Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I've just finished 'Immortality' by Milan Kundera. It's a truly fantastic book. It's about many things from how we attempt to obtain immortality through death and what makes us who we are to the intimacies and alienation of sexual and platonic relationships. He writes his stories with characters that mirror facets of one another so that the four or five separate stories that run through the book seem to match over one another. Often, characters from one part of the novel do intertwine with a story from another and in the end you realise that all of the characters, however many years apart are all somehow linked, even if just by their personalities. There are some incredible passages in the book, for example a stunning analysis of a seemingly simple poem by Goethe. Every page appears to have a new idea or way of seeing something we all know in an intriguing and surprising way and though his writing is quite obviously pretentious, I found myself smiling and frowning alternately throughout. I'll be thinking about this one for some time.

Apart from reading, I'm going through my thesis to work out what I do and don't understand. I'm pleased to say that there is more in the former category though there is still a lot that I need to go through. There are many questions that I still have unanswered. I'm also attempting a calculation about the return of a parity doubled spectrum in the limit of a highly excited quark bilinear bound state. At this stage, I'm not convinced that the calculations that have been performed till now are actually quite right but maybe I'm just not seeing it. A busy week ahead and I still need to get around to sorting out learning Mandarin.

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