Thursday, June 30, 2016

the bloggers read and the readers blog

Couple of follow-ups to previous posts:

I was struck by an arresting phrase on page 132 of The Piano Teacher, during one of Erika's trips to the Prater park in Vienna to do a bit of discreet voyeurism.

It's the last sentence there, specifically the bit that says "the whores hustle and the hustlers whore". It took me a minute or two to remember that this is the title of a song from PJ Harvey's 2001 Mercury Prize-winning album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea.

I'd assume that it'd be too much of a coincidence for the song title not to have been lifted from the book, and the book's themes of sexual disgust are quite Harvey-esque, so I think it's quite plausible she'd have read it. Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea is the glossiest and most commercial album she's ever released, but it's all relative, so don't go expecting S Club 7 or anything. And it's great, but probably not as good as the really stark stuff like this rendition of White Chalk from 2007.

Secondly, you'll remember my attempts to date a world map that my sister had used as some quirky gift-wrapping paper - well, this flowchart from the excellent xkcd webcomic seeks to provide a step-by-step method for doing the same job. I haven't exhaustively tested it, but I think my map takes you down the route that ends at the "PERSIA OR IRAN?" box and therefore ends up with a date of 1935-1940. Since I'd calculated 1932-1936, and if we charitably assume that we're both right, that narrows down the date of my map still further to 1935-1936.

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