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Book - 2015
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The author reflects on his latest readings, and re-readings, undertaken after being diagnosed with terminal leukemia, combining thoughts on old favorites and new discoveries with personal musings on living and dying.
Publisher: New Haven and London : Yale University Press, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780300213195
0300213190
Characteristics: ix, 180 pages ; 21 cm

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"...idealism is a cast of mind that Conrad questions even more than he questions radicalism....idealism is the mental aberration that allows terror to be brought about. he saw that a new tyranny could be generated by people who thought that their rebellion against the old tyranny was rational...UNDER WESTERN EYES is valuable not because it came true but because it rang true even at the time, only now we can better hear the deep, sad note." "D. H. Lawrence was just as good as Hemingway at describing a clear mountain stream in a valley,..but Hemingway made a thing of it, as the young people say." "For any writer who does not die instantly, the time of physical decline is a new subject...too many injuries to the head had wrecked his concentration." "It left a terrible mess, which his loved ones, to whom he knew he had been a burden, had to clean up. It wasn't gallant of him, and it wasn't brave." "Conrad's VICTORY, first published in 1915, perfects his signature themes. The hero, Heyst, is a Lord Jim fgiure without the guilt...in the dance hall of the despicable hotelier Scho9mberg, Heyst encounters the ideal girl, Alma, who is the helpless prisoner of the tatty Zangiacomo Orchestra and has nowhere to turn as Schomberg odiously threatens her with his attentions." "Here in Cambridge, in Trinity College Chapel, there is a plaque dedicated to Ludwig Wittgenstein. It says, in Latin, that he released thought from its bonds in language. If I ever had a plaque, I would like it to say: He loved the written word, and told the young."

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Feb 17, 2016

Numerous enjoyable, informative, and opinionated little essays, sometimes peppered with himself and his life and ailments, and sometimes with sarcastic humourm, as when he laments on a woman in the film industry who wasted her talents by trying to cram Peru into her nose (ie., she became a cocaine addict). No notes or index. Ultimately its like a series of well written longish blog posts, collected and printed.

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