Charlie Harvey

March 2011 Reading

  • The Politics of Postanarchism, Saul Newman

    Let me first just mention that prepending the word "post" to any body of thought – post-anthropology, say – doesn't magically result in a rejuvination of that thought as some theorists are wont to believe. However, I think that Saul Newman's book in its attempt to integrate poststructuralist insights into the framework of anarchist thought is fruitful and actually quite exciting. Newman identifies the central insights of (classical) anarchism and seperates these insights from their problematic roots in enlightenment humanism to bring them into dialogue with the political challenges of contemporary discourse. Newman is a great writer, clear and straightforward, something that lacks in much of the poststructuralist writing.

    2011-03-23 by Charlie Harvey
  • Getting Things Done, David Allen

    Having devoured Proust I’m going to have a bit of a multi book phase. I first read Getting Things Done a couple of years back. I hate the "busy executive knowledge worker" self help positivity style of the writing but the insights that David Allen has about processing stuff have saved my sanity on a number of occasions. It mostly boils down to making sure that you don't use your head to store things you need to do ("open loops"), identifying what stuff actually is (action, project, etc) and processing it accordingly. There's a great summary of the practices Getting Things Done at Mark Volkmann's site.

    2011-03-19 by Charlie Harvey
  • University College Falmouth Book Of Illustrated Quotes and Sayings Volumes 5 and 6, BA(Hons) Illustration Students

    I spent a happy couple of hours looking at the pictures in these two books whilst cooking on Thursday 10 March. It seems like the illustration course is one of the most respected illustration courses out there. And you can see why. They’ve produced some really stunning bits of work. Again, a nice change of pace from Proust :-)

    2011-03-12 by Charlie Harvey
  • Time Regained: In Search of Lost Time Volume Six, Marcel Proust

    I finished Proust's leviathan classic in mid March. I’ve been bimbling through it for many years now so its about time that I did. What can you say about Proust? He never uses one word when a few thousand will do. He sits equally in the camps of romantic and modern. He writes awesome prose (at least in translation). Proust is, in my opinion, at his strongest when he is talking about philosophical issues – time, art, the nature of memory – Time Regained was just stunning in this regard. He captures the sense of nostalgia – "the true paradises are the paradises that we have lost" – of the connection between moments in our lives and of the sensation of aging, of mortality with astounding clarity and precision. He succeeds in creating an optical instrument via which the reader can become a "actually the reader of himself".

    2011-03-08 by Charlie Harvey
  • Effective Perl Programming, Joseph N. Hall and Randal L. Schwartz

    I’m re-reading the 1998 edition of this as a sort of light relief from Proust. It works well as a 'sitting on the loo' book in that its broken into short tips after the style of the Scott Meyers classic "Effective C++ Programming". Less comprehensive than Perl Best Practices, it nonetheless manaes to cover some extremely useful stuff, particularly in the idiomatic perl section. Worth a read and I believe that there is a new edition which may be yet more helpful.

    2011-03-08 by Charlie Harvey


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