The Juggling Act

First, in the interest of fair play, I link to Philip Pullman’s essay on Thursday’s British referendum, “The Thousand Causes of Brexit.”  Pullman, author of The Golden Compass series of fantasy books, wanted Britain to remain in the EU.  He’s bitter about the defeat of his views at the polls, but what’s odd about his examination of the causes that led to Brexit is that he simply ignores the contemporary issues of immigration, territorial security, and national sovereignty that led to the referendum in the first place.  Thus, he does not change my mind from yesterday’s post, but I will also add this:  it will take a long time for Britain to unwind itself from the EU–years, in fact.  And whether Pullman will concede it or not, Britain will continue to cooperate with the EU on matters that are important to both polities.

As I sometimes do, I am reading several books at once, juggling them like balls in the air:  Steven Strogatz’s The Joy of X is a delightfully-clear guided tour of the entire of world of mathematics:  I just finished his chapter on calculus, and I can say that I understand that field much more than I used to.  The Portable Veblen:  A Novel, by Elizabeth McKenzie is a funny, sweet romantic novel about a plain-Jane heroine with some well-crafted prose in the tale.  I am about to start The House at the Edge of the World, by Julia RochesterIt is supposed to be very good.  We shall see.


2 thoughts on “The Juggling Act

  1. I can hardly think of Brexit without literally foaming at the mouth! What a debacle – and God helps us all, because there will be a domino effect and multiple cards falling from now on…
    Please let me know about The House at the Edge of the World – I’ve been contemplating purchasing it. Btw, I just finished Fates and Furies and I remember that you once asked me if it was worth your time – I think it’s less engrossing than A Little Life, but more sophisticated and multi-layered. You could give it a go.

    • Yes, you and your family are right there in the middle of Brexit. You have my sympathies and you are correct: dominoes will fall, as other countries hold their own referendums. It’s hard to gauge over here just how much anger there actually is over Britain’s decision. Among the voters of all countries, probably quite a lot, as GB’s financial support is withdrawn; among political elites, maybe not so much, although GB will get the cold shoulder on most everything that isn’t crucial. The “Stay” camp is complaining about the closeness of the vote, but when 97% of eligible voters vote, a 52-48 percent margin is not statistically insignificant. They’ll have a hard time getting a re-vote. GB will have difficulty going it alone on most things, but they weren’t getting much out of the EU, either. As they say, “Be careful what you wish for.”

      I will let you know about *The House at the Edge of the World.* Thanks for the encouragement about *Fates and Furies.* I will read it, now. I will also, thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk, press on with my detective novels. The story’s there; I just gotta get more of it out, and make more time to write. I bought *Hex* a few days ago, too: it’s going to be a good read!

      Take good care of yourselves!

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