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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

Eric, or Little by Little

Eric, or Little by Little - F. W. (Frederic William) Farrar Here's another of those books read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage, Philip. Gah!

This was pretty awful. I thought it might be one of those archetypal British school boys books. I rather liked Stalky and Company when I read it, both as a youth and again as a more "mature" person. A year of so ago, I tried Tom Brown's School Days and found it unreadable, so I gave up on it. Anyway, perhaps this book is also meant to be a British school boy book, but it was also flagrantly written to provide moral teaching to young boys. What it actually shows, however, is a complete moral bankruptcy on the part of the author.

So, we have adolescent boys doing the kinds of things adolescent boys do. They have some rules handed down from above, but aren't given reasons for those rules other than being told, I suppose, that breaking them will inevitably lead to moral decay. But, the masters in the school pretty much ignore the boys and they, being adolescent boys, run amok when they can. Once in a while, they are caught stepping over the ill-defined lines (one of their masters awakes from his un-noticing moralistic trance, or something), and then their good, moral masters beat the living crap out of them with sticks. So, that's how we make Christians out of people: set incongruous rules; publicly humiliate people who break the rules, even inadvertently; and beat the living crap out of them if they piss the masters off too much with their adolescent behavior.

Then you have teenage boys constantly crying about one thing or another, holding hands, hooking their arms around each other's necks, and so forth. In what planet does that happen?