Monday 24 May 2010

Project 24 continues apace...

Project 24 - #10

Susan unintentionally piled hot coals on my head in the comments earlier this week, congratulating me on being on track for Project 24. Little did she know that #10 was on it's way to me... and has now arrived. That does only take me up to the end of May, so I'm more or less on track, but...

Ok, no.10 - An Experiment With Time by J.W. Dunne. This is actually one for my studies, but I've been meaning to track down a copy for a while. I don't how many of you have heard of it, but it was apparently quite famous in its day. It's mentioned somewhere in Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, can't find the quotation right now, and gets this mention in The Provincial Lady in Wartime by the incomparable E.M. Delafield:
Am rather astonished and greatly impressed when she calmly returns that she often thinks about Time herself, and has read through the whole of J. W. Dunne’s book.

Did she understand it?

Well, the first two and a half pages she understood perfectly. The whole thing seemed to her so simple that she was unable to suppose that even a baby would understand it. Then, all of a sudden, she found she wasn’t understanding it any more. Complete impossibility of knowing at what page, paragraph, or even sentence, this inability first overtook her. It just was like that. At one minute she was understanding it all perfectly – at the next, all was incomprehensible.

Can only inform her that my own experiences with J. W. D. have been identical, except that I think I only understood the first two, not two and a half pages.

Well, that is quite daunting... but it should be quite an interesting read nonetheless! Anybody read it? Or the first two pages?!


  1. I hadn't even heard of it until this post Simon... I am a book loving fraud, it becomes more and more evident the more blogs I read!

  2. I remember my parents reading it, or trying to, when I was a teenager -- I peeped inside it once and put it down quickly. Actually I remembered it when I read Miss H a couple of years ago. It was be interesting to see how you get on with it.

  3. This sounds absolutely intriguing - a book that's mentioned in other books. I shall restrain you from going into your June allowance at the Woodstock Bookshop tonight :)

  4. Oh yes, I've read it! There was even a point during the read when understanding flitted gently by, but that was a brief & unrepeated moment - very, very strange :)

  5. Well, I picked up Miss Hargreaves on my travels, so I guess I will see more "mention" of it soon, but no, I've never heard of it before. So sorry about the "coals." I think you've done marvelously with your goal so far!

  6. This month's Scientific American has an article about the idea that time doesn't actually exist.

  7. Simon - haha, ALL book blogs make me feel like that!

    Harriet - I wonder if my reaction will be the same...

    Verity - Anything to further my love of Miss H! And well restrained ;-)

    Alison - can't wait for the canoe!

    Susan - oo, enjoy!

    Kristi - goodness...!


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