: views from the Hill

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas

SourGrapes commented I can't wait to see what you're going to make of a mash-up of Baudrillard, Aristotle and Robert-Houdin.

The mash-up already exists: I'm reading a book the YYG told me I should read: The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas.

I've taken to scratching notes when I come across something interesting, unknown, strange. I stopped reading for a while this afternoon to hunt down some of the "unknown"s on the Web.

Also in my notes are some turns of phrase:
  • Monday morning and the sky is the color of sad weddings

  • it looks like the kind of place you'd come to when you'd retired or given up on life in some other way

Huh? Retiring is the same as giving up on life? Whatever. She's far younger than I am.

And, sure, I know. That writing may be a bit self-conscious. "the color of sad weddings" tweaks my mind in a fashion similar to "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

In both cases, you're pretty sure the writer thinks he's too clever by half, but he is.

More random sites in the next few days, probably. (I only brought up the first collection of notes and there's probably 4/5ths of the book left to go. ...)

The book's an amazing amalgam of references, everything from Paley's watch to Lamarck v Darwin, Erewhon (which I'll now have to go and reread for the first time since I was eighteen), Derrida and Edgar Allan Poe.

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