Ma gavte la nata

This morning in Russell Park there was a man in a stripey jumper doing some sort of self-motivated circuit training. It involved moving from the (childrens’) still rings to the nearest bench for some push-ups, then slouching to the next bench for some sit-ups, and so on. Mad dogs and Englishman go out on a rainy April morning, it’s said, and even the dogs were staying tucked up today. Who can fathom the mind of the fitness enthusiast?

My Polish lessons have been cancelled. Sigh. On the other hand, this does mean that I now don’t have to choose between learning Polish and watching Nick Cave next week, nor do I now have to miss the Apprentice. Life ain’t all bad.

I finally finished the epic Foucault’s Pendulum. Even compared to The Name Of The Rose, this is a huge, headrush of a book – to try and take it all in in one reading would be equivalent to trying to read everything that’s there in the Bible or the Koran, or as Diotallevi would have it, to rewriting the Torah. Umberto Eco’s a big fan of intertextuality, the concept that all texts, writings and literary works have an influence and effect on each other. That’s patently true in Foucault’s Pendulum, which itself references a number of texts (as a novel based mostly in a publishing house should), but is also heavily influenced by many writings and ideas and concepts. It’s the way Eco draws these things together into an accessible whole which is the really impressive thing to me – like Four Tet does with electronica, or Mogwai do with post-rock, Eco takes an inherently complicated and overwrought subject matter and distils it with art, dexterity and on top of it all, a really great sense of what makes a thriller thrilling.

Next up: The Wasp Factory. I’ve managed to not read any Iain Banks up til now, for some reason. We’ll see if that’s justified. So far, it’s a little bit like the end of And The Ass Saw The Angel, but that might just be the animals on sticks.

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