Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Pushing 2

The girls are watching Dark Shadows with their father.  He's using the opportunity to point out the structure and limits of the old daytime soap opera format.  Also, to re-watch Dark Shadows.

Last night they told me they were up to Victoria's witchcraft trial in the 18th Century.  Seizing the opportunity, I said, "Those scenes are based on a play called The Crucible.  It was written around the same time as The Mouse That Roared and was about the Salem Witch Trials.  Let's read it next week when this sequence finishes so you can see how they're alike."


Whew!  I thought The Crucible was going to be a harder sell than that!

They wanted to talk about their current book, Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class.  They're up to the fashion chapter, which, alas, time has provided even more glaring examples of how conspicuous waste generates ugly clothes since Veblen's death than before the book was written.  We talked about the similarity of purpose between Leisure Class and Darwin's Origin of the Species.  I began pitching Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century as the modern update.

Not bad for the first part of the supper conversation.

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