Daily Archives: May 3, 2014

5% done with A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

This is the second book by Tuchman I’ve read – The Guns of August being the other.

I like her no-nonsense methodology; she cuts straight to the facts, dismisses pedantry, is interested in the unusual and is people oriented. She can be very dense at times but she expects a lot from her reader.

I like that she looks at the century through the eyes of one central figure (a unique approach).

page 456 of 615 of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

I love his description of the herds of whales, especially the scene describing the newborn calf, its tail still folded from having been so long gestating. There is a beautiful tenderness to all this and it’s very human-like. The large males with their harems, the riotous young males like collegiate hooligans, the old, wise, lone men.

All that juxtaposed with Pip alone at sea, shapes moving below him; helpless.