gall and gumption

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Since You Asked, or Spanish Painting Parte Cuatro

Leslie asked what I was reading on the bus. On the way up I continued reading Talleyrand: The Art of Survival, Jean Orieux's wonderfully gossipy and fascinating biography of the 19th century French diplomat who was not like any other diplomat or much like any other person anywhere, ever. I can't get enough of him. I also took along Conjectures and Refutations by Karl Popper. Which is really a good choice for a bus ride a few hours long.

The time I would have spent on seeing the Spanish paintings I instead spent at Labyrinth Books, a bookstore about which I have always had somewhat mixed feelings. But I scored a few nice things including Rose Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond which made me envious of her daffy Anglicanism and her camel. I think it would be such a complete rip to ride a camel alone from Istanbul to Jerusalem, stopping occasionally to write a little and paint watercolors, while quoting to myself some of the more vivid poetical utterances of 17th-century Anglican theologians. I've almost finished it.


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