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On writing a guidebook about Barcelona

Tonight at the BSFA meeting was delightful: Steve Cockayne's trilogy emerged, in various ways, from the familial marionette theater he grew up with, a family business. He brought a spaceman, a flying saucer, and a major character from his fiction (Rusty) for us to meet in marionette form. His books sound fascinating, clearly, from fjm's enthusiasm for them, and his own quixotic descriptions. (Trivia: he was also a cameraman for some of the '70s Dr. Who episodes.)

In addition to the guest interviewee, I also met another guy tonight, A., and conversation eventually turned from scaffolding and his recent trip to Barcelona to Jerusalem, the Holy Grail, and more of my medieval mill anecdotes. (I had no idea I had so many of them.) One poem recounts how the crusaders erected a windmill in Jerusalem, and the locals marvelled at such a strange and alien device. A. was enthralled at the vision this painted - especially after the grail discussion preceding it - and asked how Jerusalem was described in the poem. I told him that the poem's description of Jerusalem would probably be as informative as if I were to today write a guidebook to Barcelona. I've never been there, haven't gone too far out of my way to read about it, and have only heard anecdotal information about it. Perhaps I should try writing the guidebook, just to see how wrong I am....

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
a_d_medievalist
Feb. 23rd, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Totally off-topic
But I just went through one of my e-mail folders and saw your review! Slightly jealous of who it's for, 'cos I haven't been able to crack my way onot their reviewer list yet ;-)

So here's your "you rock" for today!
owlfish
Feb. 23rd, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Totally off-topic
Thank you!

I haven't a clue how I ended up on their list. They didn't say who recommended me to them and I don't know. The book was a complete gift, as my first review to do. When it first came out in hardback, and I was teaching an undergrad class, I assigned it to them - to do a book review of it! So I've read about 30 undergrad-level analyses of it in the past, which meant I'd already thought through most of what I needed to to write a review myself. My next book review - for a print journal in the history of science, for a much larger reference book I was not already familiar with - will be a much bigger challenge for me.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )