steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Idylls of the Idiotic

Yesterday was not a great day. First, Jessie (our cat) threw up en route to my mother's. Picture me dabbing at her puke-covered fur with baby wipes in the back of the car just outside Bath (and still more than an hour from our destination), while my daughter attempts to wash out her carry-case on the pavement nearby. J is much recovered after a bath on arrival, and her portable vomitorium is now stowed out of sight for a couple of days, but it was not pleasant.

Then my laptop broke. I'm writing this on my daughter's, and must perforce be brief. Mine is at a repair shop in a nearby village, being treated by a couple of rustic craftsmen who give the impression of having been in the laptop repair business for at least five generations. We wait for news.

This morning there was a programme on Radio 4 about plagiarism, a subject that interests me greatly. (The copyright page of Barthes' Death of the Author makes a great way into discussion in class.) It was presented by Robert McCrum and featured a gang of the usual LF suspects - plus, oddly, Malcolm Gladwell - but I had to switch off after ten minutes, because a) someone (I think it may have been Will Self) whitened my knuckles by attributing a mangled version of T. S. Eliot's line about mature poets stealing to W. H. Auden, and b) within two minutes someone else mentioned that Enobarbus's speech about Cleopatra on the barge was lifted from Holinshed. "North's Plutarch, you noob!!" I yelled, then lunged for the Off switch lest I have one of my "turns".

Okay - I've exceeded my time, and must go!
Tags: books, real life
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