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Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

Recovering academic, part-time artist, fulll-time explorer of the mind

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William Montgomery McGovern: To Lhasa in Disguise (Hardcover, Kegan Paul) 2 stars

brief notes in lieu of review

2 stars

the book shows its age: the guy is your prototype orientalist white scholar-cum-adventurer and no surprise some claims float around that Indiana Jones is based on this character. Thrill seeking, entitled, opinionated and racist AF yet the whole way through he manages to write well enough for me to feel I don’t want to put the book down. I keep thinking that if he gets himself killed when his disguise falls through, he’d bloody well deserved it for lack of respect to other cultures he claims to study, and yet I feel the tension each time he gets into a sticky situation. No indication at the end he paid his servants (enough) for what they had to put up with, or what happened to them when he returned to India!

Good overview of chances open for improving education, but also remaining in the final analysis a bit to hopeful or presenting things as easy to achieve in the final part, when you need a totally different culture outside schools to make this work. Ambitious, yes. Achievable? Only with time and effort, but worth a shot

Erwin Mortier: Marcel (Paperback, 2004, Vintage) 5 stars

Schilderen met woorden

5 stars

Ongelooflijk mooie zinnen, waarmee de auteur een heel specifieke sfeer in het naoorlogse Vlaanderen weet op te roepen, en ook spanning opbouwt. Ik had constant mijn grootouders voor ogen (die een andere ervaring hadden van WWII), en hoe het dorpsleven er aantoe ging gebaseerd op de verhalen die ik hoorde.

Heel veel blijft open voor de fantasie van de lezer, net zoals ik het graag heb, en toch is er een afgerond einde.