In the excitement of receiving the Pirsig materials on my return from a week away over Easter, I forgot how much reading I’d got through.
Joyce’s “Ulysses” I finished at last. I can see why it’s such an important work artistically and stylistically, and why it benefits from serious analysis and detective work, but I don’t get the major relevance to philosophy and epistemology I’m afraid. Genius close to madness again. Still reading the copious end-notes and the various reference materials linked from Jorn’s site. Read a couple of stories from “The Dubliners” – the book happened to be in the small collection at the house (converted mill at Yearle) that we stayed in. Still expect I’ll give “Finnegans Wake” a shot in the near future.
Also read Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. He clearly admits it’s the direct result of his own reading of a clutch of popular science books of the last ten years or so, so if you’ve already read a fair share of them you’ll find little new except Bryson’s readable style and disarming humour, and a useful reading list if any of the areas sparks your interest. Ultimately a little too earnest “save the world from extinction” for my liking. As a history of almost everything – its very much skewed to the sciences at the exclusion of ideas and arts (Physics, Cosmology, Geology, Human Evolution mainly.) Also read a major part of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, very much a popular history of Darwin and Evolution as far as I got – readable but nothing new. I’ll still be giving Bryson’s “Mother Tongue” a try.