A little learning. Evelyn Waugh (1964)
Not an e-book, but as soon as I wanted to take notes or share sentences I wish it had been.
(His less famous, though more successful popular novelist brother Alec Waugh writes a far more enjoyable satire of school-days at Shrewsbury ‘The Loom of Youth’. If I wrote about Sedbergh in the 1970s it wouldn’t be satire, it would be an act of war – my only revolution was to leave before Sixth Form at which time the bullied would have had to become the bully).
I bookmark by folding over the corners.
Although the pages were falling out I didn’t highlight or annotate the pages, though I could have pulled the pages out.
I make three notes:
- The obliteration of English villages. To investigate.
- Waugh thought there was a problem in the early 1960s
- Ronald Knox ‘A Spiritual Aenid’ and Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Life of Ronald Knox.’
Knox was known to open and oppose the same motion. The point he makes though is that ‘audiences greed for originality is the extraordinary distaste for the obvious.
NOTE REGARDING MOBILE LEARNING
(All would be downloaded as eBooks where they available. They go to the Kindle so that I can read or listen to the book on one device while taking notes onto the iPad. Is this when reading becomes a learning activity? When you take notes? Or simply when you annotate or highlight the text itself … if you dare do this to a printed book. Anyone shared highlights or notes they have made while or having read a common book? Like an asynchronous book club of the airwaves I guess).
‘You learn, in approaching any subject, to search at once for the point that is new, original, eccentric, not for the plain truth.‘ (Waugh, 1964: 129)
And a note left by a previous reader (my mother, who sent me this book a couple of weeks ago) that reads ‘pity’.
Against Waugh’s line ‘I abandoned my diary on the day I left school and have no source for the following years except inexact memory.’
I didn’t. 36 years later and several million words I wonder what I got myself trapped into.
Some keep saying they want me to stop blogging for a couple of years ‘to finish the book’. I have plenty to say on that too, though Steven Pressfield has the definitive response, ‘resistance’. I say ‘anything but,’ I will fill my life with ‘anything but’ that three-five hours a day of effort in front of a keypad or notepad.
Is memory exact?
My diary is an aide memoire, an impression of the moment that changes all the time.
Waugh, A.E. (1964) A little learning.
I cannot see the value in hereditary he gives to the first chapter, in predetermining the way some turns out, physiologically or psychologically, surely upbringing has more to do with it? He also concentrates on the male professional line. Rather selective? And from our point of view ignorant and sexist?</p