Sunday, October 05, 2014

Left off preaching and gone to meddling...

I hadn't noticed before, but the Bible addresses government deficit spending: "The wicked borrows and does not pay back." (Psalm 37:21)

I noticed that while I was slogging through The Life and Death of Mr Badman, Bunyan's originally planned sequel to The Pilgrim's Progress. He wrote the book as a counterpoint to Pilgrim, but when someone published a fake sequel, Bunyan wrote a real Part II to the Pilgrim's Progress, concerning the adventures of Christiana, his wife. Part II isn't as dramatic a read as the more familiar Part I, since it is more of an allegory of the Christian life in community, but it is well worth reading. And some call The Holy War the second best allegory in English, with Pilgrim's Progress being the best.

Mr Badman, on the other hand, is a dialog between two people who pretty much entirely agree with each other, and consequently it lacks almost all dramatic interest. It includes thumbnails of real people's stories, which of course I've never heard of but were probably of lively interest to his readers. I'm about halfway through, and within an inch of just jumping to the end to see how Mr Badman meets his maker. It does provide an view of what life was like then, with Masters over apprentices rather than students in schools, and informers getting an extra revenue stream by spying on their neighbor's transgressions (especially the neighbors stepping out on their spouses).

I bought an inexpensive tablet to see how the pocket appliance world works, and loaded FBReader and some kindle-style books from Gutenberg on it. Works OK; I can read and listen to music easily enough, though a more expensive model would have better sound and wireless reception. Miserable for anything involving typing, though, and speech recognition is more amusing than useful. Oddly enough the Kindle app doesn't seem very useful.

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