Music, literature, comics, and hagiography
Beethoven, string quartet in E flat major, op. 127. This is one
of Beethoven’s “late quartets”, and thus tarred with the brush
of perhaps being rather difficult. Really though, it’s not so
bad. The really difficult piece is the Grosse
Fugue, a very long self-contained work that was the
original last movement to one of the other late quartets. I
still haven’t got my head around it.
A lost comic:
and Hobbes. The first of the commercial comics I was in the
habit of reading. The author, Bill Watterson, stopped drawing
this comic in 1995, and the United Comics site is gradually
putting all of them online, revealing them one at a time, 11
years after the fact.
C&H is very well drawn, and features some very funny strips. My
only criticism is that it occasionally gets a little preachy,
particularly on environmental themes. It’s also sometimes gives
Calvin a perception of his blissful childhood state that is both
unrealistic (“youth is wasted on the young”) and a little
irritating. All that notwithstanding, still a classic.
- Patrick O'Brian, The
This is the fourth book in the
Aubrey-Maturin series, and it’s very enjoyable. Instead of the
relatively straightforward solo naval actions of the first three
books, Jack Aubrey is given responsibility (as a commodore) for
a group action in and around Mauritius. To make things even
more interesting, he has to coordinate with the army. All this
brings a new dimension to the storyline, and I really liked it.
Ever heard of Stephen Wolfram? He’s given a
hagiographic write-up in this
piece from Forbes magazine. I read this and got
increasingly annoyed with it. It’s painfully short of detail, so that
you aren’t told just what Rule 30 really is, and there’s no real
attempt to actually discuss the issues. It all boils down to “Geez,
that Wolfram guy is really smart”.