Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Names by Don DeLillo

The Names, Don DeLillo's 1982 novel set in Greece, is today's review from

Something about setting a novel in modern Greece seems to do wonders for good novelists. Perhaps the ancient ruins or the stark, revealing light, contrasted with the modern culture and potent political history, makes for particularly rich material. The Chicago Sun-Times compared this novel to John Fowles's The Magus, and there's some truth to that, in the mystery, the patterns and coincidences, and layers of symbolism and meaning. The Names is a skillful, prescient book; its exploration of terrorism and political instability connected with the search for meaning in history and language seems particularly relevant today.

Read the rest here

Friday, November 18, 2005

OTE the Net Ogre

Not only do Greeks have the most expensive internet access in Europe, but OTE (phone company that owns the phone lines) was set to increase connection charges by "75 percent during the day and 500 percent for those wishing to surf at night", we were informed a few days ago.

Basically the company wanted to gently push dialup users to ADSL (not to mention bring in the income to fund its voluntary redundancies), but ADSL isn't available everywhere and not available for me so my partner wrote an email to OTE. Seems all of Greece protested including politicians and the Greek Quality of Life Consumer Union (EKPOIZO), and the decision has been frozen.

The Greek Union of Internet Users is still wearing black. The icon below says "Cheap Internet Now".

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

And in other book news...

...the EU accused of cooking the books (again) according to The Times.

And Greece (what, only Greece?) was singled out for criticism, where olive farmers claimed for trees that don’t exist, goat farmers claim for goats that don’t exist, and official inspectors fabricate inspections.

One Greek farmer claimed subsidies for 239 sheep lost to wolves and disease, but was unable to explain how he managed to keep his flock the same size without restocking it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

John Fowles (RIP)

There are many reasons why novelists write, but they all have one thing in common - a need to create an alternative world.
- John Fowles

An answer is always a form of death.
- John Fowles

The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours, but the ignominy, the humiliation we feel that we must be what we are without any choice in the matter, and that this humiliation is seen by everyone.
- John Fowles

Our accepting what we are must always inhibit our being what we ought to be.
- John Fowles