Friday, October 10, 2008

"Anathem" by Neal Stephenson

Okay, every several years I get sucked into a new Neal Stephenson book and it's happening again: "Anathem," the latest, is chewing up and digesting great chunks of my time and I am very happy about it.

This is all the better because the past several weeks have found me in airports, planes and train stations, with just the right kind of time for escapism. This book is so beautiful; it's like an extended discussion between really smart but also funny and entertaining philosophers, scientists and mechanics, punctuated by occasional bursts of action and violence. It starts out like "The Name of The Rose" but ends up more like "Foundation and Empire." Okay, I'm not going to try to explain any further, just to say I love it.

And, just to warn you, "Anathem" is putting you all in grave danger of me going on another Douglas R. Hofstadter blogging bender, because I can't help but thinking that Stephenson has been reading "Godel, Escher, Bach."


Went out to see Gabe Dixon at the Varsity the other night - they invited me onstage to sing "All Will Be Well" with them and I was reminded how proud I am of that song. Every once in awhile I write or co-write something that I can listen to with utter unself-consciousness: no self-criticism, no would-a, no should-a; in the case of this song, when I hear it I even forget that I wrote it with Gabe. Everyone likes to get out of themselves, and I'm no exception.


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