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April 06, 2005

Book meme

Coturnix invited me to play the Book Meme game...

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be [saved]?

Some real-life memetic mutation nearly took place. Coturnix wrote "...which book do you want to be?" In that case, I think I'd like to be a first edition of The Age of Reason.

But if I had to choose one book to save, I'd choose either Critique of Pure Reason or the Principia Mathematica.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Yes, many times. Currently, I have a crush on Dixon from Pynchon's Mason and Dixon. I also have a crush on Ami from Edeet Ravel's Ten Thousand Lovers.

The last book you bought is?

The second-to-last is the worst novel I've ever read: Robert Stone's Outerbridge Reach. Like Ayn Rand with boats.

The last round of books I bought all arrived together: a Syrian Jewish cookbook called A Fistful of Lentils, Russ Parson's How to Read a French Fry, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

What are you currently reading?

Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons

Five books you would take to a deserted island?

1. Gravity's Rainbow (in the hopes of finally finishing it)
2. Wittgenstein's Tractatus (ditto)
3. The original The Joy of Cooking
4. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine
5. 100 Years of Solitude

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

Amanda of Pandagon. Because she's an English lit major with attitude.

Digby because he is an intriguing man of mystery.

Norbizness because he's a funny guy.


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» Book Meme from Jim Snowden's Second Omnibus
I read about this on Majikthise. Nobody passed it to me, but I thought I'd play anyway. (I'm so lonely.) [Read More]

» The meme's in my court from Lance Mannion
I was trying to avoid the BOOK MEME. [Read More]

» Book meme bandwagon from Pandagon
Well, the gauntlet has been thrown by the estimable Lindsay, so I guess I must join the book meme groupies. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be [saved]? This is incredibly tough. Since I can... [Read More]


Why does everyone assume Digby is a man?

My favorite Parfit anecdote (of three or four, I guess, not dozens):

During an afternoon lecture in his "Personal Identity" course, some years ago, Parfit was discussing the transplantation of brains and brain hemispheres, following severing of the corpus callosum, etc. A hand was raised (not by me). The following question was asked: "Professor Parfit, there's this movie called 'Body Parts,' where this murderer's arm gets transplanted to this ordinary guy's arm and then the guy starts murdering people because the murderer takes over his mind and body... Is that an example of what you're talking about?"

Parfit -- a conscientious objector in the war against cliche, insofar as there is a cliched image of Oxonian types or philosophy professors(frayed, wrinkled, rumpled, misbuttoned, shaggy-headed, etc.) -- responded instantly, his voice bright with indignation:

"Th-th-th-th-that's PATHETIC! A brain, yes, but not an ARM!"

(He rarely stammered like that, I should point out.)

Let me put this in terms any Wittgensteinite can understand:

1 Awww
1.01 HAIL
1.01.01 NO

C'mon, norbizness! You know you want to.

Roxanne, you know I'd love to claim Digby for the XX team. But I figure Digby's a guy because he's got a male avatar on the blog and a male pen name, and because everyone else refers to Digby as "him." I know these are relatively flimsy reasons, but that's my thought process. Besides, even if Digby's not a guy, she's at least comfortable with people inferring that she is, so I'll just play along until anyone tells me different.

Without spoilers, let me only say that Rainbow kinda fades out, but the Tractatus has an absolute shocker of a surprise ending.

oh baby, you are such the philosopher. that's a cute list.

Five books you would take to a deserted island?
4. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine

Wow! A practical answer! I will definately include this if anyone ever asks me, as well as The Way Things Work.

Here's two I just found on Amazon:
Building Small Boats by Greg Rossel
An Initial Course in Tropical Agriculture for the Staff of Co-operatives by Peter Yeo

Unfortunately, I could not find any book to match a search for "How to Build a Satelite Phone Using Materials you might find on a beach".

Thanks, CD, are you coming to APA Central?
Denavda, good answers!

"Coturnix invited me to play the Book Meme game..."

Heh, so did I, but I guess you missed it... nevermind :)

I had Parfit as my current read too, actually. Good stuff.

I think that the meme didn't nearly mutate. If I remember Fahrenheit 451 correctly (and its been about 16 years since I read it in high school), at the end of the novel Guy Montag meets with some people, each of whom "is" a particular classic that he's memorized.

Hey, Tyrone, I thought you were . . . oops, almost left a plot spoiler. But, as a student of 1950s popular novels, let me note that you're right: other bloggers doing the meme have commented on that as well. It means, "What book do you want to be in charge of preserving by memory"?

I'm sorry that Robert Stone came a'cropper: I found his first two novels quite promising.

I would just like to point out, Lindsay, that I also picked Critique of Pure Reason for my Fahrenheit 451 answer. You probably think I'm awesome now.

Actually, it would have helped if I hadn't also admitted that I've never read it all the way through. Oh well.

Thank you! Great choices!

And yes, people memorize the books for posterity in F451. I always wondered if children memorized children's books when they were young and then grown-up books when they grew up, thus making it TWO books per person....

Principia Mathematica? Didn't Godel take the wind out of Russell and Whitehead's sails?

Hey, if I'm in F451 I'm saving that! Not only will it impress chicks that I'm in a book, there is the outside chance that I'll cease to exist if I don't save it.

In reality though, with my verbal memory skills, I would be gently encouraged to save "Hop on Pop".

If I could do any book, it would be Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics". It's a little thin on plot and character, but it does have great quotes like, "The Polhode Rolls without Slipping on the Herpolhode Lying in the Invariable Plane".

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Yes, my first fiance.

The last book you bought is?
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

What are you currently reading?
This blog.

Five books you would take to a deserted island?
1)How to survive on a deserted island.
2)How to escape from a deserted island.
3)How to cope with your inadequacy as far as escaping from deserted islands is concerned.
4)Creative new masturbation techniques!
5)Robinson Crusoe

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Nobody, just not that kind of person.

Stuck inside Fahrenheit 451?
How about a very large arms cache rather than books?
You can't create a secret colony dedicated to reciting them from memory if you're dead or in prison.


if I were stuck in fahrenheit 451

-The Logic of Scientific Discovery by karl popper.

"Gravity's Rainbow" doesn't so much fade out but fugue out (and it ends with a bang, too!) - so Bob McM is half right.
My strategy with Pynchon is to start over if I bog down - it always works.
No reading of "GR" could match that of a buddy of mine, though. He found refuge in it while stuck (on business, not as a hostage) with a bunch of male and female bodybuilders on a wintry steppe in the Netherlands. He claims that made it come alive.

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