Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In the Defoeish/Richardsonian mode

So I actually got a crappy book from an online seller yesterday -- amazing how rarely that actually happens. Usually I don't even notice cigarette smoke, but this was one of those smells like the book was dipped with tongs into a vat of boiling nicotine. Nasty! Then when I tried to email the seller, there's something wrong with their contact info. I didn't pay that much, so I may just mark it down to experience. But the funny thing is getting ripped off on Daniel Defoe's History of the Pyrates. I mean, you can't really trust pirates, can you?

Then I came across a newish Penguin edition of one of Defoe's long out-of-print books, called The Storm, a nonfiction account of (supposedly) the only hurricane to ravage the UK, and of course I want that too, spending resolutions be DAMNED!

And I got to browsing through his life history. After a lot of different careers that went nowhere, he started publishing some political writing at the age of around 38. He didn't do his first book until he was 45. And he published the first of the books he's known for (Robinson Crusoe) when he was 60! Hmm, I thought, just like Samuel Richardson, my main man. He didn't start writing until he was 44, and published his first novel at 51.

I'm always hearing that, like, 40 is the new 30, that we're living longer, etc. That's what I see on the covers of the magazines. But both of these guys' lives spanned from the 1600s to the 1700s, and they still didn't even get started until they were around my age. So there's hope for us late bloomers yet...

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