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27th of March, 2005 POST·MERIDIEM 03:00

Had an interview Thursday; it wasn’t quite as successful as the one on Monday, but I’ll see how it turns out. Could be interesting, though if I get it, I’ll be using Windows every day, boo hoo hoo.

Friday, I went and drank Guinness to celebrate that I could, then came back and watched Monty Python until the wee hours—my sisters sent me the movies as a birthday present. I also swore a little at the XEmacs lists and the difficulty of convincing people that shipping with a mail client that can’t handle non-ASCII nor attachments as the default is stupid and if our policy means we can’t change that, then we should change our policy. :-)

Yesterday, I bought and watched the movie of The Name of the Rose, which wasn’t amazing, but I have seen worse. Jean-Jacques Annaud doesn’t have the affection for the Middle Ages, despite all its flaws, that Eco does—there’s a stereotypical French attitude since the late 1800s that regards the normal human condition in Europe prior to their revolution as unremittingly hell on earth—which much of it was, but a decent proportion of it wasn’t, as is the case with living conditions in the world today—and Annaud seems to have internalised this. So while, with the book, the life of a Benedictine monk, full of contemplation, learning, debate on the workings of God, the rhythm of the day and the seasons, seems to have its attractions, in the film you see much more of the old men and unreasonable authoritarians, nothing of the rhythm of the place, and Valentina Vargas, who comes from outside the monastery, is much, much more the most attractive aspect of the story. And the monastery is oppressive and dysfunctional much more than it is anything else.

I’ve started Italo Calvino’s Wenn ein Reisender in einer Winternacht,  having finished Eco’s Gesammelte Streichholzbriefe.  Some day soon I’ll start reading German authors in German, I promise :-) .

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