Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Magic Mountain

The Magic Mountain amazes me. I've laughed out loud twice, and it's offered some interesting insights, amusing characters, and an intriguing plotline. In the beginning it didn't seem very impressive, but now it's gotten a lot better. Some of it is a little mystifying, but Hans's position and feelings seem very similiar to me... except I don't have to be on a strange mountain facility to feel like that. I can also understand how "being freed from the pressures of honor offers the advantages of disgrace". The book's faintly Victorian attitude towards sex and things like that are a bit quaint, but interesting. I could give up my "honor"(reputation, modesty, respectfulness) and become a stronger, more lively person. Maybe I should do that. In some ways honor is just about maintaining the status quo of tradition and allowing society to place you where it wants to place you.

I wish I could write like Thomas Mann. It's amazing that this book has been translated so nicely.

I began the day by heading over to my adviser's office, scruffy, smelly, and oily. I wore the same clothes I'd worn yesterday - I don't like to wear clean clothes before showering, often. I decided to take Sociology of the Family and Intro to Literature. Interestingly, my adviser thinks that HTML is going to be outdated in three years, maybe less. I have no idea whether he's right, but the development of webpages probably will become increasingly automated by powerful software tools. HTML still seems useful to know.

We discussed biodiesel briefly in class, and Professor Richard Wiener(no joke) seemed pretty enthusiastic about it. He didn't mention the disadvantages of it, though - that it tends to gel in winter and that it would take immense amounts of land to cultivate it.

Quote for the Day

"But a day without tobacco - that would be absolutely insipid, a dull, totally wasted day."
-Hans Castorp

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