This week we started regular practises for the Irish band. Not much else of note. I’m still very easily tired and have been taking naps at odd moments in the day. Couple of tunes and a bit of reading.

Two new tunes:

  • The lovely Vals efter Lasse i Lyby. I link this particular version because the Swedish mandolinist pronounces the name properly, and the vowel of “Lyby” is rather wonderful. I first encountered it in the rendition by Ale Carr & Esko Järvelä.
  • The Gator Strut which I learned many years ago but have pretty much forgotten in the meantime. My big mando is in D not C, so it’s not quite a mandocello per se, but it still has a pretty good swampy sound on the low strings.

I finished Stella Maris and was somewhat unimpressed. I know just a little about the philosophy-of-mathematics subject matter, but that little is enough to spot places where he’s mixing up levels of analysis in ways that wouldn’t really make sense to someone with the abilities the character is supposed to have. It’s similar to the problem of writing a character who is a great poet, if you yourself are not a great poet: if you have to actually show any of their poetry, you’re a bit stuck. Add this to the fact that he apparently finally felt himself ready to write a female character, after 50 years or whatever it is, and then made her utterly extremely exceptional in just about every way you could think of, and several that probably wouldn’t occur to you, and it starts looking rather convenient that he died before having to answer any criticism about this one.

It did maybe possibly give me the insight I needed to understand the anti-novel structure of The Passenger, although I have to say I’m profoundly unimpressed with all the possibilities I’ve come up with so far.