Charlie Harvey

April 2016 reading

  • The Folly by Ivan Vladislavić

    The Folly by Ivan Vladislavić  (cover image)

    This is very much a literary novel. Whatever that means. I suppose what it means is that it is written in an elegant if somewhat pretentious style and that it works on multiple levels, although it might be the case that one would need to have experienced Apartheid South Africa to fully appreciate some of the allegorical resonances to which the cover blurb alludes. Though The Folly was Vladislavić’s first novel it is a solid and confident piece. I think that it felt a bit drawn out at points and might have worked better as a short story, though there may have been fewer chances for Vladislavić to inject poetic flourishes into his prose if he had taken that path.

    2016-04-19 by Charlie Harvey

  • Gödel’s proof, by Nagel and Newman

    Godel's proof by Nagel and Newman (cover image)

    A short and very readable introduction to Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. You can read it in less than a day, although it might take more than that to understand everything that is going on completely. Whilst not rigorous or, well, complete there is enough of an overview that you can see clearly the direction of travel of the argument. It would be nice if more books on mathematics were written at this level.

    2016-04-19 by Charlie Harvey

  • The letters of Joe Hill, edited by Phillip S. Foner

    The letters of Joe Hill ed Phillip Foner (cover image)

    A great read that I picked up at a local charity shop. Joe Hill was an Industrial Workers of the World organizer and radical songwriter in the early 20th century. In 1915 he was framed for murder and executed by the state of Utah. Most of the letters are from the time when he was in prison. They provide insight into Joe Hill as a person as much as a political figure. During his time on death row he continued writing songs and was concerned that the union not spend too much money on his defence that could be used in getting more effective organizers free.

    2016-04-12 by Charlie Harvey


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