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Today's quote:

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Another one by Simon Winchester!

"The Professor and the Madman"


They say that collecting fills a hole in your life, and gives it a semblance of meaning. It must've been a big hole when I was young because I used to collect stamps which I sold when I was nineteen to raise the money for my fare out to Australia.

I never again took up stamp-collecting, except for the visa-stamps I collected in my passport as I travelled the world, but in recent years the urge to collect started again, and this time it is books (okay, call me odd if you like; I think it's all right to be odd as to be odd is to be human).

Imagine my delight when I discovered yet another book by Simon Winchester, "The Professor and the Madman". The byline, "A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary", suggested that it had something to do with his other book, "The Surgeon of Crowthorne", but that was all right too, as I can never get enough of the amazing story of how the Oxford English Dictionary was created.

The delight was followed by surprise after I'd come and started to read it: it's a word-for-word re-publication of "The Surgeon of Crowthorne", albeit for the American market (presumably "The Professor and the Madman" is a more catchy title to titillate an American audience; are you "titillated", Des?).

View the trailer


Well, I used to have plenty of duplicates when I collected stamps, so why not books too? And the new title led me to the movie of the same name which I ordered immediately since this is the other hole the filling of which gives my life a semblance of meaning: my collection of DVDs!

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