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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Space, the universe, everything!


I have no idea what Boolean Algebra is and I think that I can live without anyone explaining it to me. However, the word or the concept itself suggests a sophisticated method of looking at the word in which the ordinary confines of normal three dimensional space morph into something strange and other worldly.

As I say I have no idea whether any of that is true, but I am strangely drawn to any ideas which suggest that the ordinary run-of-the-mill universe is only one of many and that in the reality of our existence there is an infinity of spaces tantalizingly almost within reach.

This is because of my books, of course.

The boxes which I sneakily brought home while Toni was babysitting for his sister have revealed Old Friends whose reappearance I have greeted with greedy delight and have spent hours poring over them rather than putting them away. And that is the point of course: there is nowhere to put them.

I have started the process of taking out all the York Notes and Text Books. I have started rationalizing the number of editions of texts that I have. I have discarded my Opera programmes. I have extracted the two or three books that I am convinced that I will never read again. And there is not enough space.

This weekend I will have to be uncharacteristically heartless and ruthless and (dare I say it) realistic. Books will have to go – but it’s going to be hard. Very hard.

Take, for example the small book case nearest me. I have just opened it up. What do I get rid of? My Giles cartoon books? The True Story of the Novel by Margaret Anne Doody – the lady who chose my name for the helper of the great philosopher in her novel ‘Aristotle Detective’? Perhaps my copy of the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book or The Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes? The Oxford Book of Letters or A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Quotations? I think not.

I can no more get rid of those that I can dispense with my copy of the cartoons of H M Bateman or The Penguin History of Christianity Volume 1 which is next to it!

Part of the delight of the way in which my book collection is ‘arranged’ at the moment is that the ‘arrangement’ is gloriously arbitrary. Who is of soul so leaden that they could not rejoice at the sequence of volumes on one shelf which is: ‘The English’ by Jeremy Paxman next to The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations next to The Authorized Version of the Bible (with maps) next to National Anthems of the World next to History of Art: Surrealism next to the Guide to Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya next to The Oxford Book of English Verse. Who wouldn’t want to browse all the other shelves to see what else is there in the higgledy-piggledy excess? And how could I dispense with any part of that eccentric arrangement?

It will be real test of character. There are still twenty boxes left in Bluespace. This is why I need multi-dimensional book shelves.

Work today has been an elegant waste of time but my homecoming was speeded up because Caroline was going to visit.

We have not been in touch for some time so it was an opportunity to catch up on what we had both been doing and to make firm plans for our future activity. We are both passionate believer in the idea of Ladies Who Lunch and, although our future commitments make this difficult we are determined to ensure that we get the spaciousness of a meal to allow us to indulge our delight to talk.

Lunch might have to be dinner but we are determined not to allow so long a gap to separate our gossip!

Tomorrow threatens another absurdly long meeting. I have vowed that I will not sit through another three hour marathon without a break. I will have to see if I have the strength of purpose to keep to my word and brave the questioning stares of my colleagues as I march towards the door. Especially as I have not yet signed my contract.

There is only so much that the idea of a decent lunch can do to keep you servile.

I might just emphasize the vile and have done with it!

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