14 December 2007

This 'n' that (mostly that) with Dr C

My absence has been long, and my lack of attention to the Excellent Dr C longer still ... like many of my friends, he may well have given me up for lost.

I agree with Dr C on many things, and disagree with him on many more, with respect in both cases. Browsing through his recent posts, it's hard to disagree with the assertion that "...we ... have irrevocably destroyed our legitimacy by allowing torture. No matter what the excuse." (Except that there can be no excuse.) I'm afraid that torture is one of those areas where a little personal experience goes a very long way ... and inoculates very thoroughly for a very long time ... so I'll not dwell on it, but recommend visits to Witness and Amnesty International for anyone in need of consciousness raising.

On the disagreement front, I personally rate both Susanna Clark's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and John Banville's "Revolutions Trilogy" (of which The Newton Letter is the third part) very much more highly than does the good doctor in his book review. Mr Norrell is, in my own humble opinion a breathtaking piece of work (and while we're here, let me also recommend Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys), while Newton is a small but perfectly formed gem.

  1. Clarke, Susannah. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. 2004, London: Bloomsbury.
  2. Banville, John. The revolutions trilogy. 2000, London: Picador.
  3. Banville, John. The Newton letter. 1982, London: Picador.
  4. Gaiman, Neil. Anansi boys. 2005, London: Headline Review.

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