Friday, December 29, 2006


Looked at my blogpatrol stats just now, and was a bit surprised to find 60 readers today. Where did they all come from? The only likely source could be Jessica's blog which I know has well over 100, if not over 200 readers per day.

And indeed, she has a book tag (not enough that I am doing Helene's reading of 5 unread books before the end of January [3 down, 2 to go], now there is this book tag, too). It goes like this:
Find the nearest book.
Turn to page 123.
Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
Name the book and the author, and tag three more folks.
So, ignoring a technical manual lying on the settee behind me, I grab a book from the shelf of yet-to-be read books, and find not only that it is in German, but that the area specified involves a recipe for an Indian dish - which I cannot possibly translate from German. It's Kiran Desai's 'Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard'. This probably does not count. Try again in the shelf of yet-to-be-read books.

'They reabsorbed Roman Gaul - or allowed themselves to be reabsorbed into it. The conversion of Clovis proves that the ancient Gauls, who had become Germans and Franks, readopted the values and the political system of the Roman Empire. And if, at the time of their return, the Franks did have to fight, it was not against the Gauls or even the Romans (whose values they were absorbing); it was against the Burgundians and the Goths (who, being Aryans, were heretics), or against the Saracen infidels'.

No, it's not from Caesar's 'Bello Gallico' ('Gaul is divided into three parts....') , but Michel Foucault's 'Society must be defended', a collection of lecture texts. Looks quite interesting, but it has been sitting on that shelf for some time.
I tag Helene, Grannyp, and ... I am scared to do another book blog because I worry what other tags I might get involved in.....Are we having too much spare time?

The talk of Aryans reminds me...for Christmas I was given two antiquarian books on Georgia (by the Black Sea). One is from the 'DDR' (East Germany') and apparently describes a visit or visits to that country by their socialist colleagues from Germany. The other, by A Sanders, a history of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, was written in Germany up to 1942 and published in 1944. My edition is of the second printing batch (11,000 to 20,000 copies) - during that time while Germany was being bombed to smithereens!

The book starts with a chapter on the 'rassisch/voelkisches' (basically 'race'), and a discussion on 'Blut' and 'Boden' (blood and earth which I think might have been major points of consideration in Hitler's philosophy). The chapter goes on to describe how during those migratory periods, during the stone, bronze and iron ages, these Aryan indo-german people migrated from, roughly, Germany, everywhere, east, south, north.It goes on to suggest that the Indians went to India from somewhere in the Iranian corner of the world. This chapter ends by saying 'in each of the indogerman peoples the values of the soul of the nordic race have expressed themselves in a particularly model and exemplary fashion'. Of course, this is a book about the Caucasus - but isnt it frightening to see how a perfectly normal history book is not only influenced itself by the prevailing philosophy, but also in turn is able to propagate and support such a philosophy? I am sure that this can be the case even now in a different context. En passant I had always thought that many of the migrations had started in the Indian corner of the world, but I really know nothing about it.