[DWJ] Re: TdVC

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jun 11 06:44:40 EDT 2006


Otter wrote:

>On Friday, June 9, 2006, at 05:37 PM, Minnow wrote:
>> And would they have done it if the title had been "The of Vinci Code"?
>>  "da
>> Vinci" isn't a name, it's a description, after all.  I gather that's
>> about
>> on a par with the general standard of the writing, from what has been
>> said
>> here by those of us who have embarked on this tome and then abandoned
>> it,
>> though, so probably it wouldn't put anyone off if they were going to
>> read
>> the thing.
>I think 'da Vinci' is widely recognized as the last name of a famous
>painter, whether correctly or not.

Mmmph.  They probaby (if they have heard of him) call Alexis de Tocqueville
"de Tocqueville" rather than "Tocqueville" if they are refering to him,
too.  Oh well.  But if they encountered someone English whose name was say
"Bristol" they wouldn't assume an "of".  Language is strange about proper
names, particularly ones from the Romance languages (and we always call "de
Gaulle", "de Gaulle").

>The writing is awful.  Pedestrian.  Boring.  The ideas are not new,
>despite all the fuss.

There was a court-case about *that*...

>> G'wan, tell us, why should we read a copy if we have it thrust our way?
>> What's the attraction of the thing-itself, as opposed to the hype and
>> the finding out what the fuss is about?
>
>Well, is I said in my first confession, I read it because I suspected
>Mr. Pratchett had read it, and that there were bits I would understand
>better in _Thud!_.  I am not accusing Mr. Pratchett of having read it,
>but there is a painting in _Thud!_ and it contains the key to an
>important truth.  I don't really think that it matters to one's
>appreciation
>of Mr. Pratchett's work.  [You understand, I would read anything I
>had to to enhance my appreciation of Mr. Pratchett.  Up to and
>including reading TdVC.]

I do hope you've come across Paul Jennings -- not the more recent author
who writes for children, but the man who wrote columns for the Observer and
died in 1989.  A lot of his work is collected under the titles *The Jenguin
Pennings* and *The Paul Jennings Reader*, and the original earlier
collections from the 1950s and early 60s are *Oddly Enough*, *Even
Oddlier*, *Oddly Bodlikins*, *Next To Oddliness*, *Model Oddlies*, *Gladly
Oddly*, *Idly Oddly* and *I Said Oddly, Diddle I?*.  I have heard Our Tel
claim Jennings as an influence on his work.  Well worth reading for
themselves in any case.  Can you resist essays called "Gears, Idle Gears"
and "Moses Was A Sanitary Officer" and "Frank Lloyd Wrong"?
Do you not find yourself wanting to find out about the "House Of Repute" or
"Sixty Mottled Bathmats" or "Unadjusted Rainbow Mice"?

This man wrote, with joyful discovery, "I have gritches at the bottom of my
garden!"  (No, I shan't explain it; I can't, without transcribing the whole
thing, and I can't, because I laugh too much when I try and then I can't
type.  I will only say that it was factually the case: he did have
gritches, and that was where they were.)

Much better value than TdVC, I suspect, if you want Pratchet influences.

>So this is my conclusion:  there is no reason why you should read
>a copy [unless someone is going to give you a _lot_ of money
>for doing so -- like a million pounds or something].

Oh good, then I shan't bother.  Nobody has yet explained that the
thing-itself is worth it, after all!

Thank you for the New Yorker stuff, which I can get access to by Devious Means.

Minnow





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