second read: 2014 August 15 first read: 2008 May 1
pp. 8-9 …three core requirements for success in medicine—or in any endeavor that involves risk and ressecond read: 2014 August 15 first read: 2008 May 1
pp. 8-9 …three core requirements for success in medicine—or in any endeavor that involves risk and responsibility. The first is diligence, the necessity of giving sufficient attention to detail to avoid error and prevail against obstacles… Diligence is both central to performance and fiendishly hard… The second challenge is to do right… The third requirement for success is ingenuity—thinking anew… It is not a matter of superior intelligence but of character. It demands more than anything a willingness to recognize failure, to not paper over the cracks, and to change. It arises from a deliberate, even obsessive, reflection on failure and a constant searching for new solutions....more
from: http://www.r3.org/fiction/mysteries/t... "The Richard III Society, American Branch" The Daughter of Time (1951) brought the controversy surrounding Richard III and the Princes in the Tower to a wide public audience and is perhaps the most popular defense of Richard. This mystery novel addresses the issue of historical truth. Inspector Alan Grant, trapped in a hospital with a broken leg, is bored senseless. Because he fancies himself to be an expert on faces, his friend, Marta Hallard, a famous actress, gives him some portraits to study. In the portrait of Richard III, he sees power and suffering in the face of a man of conscience and integrity. Is it "a judge, a soldier, a prince? Someone used to great responsibility, and responsible in his authority. Someone too conscientious. A worrier, perhaps a perfectionist. A man at ease in large design but anxious over details. A candidate for a gastric ulcer." Grant is dismayed to discover that it is the portrait of one of the most infamous villains in history, the "monster" said to have murdered his nephews to obtain the crown of England. How could he have misjudged? Grant decides that he will read everything he can find to discern the truth of the matter. With his detective skills and reasoning ability, he hopes to solve the mystery the missing princes.
Tey keeps the pace lively by the constant activities of contemporary characters, while Grant's "flashbacks" to the past through the reading of historical sources guides the reader stepwise through the collection of evidence, such as it is, and the reasoning process. Grant's research is very similar to a modern day criminal investigation, except that the witnesses are long dead and left behind little tangible evidence. Grant cross-compares facts from the various sources to try to forge a logical scenario. He discovers that once an erroneous account is published, it is often unquestioningly accepted as true. Historians subsequent to Sir Thomas More (in particular, Hall and Holinshed) appear to have accepted More's account as indisputable, when in fact he could have only obtained his information secondhand (most likely from the highly-prejudiced Bishop Morton.) In today's courtroom, such "evidence" would be inadmissible as "hearsay." Josephine Tey/Gordon Daviot addresses the question, in this book and others: "How much of history is solidly grounded in fact, and how much is it malleable for the sake of political expediency?" In The Daughter of Time, Inspector Grant eventually tries to dig up sources contemporaneous with Richard III to eliminate the Tudor bias. In writing Richard III, Shakespeare's goal was to write a compelling drama, and historical accuracy was sacrificed for the sake of plot. Because it was widely believed in those days that Richard III had had his nephews murdered, he was a logical villain; Shakespeare only needed to superimpose exaggerated physical deformities and a Machiavellian-inspired personality to create an unforgettable character.
In The Daughter of Time, Grant bounces ideas off of the other people in his life--nurses, doctors, and acquaintances to illustrate the reactions of varying personalities to the information he discovers; this gives him opportunities to expound on his findings and theories. The characters include the previously-mentioned Marta Hallard, the busy, efficient, no-nonsense Nurse Ingham ("The Midget"), the sympathetic and helpful Nurse Ella Darroll ("The Amazon"), and Brent Carradine, an American student who obtains research materials for Grant and discusses the issues with him at length. This mystery demonstrates that once an idea, right or wrong, becomes "fixed" in a culture, people resist changing their opinions on the matter, even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.
It is unknown precisely when Daviot wrote the play Dickon, which was published posthumously in 1953. The play covers the life of Richard III from January, 1483 until the morning of August 22, 1485, just prior to the Battle of Bosworth Field...
Weinsoft explained, "In Dickon and her other history plays, Daviot's aim is to reinterpret and demythologize historical characters. Richard is thus characterized as fair, honorable, and capable. Critics contend, and I concur, that this depiction on stage of a good and much maligned king, does not provide enough dramatic contrast. Given the inevitable comparison to Shakespeare's play, Dickon does not fare well...because excessive, energetic evil is more theatrically compelling than vapid virtue."
Gielgud made a similar assessment: "In Dickon...Gordon does not succeed, to my mind, in making the character of Richard III sufficiently convincing as a hero, and her good Richard does not begin to be an adequate substitute for the thrilling monster of Shakespeare's play. She was evidently obsessed by this idea, for she develops it at considerable length in her novel A Daughter of Time." [sic:]
Daviot never hesitated to write about controversial topics, but often she avoided controversial details about those topics. Weinsoft said, "But where Shakespeare rearranges the chronology of events to suit a dramatic purpose, Daviot simply eliminates events she deems unsuitable to her favorable portrayal of Richard. For example...some controversial events surrounding the usurpation and coronation are omitted." Similarly, she omitted the Casket Letters with regard to Mary, Queen of Scots, and implemented a too-easy solution in The Expensive Halo. In Miss Pym Disposes, Miss Pym decides to disappear for the day when she anticipates an unpleasant confrontation between two other parties. Is this another example of self-revelation? In the author's opinion, while Daviot's realistic characters appear to be drawn from actual individuals and are given clever dialogue, the conflict within the stories often seems muted or subdued, as if she had a "maternal instinct" to protect the characters. Perhaps she decided to write the story of Richard III as a mystery, The Daughter of Time, because she knew the message would reach a wider audience than Dickon. The "daughter of time" is truth, and this book is a relatively painless. way to be introduced to late medieval English history; most readers are inspired to learn more. ...more
p.71-72..."there's something deeply sociable about science; it rests entirely on observations that can be shared with and repeated by others. But in ap.71-72..."there's something deeply sociable about science; it rests entirely on observations that can be shared with and repeated by others. But in a world where "everything you decide is true, is true," what kind of connection between people can there be? Science, as well as most ordinary human interactions, depends on the assumption that there are conscious beings other than ourselves and that we share the same physical world, with all its surprises, sharp edges, and dangers."...more
p.221 "...since the moment that he had exploded into belief..."
pp.258-59 "You can save the world or you can have your Alice." ..."What's your choice?"p.221 "...since the moment that he had exploded into belief..."
pp.258-59 "You can save the world or you can have your Alice." ..."What's your choice?" said Hades. "World," said Neil. ..."But why?" said Hades. "Everybody loves somebody," said Neil. "So I lose her. But everybody else gets to keep theirs. It's what she'd do."
p.4 from author interview on her writing process But reading is ultimately distracting as I'm dealing with other people's thoughts, so sometimes I have to put the books down and just think. I think in the shower, doing the shopping, tidying the house, and I get vast amounts of thinking done on the bus. I think in bed, last thing at night and first thing in the morning, because being half asleep pushes open the door to my subconscious just that little bit wider. Mostly, though, I lie on the sofa and think (I have a special sofa in my study for this purpose -- chosen by stretching out on all the sofas in Ikea to find out which one was the thinkiest). This causes untold problems in the pub ("God, I've been lying on the sofa all day, I'm knackered"). I think until I can't bear it any longer and then I start writing, but it's never long enough. I get myself stuck and have to take weeks out in the middle of drafts just to think some more, and then I get furious with myself for "not doing any work," forcing myself back to the computer too soon, and end up with writer's block, which is basically just thinking plus self-loathing....more
pp.196-197 ...I started telling him about my mother's show. That show was my model for love, the onstage and the backstage parts. ...I think I must havpp.196-197 ...I started telling him about my mother's show. That show was my model for love, the onstage and the backstage parts. ...I think I must have been hoping that my story might get the Bird Man to love me the way my mother was loved by the Chief. "You know, my father trained himself to be my mother's sun, electrically speaking." That was exactly how my dad described the job of love... Love, as practiced on our island, was tough work: the blind eye of the follow spot took all your strength to direct and turn.
p.273 ...perhaps they could achieve a food truce, the picnic suspension of oedipal feeling that permits the generations to love each other at family reunions? ...more
August 2007 - first(?) reading 10-14 Sept 2012 - reread on Clare's recommendation 24-26 March 2015 - reread after hearing her speak at Seattle Main LibrAugust 2007 - first(?) reading 10-14 Sept 2012 - reread on Clare's recommendation 24-26 March 2015 - reread after hearing her speak at Seattle Main Library in late winter 2015...more
p.102 "...the most beautiful city on earth, just as it is the most serene. Not only is the weather and everything around us serene, but we ourselves bep.102 "...the most beautiful city on earth, just as it is the most serene. Not only is the weather and everything around us serene, but we ourselves become serene. Serenity is the feeling of being one with the world, of having nothing to wish for, of lacking for nothing. Of being, as almost never happens elsewhere, entirely in the present."
p.168 "He (his son) liked rituals. I liked rehearsing. Rituals are when we wish to repeat what has already happened, rehearsals when we repeat what we fear might yet occur. Maybe the two are one and the same, our way to parley and haggle with time."
p.174 "Rue Delta" concerns their last night in Alexandria: the first seder of Passover, the family gathered, and then the two published versions of his non-"last walk" on the Corniche. One with his brother, one without. And how his brother was merged into the memoir. ...more
from Sara Lash easy to keep reading, but not satisfying mostly interesting for the detail about glass-blowing history & culture in Venice over the cfrom Sara Lash easy to keep reading, but not satisfying mostly interesting for the detail about glass-blowing history & culture in Venice over the centuries ...more
p.164 "I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Np.164 "I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, these can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second."
p.402 "If you desired to change the world, where would you start? With yourself or others?" Alexander Solzhenitsyn...more