Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
August Pieces Of My Mind #3
I’m confused. For years and years this boy lived with me. Now instead there’s a tall young man studying engineering in Jönköping. I somehow helped make this happen. It’s strange to me.
The most common surnames among my DNA relatives are Johansson, Nilsson and Persson. All three are among the ten most common surnames in Sweden.
Miley Cyrus & the Flaming Lips have covered “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” & “A Day In The Life” together. Both are amazingly good!
Hehe. NYT writer spells “help reign in spending”. Maybe using a reigndeer?
“She’s a peach” was not coined by Prince in the 90s. Somerset Maugham uses the expression in his 1921 story “The Pool”.
This high-end Yunnan smells of fudge.
A sycophantic psychopomp lures the souls of the rich and vain to the Land of the Dead with flattery.
Checked my bank balance and was astonished to find lots of unexpected money. Upon investigation it turned out to be my monthly salary. I haven’t had a full-time one since 2001.
Enjoyable and uncommon experiences today: received a salary and had lunch with colleagues. Glad I’ve decided to leave my scholar’s lifestyle behind soon, one way or another. Research is fun but it’s lonely, it’s poorly and erratically paid and it doesn’t help you get a job. The academic labour market in my field is a social patronage system rather than a meritocracy.
Post-rock is a thing of the past.
The leafy walking path to Marksburg Castle doubles back on itself eleven times between the foot of the hill and the car park. Then the steep stairs begin.
In her Hugo-winning collection of essays from recent years, Words Are My Matter,Ursula LeGuin states that the big media corporations are trying to get rid of copyright, and that “soma” in Huxley’s Brave New World refers to the Greek word for “body”. Her editor has been nodding off.
Redemption is a ubiquitous concept in US literary criticism. The various Swedish translations, prominently försoning, are all archaic and rarely used. As I understand Swedes, we see neither a need for nor a possibility of redemption.
I have become quite unwilling to invest in a scifi/f author’s worldbuilding if it is delivered in a confusing, allusive, demanding way. My reaction these days tends to be “If you’re not willing to guide me into the world you’ve made up, then I’m not reading your stuff. I’ve visited too many worlds and yours isn’t immediately important to me.”
German das heisst is such a cool expression. “It is named” for “that is”.
AfD, the German Hate Party, hasn’t got a lot of posters out this election season. But the one you do see is openly anti-Islamic while also strangely flirting with feminism: it has three women drinking wine and the slogan, “We won’t wear burkas, we’ll drink wine”.
Castle Eltz, shown around by the 33rd count, who is also the former treasurer of the German Castle Studies Association. Mind blown.
Saw a slightly sinister election poster from the parody party PARTEI. It was at the top of a lamppost. “A Nazi could hang here.”
LeGuin really likes Tove Jansson’s 1982 novel The True Deceiver / Den ärliga bedragaren. Maybe I should re-read it.
Fun and unexpected radiocarbon result. The wooden poles that we found stuck into the bottom of Lake Landsjön between the shore and the castle islet: they date from the 11th century, 200 years before the castle was built. I’m glad I decided to date them.
Why aren’t t-shirts with the logos of popular boardgames sold in game stores?
Bloody-minded means deliberately uncooperative in British English. LeGuin, writing in the Guardian, thinks it means literally having violent thoughts.