topic: portugal

harpsichord

Charle Babbage's difference engine

I find the sound of a harpsichord (cravo in Portuguese – a word that is also used for the carnation flower and cloves – perhaps some kind Portuguese speaker could explain this), and other related instruments such as spinets and virginals, exquisite – though prolonged listening to it can become a tad wearing. Recently, at night in a tent on the shoulder of a mountain beside a ruined Roman fort (nothing wrong with setting the […]

the vanishing thickness of books

[update: been meaning to put a link to this Robert McCrumb article in the Guardian that seems to agree with my thoughts in this post.] A few days ago I discovered that the book I’m currently working on (working title: Matryoshka) is not in fact a novel, but rather a novella. Initially I was rather dismayed. After some investigation I realized that of course it was a novella – not only because it is going […]