Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lunchtime read: The Plato Papers - post I

I have read a few book by Peter Ackroyd with his biography of London being one of the most enjoyable. Like his other fiction this is based on a knowledge of London that can often become a character in its own right. This is slightly different from some of the books I have read before because it is set in the future rather than the past.

Highlights from pages 1 – 30

* Before the book even starts there are quotes taken from various fictional sources in the years 3000 plus to indicate that there is a great deal of soul searching going on in the present, which is defined as from the year 3700 onwards

* You are introduced to a few characters who are discussing Plato’s speeches on the age of Mouldwarp – the current era – mocking some of the beliefs that were held in Victorian times and by our generation still

* Everything is mixed up though: Plato of course is not a figure from London’s history, he describes Origin of the Species as a comic book by Charles Dickens and then there are entries from his glossary of terms that at first seem comically wide of the mark but at the same time are a comment on perhaps our own stupidity?

"Literature: a word of unknown provenance, generally attributed to ‘litter’ or waste."


* Plato seems to be seen as someone who can hold the answers and keep the city as a source of protection for its inhabitants and whenever relics of the past are found he is the one people go to for an explanation

More tomorrow...

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