.”

As I never tired of telling my A level classes, you don’t need to read Machiavelli (though he is good fun and unfairly maligned) when you can read the speeches of Satan (or Stan) in Paradise Lost and follow the machinations of Iago in ‘Othello.’ As far as I can understand it, Political Science is a close study of those two texts and their application in the Real World. Job done!

I sometimes feel like Captain Cat sitting on the balcony and watching the world (or Castelldefels) {or my tiny section of the beach of Castelldefels} come to life. As I drink my early morning cup of tea I only see the Dutiful Dog Walkers and the Manic Old as they strut purposefully along our newly almost constructed paseo. Gradually Other Ages (suitably be-coated) pass along. The Hardy Boys (adjective not proper noun) start to play volleyball and the squeak of buggy wheels begins as grandparents wheel about their firmly strapped-in grandchildren. There is only one Lounging Figure looking in the distance like those Mexican carved sculptures you see in Chichen Itza. Gradually the beach will fill with people telling themselves that this is their holiday and they should be enjoying themselves!

A lot of work to be done today and not much of it enjoyable.

It remains to be seen if I can resist the ever present lure of the eBook as totally justifiable displacement activity!
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