Monday, March 28, 2005

Blitt snooping ?

The blitt snooper is of the same species as book snooper, bane of the smarty-party. One idle finger run along a row of books can stop one's host in her tracks as she turns a wondering eye - mid-flow on holidays, house-prices and grandchildren - to the question if her books come up to scratch. Her, "Find anything you like?" comes no way near to expressing the fear of losing her control of the do, or of retaining the intellectual high ground. Vid. Stephen Potter {1} {2). My finger once came to two different volumes by David Icke: it came off pretty quick. I had no intention of engaging in a conversation about second-comings. Did make me think in a different light about the host and hostess.

I have repeatedly fallen into a terrible hole - to the extent of being repeatedly diverted away from what I am reading, planning to read, or thinking about - by revisiting blitts on a regular basis, temporarily shifting into others' mindsets: their literary preoccupations and curiosities. No problem if you are genuinely learning something new in the process, or if a mention of something sets you off on a fruitful path: you should be able to get back to your chosen reading and writing interests without having completely disrupted the ideas that run in train with them.

I have fallen in a series of holes - admittedly more pleasant than the average hole - with, for example, Sandra in her struggle with Cervantes: you know in your heart, and by the vast number of books she has already got through, she will climb this Everest. Your problem is recognition of the abysmal lack of knowledge of the author, which keeps you in this literary hole until satisfied you can climb out with enough knowledge to make sense of him, without actually knuckling down to read him.

A link to Matthew Kirschenbaum's two part Technologies of Writing put me right into one of my favourite topics while at the same time providing me with some useful background on El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha, as we are supposed to call it.

It was only a short step, via Google, to the concise, majestic comprehensiveness of the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on Cervantes, which should answer all but the trickiest questions on Spain's greatest writer and his master-work.

And here, at, the wherewithall to use FIND to heart's content in a similar way as for Proust, where endless hours of harmless pleasure and instruction can be had from checking the relative frequency of occurence of the word bell in all its volumes.

My only disappointment - while watching El Cid on TV for the seventh time, with one eye and one ear - was not to find some connection between Signor Rodrigo, or El Saeid, and Cervantes! Having still the smell of Andalucia in my nostrils, a strong awareness of the deep religiosity of the Spanish people, a new knowledge of the intertwined Christian-Islamic history, and a hint of the Civil War from visiting such places as Ronda, it is only a matter of time before I find some link or other.....


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