You are viewing imomus

click opera - The really modern library
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:49 am
The really modern library

I spent Tuesday in an intense cluster of thinking people gathered around a circular table at the LSE, trying to generate useful (or usefully far-fetched) ideas about the library of the future with Bob Stein's Institute for the Future of the Book and guests -- about fifteen of us in all. Squeezed in between Cory Doctorow and Eames Demetrios, I scribbled notes in the margins of a copy of Varoom magazine Adrian Shaughnessy had given me in Denver. Somehow the illustrations, silhouettes and collages helped me formulate my stance: basically, that we shouldn't put all our eggs in the basket of digitization, and shouldn't forget that we have bodies.

Sitting nearby was Vienna-based Ruediger Wischenbart, the man whose translation research I based my article on English-language dominance and airline route models on. There was an actual librarian, Clive Izard from the British Library, who obviously had a lot to say about digitization and copyright problems, and dominated a lot of the conversation. There was the Tate's Kate Sloss, who archives artists' documents and materials. And, anchoring it all, very much at the centre of the centreless circular table in the Cold War-era wood-panelled room, the brilliant ex-Maoist Bob Stein, a sort of delicate, stooped, careful, pensive, serious, playful Bond villain planning culture's hideaway in a hollowed-out Pacific island.

Basically, my argument was that, while I appreciate the internet, I can't forget McLuhan's idea that the medium is the message. I worry that our windows on the world are getting increasingly ephemeral, and that each one of them is just a series of circular, self-legitimizing metaphors. While I appreciate the net and especially Google's ability to answer just about any question we have, it's the (largely unseen) framings that come with our current metaphor set -- the proscenium arch of the computer screen -- that disturb me. Imagine a cat or a rabbit watching you surf the internet: your body is rigid, you crane towards this small square of white light. For the rabbit, you're being very stupid and boring. The rabbit knows the important stuff is eating and shitting and running around. While we have bodies, we still live in the material world, and that's the basic bottom line. This may, of course, be a critique of culture in general. But if we ask what a more embodied culture would be like, we ought to remember Eno's idea that "the basic unit of cultural currency is empathy".

I wondered how long computers will exist in their current form: with keyboards, and using mostly text as their interface. I wondered if it wasn't time for literature to come full circle back to Homer, and become something spoken again rather than written and read -- because computers can do that for us. I wondered about ubicomp and everyware. I found myself at odds, a lot of the time, with Cory Doctorow, sitting on my right.

Cory is an odd man. Incredibly bright, he seems to have the multitasking skills of Shotoku Taichi: throughout the meeting, rather than interact with the other people around the table, he tapped away on his laptop, updating Boing Boing or sifting restlessly through images on File Pile. The man has the worst case of ADD I've ever seen; a geek so bright he's become an idiot. His speeches on copyright were super-well-informed, but came across like set pieces he'd delivered many times before at similar events.

Cory seemed, above all, completely committed to the internet's now, not the future; wedded if not welded to his keyboard. Everything, for him, could be fixed by some interface tweak, some new widget. I began to see him as a kind of post-human zombie, bodysnatched by the net itself and the coming machine intelligence it represents; a man whose brightness reflected the internet's ability to tell us everything and nothing at the same time, a man drifting on a rising, rushing white noise tide of information away from basic human-level empathy. Maybe I saw something of myself in him too -- a self I'm wary of becoming. An autistic node on a promiscuous net.

It was refreshing to turn from Cory to Keri Facer from Futurelab, whose emphasis on social justice and inclusion provided the sort of liberalism, empathy and awareness of the world I found so lacking in Cory's hacker-libertarian worldview (a worldview a lot of my work at Wired was intended to question, unsettle and infuse with some sort of ethical awareness).

If I was keen not to see all cultural information ending up serving some sort of post-human machine age in which we ourselves have become the ultimate "post-bit atom" -- notable for the mere fact of not being digital -- I was also keen not to lose the elitism of the book tradition: the fact that some monologues are better than conversations, that there's a "great tradition of the best that has been thought and felt", that not all text is chatroom or blog ephemera, that the book is actually a much more permanent back-up than the web, that recent digital forms (like Bob Stein's excellent CD-ROMs for Voyager) have been swept away a mere decade after they were invented whereas the book persists (some even say we ought to be backing the web up on paper!). At this point, rather than channeling Eno or McLuhan, I became Lord Reith rolled up with F.R. Leavis.

I felt that we were in danger of becoming Swift's Laputans, scholars so absent-minded they need to be bashed on the head every few seconds by servants carrying inflated bladders on sticks, just to remind them where they are. In our case, that reality is our material existence in a frail, overburdened world, the justice with which we organize human relationships, and the fact that we have bodies. Somewhere in there, I'd like to think, is the continuing existence of a small number of exceptional people who make these things we've called, up to now, books and stored, up to now, in libraries.

41CommentReplyAdd to MemoriesShare


(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)

Soul only projects.

Interesting days.


ReplyThread
lobsterbelle
lobsterbelle
-
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC)

Are you familiar with the art of Stelarc? I'm more interested in his early skin hanging projects, but his current stuff involves becoming one of your post-human zombies.


ReplyThread
kaipfeiffer
kaipfeiffer
Kai Pfeiffer
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)

i couldn't agree more with all you said here. while the internet grants possibilities that are indispensable for me, in publishing and receiving, and i can't even really imagine what it was like to try and get information on something really obscure before google, i think, that exactly because the computer seems to be able to present "everything" in digitized form (which isn't really true at all), the printed book will even be more valued in the future, precisely because so much is going on in the digital world, but all on the same level. in a digital presentation, shakespeare's collected works are indistinguishable from endless forum babble. the existing (still quite limited) computer interfaces are all about distraction, hopping from link to link, program to program. the book is all about focus. and the code filling its pages, in letters or pictures, has always been as virtual a reality as the cyber experience. it's still all in the brain. and even when digital paper gets ready for the market, it will replace printed newspapers, but not books that are produced with care for the materials and their haptic aspects. those are part of the ritual necessary to give a literary text or picture-writings, works that are not foremost about the factual information they contain, their value as singular entities. numinosity.


ReplyThread

kaipfeiffer
kaipfeiffer
Kai Pfeiffer
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)

sorry, you didn't understand me at all. i am talking about presentation, not about content. which i said clearly in my comment. i never dreamed anyone could take from it that i think shakespeare's plays or poems are equivalent to the content of discussion forums.
also, i didn't mean that digital media are "untrue" as opposed to printed books, but that not every aspect of non-digital media can be digitized. i know quite some people who think that way, but a painting or a book have certain qualities as objects that are genuine to their physicality and don't translate when digitized. others do, and i have no problems looking at pictures on a screen, or reading text. it is just different, and i'm stressing out the differences that will keep "analogue" media from vanishing, because i see these differences as not negligable.
as someone producing e-books and publishing on the web, i certainly don't have too big a problem coping with its specifics, unlike your not very elevated assumption. but nonetheless, it's not only me who sees the internet and its information flow through websites and e-mails as a challenge for organization and focus. recent surveys show office workers constantly distracted by incoming e-mails or the possibility to do some web research at any instant. apparently, most office workers spend many hours per day by stopping to work on their task every few minutes and take in some new, but in most cases irrelevant information. or maybe all the office workers taken into evaluation for the psychological study in question were,as you suggest, confused negroes. at least as confused as you seem to have been by my little comment.


ReplyThread Parent
kaipfeiffer
kaipfeiffer
Kai Pfeiffer
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)

i'd like to add that i don't advocate the printed book out of any sentimentality, but insist on their potential numinosity. many printed books, of course, fail to achieve that, but i'm talking about the appropriately produced book. a well printed drawing on carefully chosen paper just looks very different than on a computer screen. some pictures look very fine on the screen, some even better than printed, others don't. there are differences, and i'm just not someone who believes they don't matter. in the case of text, the printed book is more about the emphasizing of the value of the literary work by making it into its own, undividable object. sometimes unjustly so, sometimes not. i also like to make notes in the margins of books, and to stick in many page markers. and to have them lying around opened for weeks, and in piles on my desks. don't know why that would be sentimental. love my computer madly. all for digitized porn instead of analogue jerking material. but i prefer fucking ladies consisting of human flesh to cybersex. quite sentimental, in that case.


ReplyThread Parent

kaipfeiffer
kaipfeiffer
Kai Pfeiffer
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)

no, i don't think all books are the same. i have published quite a few, overseen the production on all of them, even printed some myself. i always tried to conceive/design them appropriately. as a website should be, too, of course. i never disputed the possibility of appropriate publishing in digital form. but still, the book as an object has different functions. to some, they are not important, to me, they are. but i want the internet, too. why would i publish there, otherwise?
but i really don't see why the printed book must refer to ancient processes, and what the concept of "authenticity" has to do whith it, at all. no clue, really. really happy about acid-free paper and pantone colours.


ReplyThread Parent

http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)

I think you may be reading too much into kai pfeiffer's comment. All he is saying is that printed books have their own specificity that the digital realm doesn't possess. It has nothing to do with any notions of authenticity or the original. I think it's obvious that reading Shakespeare in various media can have an impact on the work. It'll be different reading the manuscript, the first edition, some barnes & noble reprint, or as an e-book. Some core 'essence' (or content if you will) will survive the media translations, but each will have their own unique quality. Reading Shakespeare in a modern edition has nothing to do with trying to capture some ephemeral authenticity of the original. You read it to read Shakespeare, not to get closer to the manuscript. The digital version will have it's own qualities which you already mentioned. But I don't know that 'digital wins' in any way... The digital realm has existed for a very short time and I don't know that we can so confidently bet the future on it. It's costs grow exponentially (we've had to burn up half the planet just to get here) and the life span of the components that make up that digital realm are a lot shorter than even the cheapest printed matter. But that's another discussion.

Tom K
www.transatlantis.net


ReplyThread Parent
intergalactim
intergalactim
intergalactim
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)

pity there aren't any Shakespeare manuscripts ;)


ReplyThread Parent
http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)

Well yes, of course! I suppose that's what kept the great Baconian heresy alive for so long. ;p


ReplyThread Parent

http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/transatlantis
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)

Just because some awesome super hard drive is 'the size of a matchbox' doesn't mean that it used the equivalent of a matchbox worth of raw materials. As far as the life-span of components goes, do you know of any computer component that has been in use for more than 30 years? In fact the continued obsolescence of computer technology (through new incompatible software, new hardware and hardware failure and breakneck storage media evolution) makes digital archiving a real problem. Any digital archivist worth their salt will tell you as much. Now before you think me some crazy luddite, I am not against digital archiving, but I err in favor of caution. I think we're in a similar time as in the 50's when libraries around the world began to shed large parts of their print collections (especially newspapers) in favor of microfilm (it's here to stay!). Fast forward to today, and a lot of microfilm is starting to disintegrate (not to mention being inferior copies of the originals) while those oh so fragile bound newspaper volumes that survived... still exist. Slow down.


ReplyThread Parent
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)

Have you heard of Project Gutenberg? What do you think of it's concept?


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:56 am (UTC)

I actually slagged it off yesterday at the meeting. It seems already somewhat neglected and abandoned. My experience with it is that you want, say, a bit of Moliere and instead you're confronted with this huge blurb about Project Gutenberg itself, and with copyright issues. It really confirms, for me, that the medium is the message. That an electronic text is not at all the same thing as a book. That we have to rethink what books are -- it's not good enough just to digitize them up and sling them up on the web "plain vanilla".


ReplyThread Parent
kaipfeiffer
kaipfeiffer
Kai Pfeiffer
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 10:13 am (UTC)

"it's not good enough just to digitize them up and sling them up on the web "plain vanilla"."

a true e-book has to be conceived according to its own specific parameters. seems like a banality, but it's astonishing how especially big corporate or institutional projects in that realm often seem to lack in the understanding of form. maybe because the question didn't even arise in the project papers, which then just got handed down to the executive staff with mainly archiving or standard browser intefaces in mind.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow

Digitizing texts, uploading archetypes from classic books and regular people serve as a frame of reference for future generations, of all cultures.







ReplyThread Parent
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)

A good book can be quite relaxing. The internet is not that relaxing. By the way, anyone at the meeting who made it into an environmental issue?


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:55 am (UTC)
get off the internet

Interesting...
A few days ago, I went to this ESEM seminar (European Seminar for Ethnomusicology) to present a paper on digital sound archives for popular music, arguing that we know a lot about digitizing the sound of "special" (traditional and non-stereophonic, wax cylinders, 78 rpm's, etc., etc.) recordings... and we don't know own to deal with popular music (and popular culture) materials... "what should enter the archive, and what should be sent to the trash"... I also argued that it's important for the sound archive not only the sound material but the carrier... so I couldn't agree more with you... People at libraries and archives look to the digital domain as a messianic solution to their money, storage, and preservation problems, and so on.

I cannot resist of remembering your post on iTouch when you proclaimed that with those iSometing (iTouch, iPod or iPhone) you simple cannot get off the internet (as the song from Le Tigre)...

I think this a non-ending debate! Get off the internet and let's look at the rabbits... in order for us to learn something that we keep forgetting...

Pedro Félix
(felixlx@yahoo.com)


ReplyThread

cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Jargon in red*

Out of curiousity: Have you read Marshall McLuhan?


ReplyThread Parent

cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Jargon in red*

It is not only "the medium is the message" that is explained in Understanding Media. You should give it a read. Do you know about "Hot" and "Cool" mediums?


ReplyThread Parent
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Jargon in red*

Eh, I meant Hot and cool media.


ReplyThread Parent

cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Jargon in red*

I am recommending the book to you. McLuhan writes in a most peculiar way. Why flinch away?


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)

Let's not forget the simple fact that staring at a screen is a killer on the eyes. I can't surf and read text sites soildly for more than maybe a couple of hours before I begin to get a headache, whereas I can read printed text for twice as long with no ill effects at all.

Plus books don't crash, freeze up, get edited by the author half way through...

Let's see how easy this "digital paper" is on the eye, eh?


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
thanx

I would appreciate if everyone kept up this conversation. I'm a 'librarian' (whatever that means these days) and participating in a panel in a couple months on ethics, digital libraries, and community. All very pertinent.

<3, c


ReplyThread
merrow_sea
merrow_sea
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
Re: thanx

I have old prints and pages from books that are 500 years old and in beautiful condition. My 2 year old 300GB external hard drive, the repository of digital information I value, is starting to get buggy and I expect it will fail within the next 2 years. Despite its own vulnerabilities, paper might be the ultimate back up.

And the concentration I experience when reading a physical book is far richer than the hyper-scanning I do online. I also agree with previous comments on the damage computer use causes to our eyes, our necks, our souls, our attention spans and our relationships with human and animal companions. I love/hate my computer and our dysfunctional and consuming relationship with the internet. Can't imagine life without it, but this isn't the life I imagined. A constant struggle against turning into an 'autistic node'. lol.


ReplyThread Parent
pay_option07
pay_option07
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
http://www.culturalcurrency.ca/

I would like to see everything backed up on clay tablets.
After EM pulses and fire storms they will be the only surviving artifacts.


ReplyThread
cerulicante
cerulicante
cerulicante
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
Re: http://www.culturalcurrency.ca/

I store all my scientific discoveries in knotted rope form.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)

The more I think about this stuff, the more I think the McLuhan quote is apt.

I just read somewhere that apparently the average newspaper reader spends more time with a print edition on a single day than the average visitor to a paper's website spends in an entire month. That's fascinating, because it means exactly the same content is being used in radically different ways depending on the medium. More specifically, the vast amount of choice we have on the Internet actually narrows our intake in some ways. We glance at a newspaper website, click on a few headlines, maybe scan a longer piece and that's it. All the peripheral stuff - which might turn out to be the more interesting stuff - passes us by.

- Hugo


ReplyThread
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
Baker is right



The web is interesting insofar as it enhances one's actual physical reality--the social circles it expands, the events we're invied to, the creative opportunities it provides, the information one can find on, say, new recipes or terrariums...that connection to the physical world is crucial.

My book started out as fragments on my journal. I designed, illustrated, and typeset the entire book myself on my computer, but I created each page individually and painstakingly like a monk might have, making sure the text was wrapping around the drop caps just so, making sure the artwork wouldn't fill in at the foil stamping was applied, etc. But now I speak heresies...

Text alone is no substitute for texture--and no manmade texture can match the variety, depth, richness and delicacy of the organic. There's far more information in a book than what the text is saying. It's an artifact, not just a vehicle for language.

Immediatism: http://www.left-bank.org/bey/immediat.htm


ReplyThread
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Baker is right

As I typed this, a middle-aged woman jogged by my window, rustling the leaves on the ground with her strides.


ReplyThread Parent
luckyclone
LIVEJOURNAL
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: Baker is right

lol


ReplyThread Parent
niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Momus on Jackanory

I like the storytellers. Momus' youtube recitations and his audio lectures were some of the highlights of my year. Reading to audiences has become a large part of libraries community activities here. Writers in residence and all that. Transfer this to the greater audience of the Internet with some nice visual ambiance, the campfire etc and I think we are on to something. I'd like to hope that the social aspects of libraries - a warm place to meet, access, encouragement - are still fundamental in the digital environment.
Before the mp3, we would raid the Audio Library's world music cd's. Up there on the bikes and then to the tape shop to get blanks to make compilations. Stop off at the swimming baths then round to someones house for a cup of tea and some new African or Central Asian musics. Lots of exercise. When filesharing came in the audio library became a less frequent destination. It still had great books even when the Internet started to up its music database availability. Ease of access to information on the Internet has not necessarily enhanced the social in this respect.

I have just jettisoned years of an accumulated personal digital library. No one was coming round to use it. Just me. It's a common cliche to say that the piles and towers of dvd-r's and spindles and folders were beginning to build some kind of Trap or Maze.

At this point I phone my mate the Librarian and ask if he has any internal library plan layout diagrams he can get for me. Do we prefer isolation down some parallel channel, viewing the other through a shelf, over some book spines. Or, do we like the panopticon or open plan where we can see and hear everything that is going on.

Have you ever visited Colinton Library in Edinburgh, Nick? Its like a beautiful little cottage in a leafy suburb. A strange early 20th Century green seems to predominate.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: Momus on Jackanory


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)

Cory frightens me.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)

Why?


ReplyThread Parent
cerulicante
cerulicante
cerulicante
Wed, Oct. 17th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)

Not foppish enough.


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)

You're all horrors in that regard. No...it's because Nick found him odd.


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)

It's very strange reading this post about the future of books after spending all day talking with the curators and directors at the Rosenbach Museum and Library (working on a design project with them at the moment). Holding the original manuscripts and letters of Oscar Wilde and Joseph Cornell is quite a post-bit atom experience, I can tell you.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)

I must say, this piece by Cory Doctorow is brilliant.


ReplyThread
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)

A cursor clicking on a search window, over and over again.


ReplyThread Parent
karinmollberg
karinmollberg
karinmollberg (Mollberg is a C.M. Bellman quote)
Thu, Oct. 18th, 2007 12:11 pm (UTC)

Hello, sorry for being a bit off topic (my speciality) but:

it took a long time for me to come here, though I´ve been sneaking in before. I remember I found your place "too cool" for me at first glance, and left quietly, unnoticed. I believe there was a gender discussion going on, then, that put me off, a bit. I get enough of that in my swedish blogs. Small countries seem especially affected by it, as far as I can see. By the way, both (all) genders (were and) are perfectly (al)right, but tend sadly enough to communicate not so much with, but "beside" each others, as far as I can see. But, we shall overcome, one day.

This time I came here via annica-annica (whom I found at PetrusPlancius´ whom I found at both LordWhimsy´s and JermynSavile´s) and read your "Click Opera - The virtue of making a virtue of (someone else´s) necessity" at annica´s page.
That entry of yours fascinated me, especially because I just dug out my old Rudofsky "Architecture without Architects" from 1964 and posted some of it together with some Filonow.

Call me a late bloomer; only now I am starting to read here at your place, may an old, mostly gleeful hag stay? In that case I should like to add you.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Fri, Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
Beware Bob Stein

Oh, beware, Nick, beware...Bob Stein is an amoral vampire, with absolutely no compunction about demanding brutal hours at slave wages from his idealistic staffers, then wadding them up and discarding them when he's squeezed every last drop of juice from their young bodies.

More? He continues to maintain this ridiculous "Maoist" posturing - doubly offensive in that he's happy to defend the ideology and the individuals responsible for the mass suffering of the Cultural Revolution in parlor blather, yet perfectly willing to cozy up to various Gettys and the like should it suit his momentary needs.

In short: the man is the worst sort of poseur and hypocrite, thoroughly undeserving of your praise. Don't be fooled.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Nov. 2nd, 2007 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Beware Bob Stein

Well, I don't know what your experience was (and since you don't give your name we'll never know), but to me he was generous to a fault. What's more, his staff seemed loyal, and his Maoist anecdotes were told (in the pub afterwards, at my request) with a certain self-irony.


ReplyThread Parent