Thursday, August 30, 2007

finding Gulliver on my travels

from the diary: “Friday 10/7/88

“Dint do much yesterday. After class I sat in Maria Asumpta library poring over Time Out, circling interesting events, listing some on a separate paper for easier reference. I was intending t’go to London Friend for their weekly social but I was afraid it might cost and I’d nearly used up my daily allotment. So I dropped by Chris & Shawn & Tanya’s place. Ended up staying for dinner again.

“Today was the coach trip to Oxford & Blenheim Palace. I hadn’t expected much … Oxford was a dud. … I did like some of the big old buildings with their spyres and domes and ‘classical’ sculpture. Took a pic of building that had no special plaque in evidence, our tourguide hadn’t dawn our attention to it & it was not right on the road, but I liked its style.

“Oxford University is not a place you can visit. Oxford is a city. There are many colleges – each with its own libraries, buildings, chapel, staff, administrators – a college of Foreign Languages, Science, Medicine, etc. All governed by the university. Oxford University is a collective entity, basically invisible – or more, I should say, it is the sum of visible parts. No single campus, but many, strung about. There isn’t much to do in Oxford. Shops! That seemed to be the big attraction. All the well-heeled kids wanted to hit the souvenir shops for Oxford University t-shirts and sweatshirts. … I [did] buy postcards as souvenirs. Then mail[ed] them away.

“Shawn found a little table outside a church. The top of the table was covered with old books. Attached a sign read, ‘10p apiece’. A slot in the wall was a couple feet above for depositing the money. So we shuffled through the books. Shawn found an old edition of Gulliver. I flipped through it. Sound, decent condition, even had a color plate next the title page, was from the late 40s. Bought it for ten pence."

4 comments:

David Lee said...

And did you read it?

(I ask because I haven't gotten around to reading my copy of Gulliver's Travels and if you say it's worth reading I might actually do it.)

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I haven't. It rather surprises me I haven't. But there it is.

And I haven't seen that copy of Gulliver in years. Maybe I sold it. I think it turned out to be abridged or something.

So I can't tell you whether Gulliver is a great read. It's probably worth trying ...

David Lee said...

No doubt I'll get to it eventually. I haven't seen my copy anytime recently but I'm sure it's still on the shelves somewhere.

David said...

http://englandonthehoof.blogspot.com/