What I’ve been reading – Fourth Saturday December 2018

This is a regular post I hope to continue every week. It will be a summary of the articles and books I’ve finished reading over the course of the week. It’s an off-topic break from book news and gemstone news.

An amount of image-polishing for Prince Charles and Camilla is underway with an article in Vanity Fair by James Reginato. It paints Charles as a hardworking visionary who has always been a few decades ahead of his time. He hasn’t been sitting around waiting for his inheritance but making work for himself. He is energetic and sets a strong intellectual and physical pace. Camilla is sensible and charming and they are madly in love with each other.

Australian poet, Gerard Murnane, is virtually unknown in his homeland. This isn’t an unusual thing for Australians. Yet some are touting him as a potential Nobel Prize winner. Mark Binnelli of the New York Times went to visit him and hang out for a few days. Murnane’s lifestyle seems unextraordinary, but what would you expect of a poet? Well, maybe a bit of hobnobbing with other poets? Sounds awful, no wonder he’s exiled himself to a little country town. Apparently, he doesn’t like to travel much, so he won’t be going to Stockholm to pick up his prize. At least he does a bit of community work, so he’s a poet with some useful skills

It seems evolution is not solely about ‘survival of the fittest’. Collaboration between species is often more beneficial for all concerned than outright competition. Kelly Clancey’s article in Nautilus explains. Come to think of it, the same is true in human society.

Michael Herr’s memoir of his friendship with Stanley Kubrick in Vanity Fair, written just after the director’s death. It’s an insight into how it must have been to work with the great director. But unfortunately, it doesn’t shed much light on the films themselves. Anyone who hadn’t seen any of Kubrick’s films would come away from reading it thinking he only wrote for the money when it’s clearly not so. Still, it goes some way to helping us acknowledge the huge intellect and restless energy of Kubrick. He died far too young.


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