22 June 2008

Could be a fun read

Peter Ackroyd, a very successful author of historical novels, has written most recently The fall of Troy.

The book's setting is a good deal more modern that the title alone might lead you to infer. It's a fictionalization of the excavation of "Troy" by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1850s. Its a short book, looks like it might be a quick read -- by guesstimate, about 70,000 words.

Schliemann is renamed Henrich Obermann in the novel, and there's a cute pasage early on that is supposed to illustrate the protagonist's arrogance. On board ship heading to the Dardanelles he encouters an English admirer, Decimus Harding. They have this exchange:

"You know that Mr. Gladstone came to hear me on the subject of Homer? It was a great moment in my life."

"Mr. Gladstone is a scholar."

"Of course he is. He perfectly accepts my theories."

That's a wonderful bit of character establishing dialog, IMO.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.