Monday, March 11, 2013

Tsavo

http://archive.org/details/maneatersoftsavo00pattiala

    'The Man Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures,' contains an account of building part of the East African Railway system.  It was written  by Lieutenant Colonel John Henry Patterson and it was published in 1907. The book can be read to you by a mechanical device, if you follow the above link.  A dispassionate voice can ramble on in the background, while you gaze at the weather radar, and it can pleasantly distract you from worrying about Spinach seedlings.  The book has many photographs, some of which are interesting.  Amongst other things, John Henry Patterson was a soldier, a Christian Zionist and a  hunter, and he spent a great deal of his time while in East Africa shooting creatures, some of them troublesome, others just minding their own business, and  most of those creatures he shot required the gathering of wood, so meat could be cooked then eaten.


    I mention this book for two reasons.  The first is that I seem to have lost enthusiasm for books written by authors who use twitter.  Which makes reading Chomsky's view of postmodern and  post-structuralism difficult for me, but he is a little older than I am, so there is hope. I also have developed an allergy to authors who appear too frequently on the television.  And this means  pretty much every book upon a best seller list, has become almost impossible for me to even think about trying to read.  The second reason for mentioning Patterson's Adventures, contains hints of further flaws in my personality.  Both the Preface, the Forward and the First Chapter of  Man Eaters of  Tsavo begin with the word "It."   Which of all the things to remain in a memory, I  noticed first when I  read Man Eaters of Tsavo sometime in 1960 or 1961.  The school master asked me something like, "Why do you always begin your paltry attempts at composition with 'It.'"

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