peteg's blog - noise - books - 2018 11 26 PeterCarey TheChemistryOfTears

Peter Carey: The Chemistry of Tears.

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Kindle. This book does involve a lot of crying, blubbing, sobbing, torrential downpours and their every cognate. It's a bit apocalyptic, like his movie Until the End of the World, and is set in England and Germany, which is to say that he doesn't spend too much time in Australia. Horology, the sex lives of conservators at stuffy museums, Deepwater Horizon, life in the Black Forest in the mid-19th century, varieties of theft, imitations of life, consumption of alcohol, medicated mental illness, that sort of thing. I got the impression that Carey does not have much mechanical sympathy. His presentation of Wittgenstein's rule-following paradox is befuddling: amusing it really isn't; You cannot see what you can see is obscure enough to originate from the same master. Cruikshank is transparently Babbage. Structurally we have an English woman recounting the framing story in first-person circa 2010, and an Englishman talking about commissioning a mechanical duck from the German master (cuckoo) clockworkers but getting a swan (I think). Overall I struggled to get a sense of what he was trying to achieve.

Andrew Miller. There are heaps of other reviews, none of which really spoke to me.