Jabberwocky for 2005 June 16 (entry 0)

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[No comments] Albion: I started reading Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd. He follows various themes such as spirals, melancholy, interlacement, in English literature, art, music, etc., from the very beginnings to the present day. This is all very interesting. When he tries to claim origins for these themes, however, I think he is reaching. For example, the theme of trees, considered in the first chapter. Does he really believe that every tree in an English painting, the Robin Hood legend, every branching pattern in a piece of music originates in some kind of cellular memory of the Druids? I think that's a stretch.

Ackroyd is not a professor of English language and literature; he is a writer, albeit an award winning one. This book kind of reads like a PhD dissertation, though.

I'll be alternating this book with chapters of Stephen J. Gould's last book, which I have almost finished. Next on the list is the Borges biography.


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