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Saturday, 22 October 2011


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Maybe you'll like that.

My morning paper says that it's alleged that he's lost both his arms. That'll make it hard to handcuff him thus providing an extra excuse for shooting him.

Thanks, Ortega, that was a fascinating read. I was tempted to buy the book until I read Fenton's criticism of the translation. Even so, Kessler was obviously at the heart of le beau monde of his day. What a pity he didn't raise his eyes from the nearest pretty boy and/or famous painter and look around at the wider scene.

Quite so, DM, and I am sure there are some European dignitaries only too willing to provide a bullet!

Ortega, I was going to e-mail you privately but I don't have your address. However, as your English is near perfect, in fact, it is frequently better than mine, I feel I should correct one small error in your comment above:

"Maybe you'll like that" should read 'Maybe you'll like this'.

I cannot give you the grammatical reasons, after all, I'm English so I never think about my own language, lazy sod that I am, but to write/say 'I think you will like that' implies that you are referring to something which is not present, perhaps it is elsewhere, or perhaps it is something for the future. However, if the thing to which you refer is present, here and now, then you use 'this'.

As I say, I only mention it because your English is so good.

Well, I do like "that". Sounds quite fascinating and I would rather like to read it.
I think the plan is to wait for the paperbook and hope the translation is better.

Yes, this & that is one of my (many) usual mistakes. To tell you the truth, had I read it again maybe I'd have noticed. But then, I'd have missed your note, a good lesson and reminder for next time. Thanks.

About Kessler, I read some time ago,

wich is not too bad and gives a good idea of the times.

By the way, I've just finished The Killing. I'll send you my opinion as soon as I have it ready. Must go over the spelling once more!

Alas, not such a good lesson, Ortega. Ever since I wrote my 'correction' I have been thinking of different examples which break my rule! For instance, you might say just prior to hitting someone, 'Take that'; or, after tasting some wine you might say, 'That is a delicious wine'. I think, on consideration, I will resign as your English teacher! Perhaps I will try and learn Spanish, instead.

As for Kessler that clinches it! A few heavy hints will be dropped as Xmas approaches that I would be very happy to find a cheap, second-hand copy of the book in my Xmas stocking. I have to admit that I am fascinated by the fin du siècle period of the 19th century and the Edwardian years of the 20th that led up to WWI. It's the cracks in the walls, the small tears in the fabric, which very few people saw at the time but which were clues that the social foundations were shifting. I think the opening night of The Rite of Spring epitomises for me that nothing was ever going to be the same again. Kessler seems like a perfect witness to events.

As for The Killing, why don't you write a considered critique and e-mail it to me and I will publish it as a guest post?

Good Lord! I was thinking on something of two or three lines of extension, as a mere comment, since I learnt of the series from you. Moreover, I have never done any critic of that kind (as a matter of fact, I am not even used to read them).
Anyhow, I will try to do something longer (wich probably will mean it will be even worse), but, believe me, we will be both happier, and your blog will maintain its present reputation, if you let it well hidden in the comments section.

Not at all, Ortega, just tell it the way you saw it and I'll publish it. In fact I intend to encourage some of my other regular commenters to take a 'guest spot' on this blog because even I am getting tired of the sound of my own voice!

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