February 3rd, 2003


Bruce Chatwin - Utz (02-051)

Bruce Chatwin – Utz (02-051)

Chatwin became famous through his travel books. Utz is a short novel, about a collector of china in Prague. We're talking cold war Prague here. Utz obviously was not your standard eastern European citizen. And as everyone knows, if you didn't follow the exact lines set out for you in those days, the government made sure you didn't have a life. Somehow Utz manages to cope with the intimidations, the secret police and the absurd rules. He even manages to obtain visa to travel abroad, something extremely strange in those days. After his death in 1974 his whole collection has disappeared, nobody knows whereto.

Chatwin manages to portray both the narrator as Utz as likely characters, though one never really feels warm about either of them. I'm not sure if that is his intention, but it does not make it easy to look back after reading this book and make me recommend this book to just anybody as a must read. Still, I really did enjoy reading it. Not the level I remember from his travel books (In Patagonia!!), but very nice to read. A bit confused therefore as to where to place it in my memory. Probably time will tell.
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computer update

Before anything, in my post on thursday I was being optimistic, leaving for home and an early weekend. I actually managed to end up in the biggest traffic jam known in the history of this part of the Netherlands. It took me over two and a half hours what I drive in 20 minutes normally, 15 if I'm in a rush. I could have used my bike and manage it in three quarters of an hour! (insert swearing)

Anyway, I did pick up my computer last friday. Wasn't too pleased with the service of the shop, but late in the afternoon I had everything installed and I only had to open the machine once. Next up is copying my parent's hard disk, so I get my 2 GB of information on my new computer. Then I need an official copy of the Office disk from work and by then, hopefully, my starters kit for internet via cable will have arrived. So if everything goes well, I'll be online on a more than daily basis within a forthnight!

Looking forward to really reading everything every day instead of scanreading my friendslist like I do at work nowadays.
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