Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bore War Wear

J. very kindly gave me a Kindle for my birthday a few weeks ago. It took a little time to get it up and running, because there seemed to be a problem with accessing an English-programmed Kindle from a permanent address in France. We've surmounted this now, I don't quite know how, probably by sorcery, and there are only one or two greater pleasures in life than propping it up (on a stand that comes with a snazzy leather cover J. thoughtfully added to the pack) and READING at MEALTIMES. Especially when I'm on my own, as I am now for a few days.

I'm reading a curious work on Kindle by Conan Doyle. Unusually for the creator of Sherlock Holmes and lesser beings like Brigadier Gérard and Professor Challenger, it's a very dull history of the Boer War, 1899-1902.

The tedium is relieved partly by well-I-never-knew-thats! Spion Kop, for instance, probably the most famous of the stands at Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club: I never knew that Spion Kop was a South African hill from which an area of western Natal might be spied upon. Fortified by the Boers in 1899, it cost the lives of hundreds of Liverpudlians trying to capture it. The Kop is their memorial.

And maybe the first signs of Conan Doyle losing the plot, which he did later in his life with aberrations like believing in fairies? I came across this extraordinarily perplexing sentence:

Every requisite for a great victory was there except the presence of the enemy.

This reminded me of a paradox by Jean-Paul Sartre, who seems to have played at 10, but not for Liverpool, unless navy blue is their away strip. If you can't read it up there at the top, embiggenise™ it, as my friend Dave says. I expect he means 'belargify' it.


Vicus Scurra said...

"I'm reading a curious work on Kindle by Conan Doyle."
What did he think of it?
I know that Sartre felt that there was a serious flaw in the design of Dyson vacuum cleaners.

Dave said...

BMCC would be able to achieve great victories in real life, as long as the opposition didn't turn up.

Rog said...

I was given a copy of The Adventures of Brigadier Gérard when I was about 10 by a man from New Yoik. Used to know it off by heart.
I always assumed Spion Kopp was a Police Series.

letouttoplay said...

Not to be confused with the Mow Cop Hornets of Congleton in Cheshire then?
I knew Spion Kop was something to do with the Boer wars because I was encouraged to read GA Henty as a child but I can't think how I also came to know about the football connection.

Geoff said...

I've got the Kindle app on my iPhone. It's great, I can take it anywhere, on the train, in the bathroom. Just like a book.

Trouble is, if you start reading something you hate, you can't really throw it across the room.

Z said...

I read my iPhone in bed under the covers, therefore neither getting cold hands nor waking the Sage. So far, I've only added free books. I just can't quite bring myself to pay for a book I can't touch, lend or give away. Or, as Geoff says, throw across the room.

Sarah said...