Saturday, January 31, 2004
choose your style: neoclassical | blue | modern | nouveau

Long Stories

These days, on the way to work I'm listening to a wonderful, dramatic reading of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. It's a grand reading (by Pullman, assisted by a large cast) of a grand tale; the first volume of a trilogy, this runs almost 11 hours. The effect is marvelous, a gradual unfolding, like a bedtime story for grownups.

I'm spending many evenings these days with Linda, watching Babylon 5 from start to finish. We're at the crossroads now, War Without End, and the tales of the Night Watch are a good reminder that politics matter.

And then my night-time reading is Russell Meiggs' Roman Ostia, a textbook I'm revisiting after many years because, next month, I'm planning to actually be there, to spend some time at the intersection of the Decumanus and the Cardo. In my book, Roman Ostia defines the term 'masterful'. But it, too, is a big story -- 722 pages, closely printed and closely reasoned.