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Author Topic: Miscellaneous Reading
Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: January 30, 2019, 15:46
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Following is a fairly representative passage of Tagor’s Glimpses of Bengal. He comes upon a boatman singing a song (and not a very good one). But it takes him back to a similar moment.

The day before yesterday, as I was sitting at the window of the boat, a little fisher-dinghy floated past, the boatman singing a song--not a very tuneful song. But it reminded me of a night, years ago, when I was a child. We were going along the Padma in a boat. I awoke one night at about 2 o'clock, and, on raising the window and putting out my head, I saw the waters without a ripple, gleaming in the moonlight, and a youth in a little dinghy paddling along all by himself and singing, oh so sweetly,--such sweet melody I had never heard before.

A sudden longing came upon me to go back to the day of that song; to be allowed to make another essay at life, this time not to leave it thus empty and unsatisfied; but with a poet's song on my lips to float about the world on the crest of the rising tide, to sing it to men and subdue their hearts; to see for myself what the world holds and where; to let men know me, to get to know them; to burst forth through the world in life and youth like the eager rushing breezes; and then return home to a fulfilled and fruitful old age to spend it as a poet should.

Not a very lofty ideal, is it? To benefit the world would have been much higher, no doubt; but being on the whole what I am, that ambition does not even occur to me. I cannot make up my mind to sacrifice this precious gift of life in a self-wrought famine, and disappoint the world and the hearts of men by fasts and meditations and constant argument. I count it enough to live and die as a man, loving and trusting the world, unable to look on it either as a delusion of the Creator or a snare of the Devil. It is not for me to strive to be wafted away into the airiness of an Angel.

One may or may not agree with his philosophy (I think most do, even if it is sacrilege to admit it). But it’s well expressed.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 9, 2019, 12:01
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Right now I’m 15% into P. G. Wodehouse’s Something New. You can download that for free in various formats from Gutenberg.

You’ll notice some resemblance to Bertie Wooster in one of the characters. But so far this an easy-to-read (but not simplistic) book that is moving along pretty well so far. If you’re looking for something lighter with a bit of humor — but still with some panache — give this a try. I’ll see if the story hangs together as I go further.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 16, 2019, 08:58
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I finished reading P. G. Wodehouse’s Something New. It was a good read. Not too long. East to read. Simple, but still intelligently written.

I started reading the second Wodehouse book the includes Jeeves and Wooster. And I don’t know if Something New came before, after, or during the Jeeves books, but it’s a notch above. This is just a good, sometimes funny, adventure/mystery that has some fun poking fun at the upper classes as well.

You get a little of the Upstairs/Downstairs vibe as well. All around, a pretty good read.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 16, 2019, 14:30
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This was the first of a series of novels based on Castle Blanding and its set. The first Bertie and Wooster story came out shortly afterward. It was the book that gave Wodehouse a brand as a writer of upper-class farces.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 16, 2019, 15:49
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Do you know which other books are of the Castle Blanding set?Here's the listing of stuff at Gutenberg.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 16, 2019, 17:07
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Wikipedia lists 11 novels (one published incomplete with extensive notes) and 9 short stories. Many of the former, and a collection of the latter, have either "Blandings" or "Emsworth" in the title. Others are Leave it to Psmith (also part of another series involving Psmith, who was based on D'Oyley Carte), Summer Lightning, Heavy Weather, Uncle Fred in the Springtime, Full Moon, Pigs Have Wings, and Service With a Smile. Incidentally, Something New was Something Fresh in Britain. Gutenberg doesn't seem to like the series very much.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 18, 2019, 10:05
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I don’t see any titles in that list on Gutenberg than include either “Blandings” or “Emsworth.”

I do see that Amazon has a Kindle version of a book called, Blandings Castle.

I’ll have to check out the Psmith stuff as well. And apparently that character is part of the Blanding stories. It’s all a little confusing. But it seems as though Leave it to Psmith is the next in the series after Something Fresh, which I just concluded.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 18, 2019, 10:52
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That is the only Psmith book in the Blanding series, but obviously there is some sort of link. Of course, any of these could overlap with each other. The first Jeeves book I ever read came when he was with a friend of Bertie Wooster, who himself never appeared in the story. Blandings Castle and Elsewhere is a collection of 12 stories, half set in the Blandings-Emsworth series.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 18, 2019, 11:51
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Thanks. I'm looking forward to reading more of the Blanding series. By hook and by crook, I just happened to accidentally start with the first in the series, Something New. I found it clearly better than Right Ho, Jeeves, which I’m 52% into it. The plot is proceeding slowly and it’s little more so far than repetitive reflections by Bertie and includes very little of Jeeves so far.

This is the 4th of the Jeeves and Wooster stories. I expect this will come together nicely as the plot elements come crashing together. As it is now, there are two couples that are together, or trying to get together. Of course, everything Bertie tries just makes things worse.

There are bits and pieces of Bertie monologue that contain gems. But as for the plot, the best bit so far is when Bertie’s plan for getting one of these couples together is for the man to refuse his dinner, thus supposedly showing his would-be bride how upset he is. He can’t even eat, despite the five-star gourmet food. She’ll come running, they’ll talk things out, and all is well.

Well, what happens is that the non-eating has an effect only on the world-renowned French cook of the manor. He sees untouched food being sent back to this kitchen and, in a pique, tenders his resignation. I’m sure Jeeves will sort this out at some point too. We know he must even now be working in the background. But we have no hint of his actions.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Reading
on: February 18, 2019, 12:37
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Right Ho, Jeeves seems to be highly regarded. The 2 I can recall are The Code of the Woosters, probably the most popular; and Ring For Jeeves, the only one not featuring Bertie Wooster (though he is mentioned).

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