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February 22, 2005

More on Bel Canto

Tracked down an analysis of the novel in sparknotes which refers to the operatic links

Opera suffuses Bel Canto, the title of which comes from opera and means “beautiful song.” Roxanne Coss sings, Tetsuya Kato accompanies her, and a star is born in the person of Cesar, who has an angelic voice. Opera connects the characters in the novel, giving them a source of joy during their captivity. The novel borrows its structure from operas, which typically feature beautiful scenes and songs and end in tragedy. Like operas, Bel Canto is about an idyllic world eventually shattered by death.
also mentions Rusalka references - as I don't know the work I hadn't picked up on this one in my suggestions

February 19, 2005

The Underground Man

Mick Jackson's The Undergound Man is the new BATS book. Looks like a curious story, I'm two-timing it with Philip Dick's The Man in the High Castle - conincidentally plumbing heights and depths! The Undergound Man seems to get mixed web reviews and here's another book about Welbeck Abbey - the location of the book's events.

February 09, 2005

pre-BATS reading

Having finished Bel Canto rather early, I had space - for a change - for a little additional reading. Now finished Deborah Cadbury's Dinosaur Hunters interesting tale of the rivalry of Gideon Mantell and Richard Owen over the discovery and evolution of dinosaurs. Covers the theological controvesy well though rather too much of the Bible or evolution - maybe that was how it was seen then - but not now!

Currently racing though Hollinghurst's Line of Beauty - Review from the Independent or the Guardian

Ogee ogee ogee, oi oi oi

Eugh the eighties - though there's some wonderful passages about music in it, I don't know Henry James' work well but the writing about the experience of listening to music is rewarding - obvious other example is Forster's Howards End. I'll pass over the drugs and sex!