John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton
john_holton

Had some good relaxation time today. We went to Mass, out to lunch, then out for coffee. I spent coffee time continuing this story that refuses to die, listening to the Beatles' White Album (which I just got on CD, and which I haven't listened to since college), and reading a wonderful book called The World In A Phrase: A Brief History Of The Aphorism, by James Geary. You'd enjoy this book if you enjoy aphorisms, which the author calls "literature's hand luggage". An example, from the dust jacket:

Knowledge may have its purposes, but guessing is always more fun than knowing - W. H. Auden

I enjoyed the brief histories of the aphorists, many of whom I wasn't even familiar with, as much as the aphorisms themselves. I was familiar with Heraclitus, to whom I was introduced by Roger von Oech, the author of A Whack On The Side Of The Head, and with Ben Franklin (of course), Ambrose Bierce, Emerson and Thoreau, but wasn't familiar with many of the more obscure ones, such as Stanislaw Jerzy Lec.

As for the White Album...wow. I forgot how much I had enjoyed it. I listened to it straight through, from "Back in the USSR" to "Good Night", and didn't even skip past "Revolution #9" as I did when I was younger. That track made no more sense to me now than it did 40 years ago, but it was a much different experience with headphones. I noticed that they did a lot of shifting from channel to channel, or that the channels would be discrete (e.g. "Martha My Dear", where Paul's voice and piano were in the left channel and the rest of the music was in the right, with little or no bleed through), which makes me wonder if they were recorded separately from one another. That was a difficult period in their history (the beginnings of Apple Corps, Yoko, other internal tensions), so it wouldn't surprise me.

Anyway, good day today. A full week of work ahead of me this week. Think I'll make a point of relaxing. Hope everyone's well.
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