Saturday, June 25, 2005

Batter my heart, three person'd beer

I have arrived safely in London, or Hertfordshire at least. The weather is lousy, but after L.A. I am rather enjoying the rain. I also enjoy that nowadays Mary picks me up from the airport in her car, rather than slogging on the tube for an hour. And to top off the enjoyment, we went to a lovely pub in Highgate that evening, which had outdoor seating sheltered from the rain and cheap beers for all.

The flight was long and cramped, and had bad movie selections. But I read two books--a trashy detective novel, and Judith Halberstam's new book, just to keep up with my roommate (I thought it was brilliant. Definitely want to try and take a seminar with her this year.) And I started David Halberstam's The Fifties, in which I learned this fascinating tidbit of information. You know that the very first atomic bomb was code-named "Trinity"? Well it was given that name by Oppenheimer, who named it thus after a famous line from John Donne: "Batter my heart, three person'd God." So poetic! And interesting, considering Richard Rambuss's description of that poem (in Closet Devotions) as a metaphorical gang-bang. I wonder if John Adams works this into Dr. Atomic.

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