anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

this entry is useless.

Know what's strange? According to my dentist, my gum is supposed to hurt like mad on Saturday. It's already Monday and I haven't taken painkillers since the 8 hours after the operation, and I haven't felt a thing. Am I insane to be worried that I'm not in pain? Normal people would be glad, right? Well, I'm thinking maybe there's something wrong.

That's it. I'm crazy.

Also, the dressing was supposed to fall off sometime today but it's still stuck to my gum and my teeth and it's driving me insane. It's this strange material that's a cross between chewing gum and plaster and it's covering the top half of my front teeth and the connecting gum area. Not only is it insanely uncomfortable, I also cannot laugh or smile anymore without covering my mouth. I hate this! Of all the things I expected myself to be complaining about, I didn't think that I would be complaining about the dressing material.

I've been marathon-reading Eliot Perlman's Seven Types of Ambiguity just to prove to myself that I can, like, totally finish reading a 607-page novel, and I finished it this afternoon. It's a mixed bag of brilliant, self-indulgent, clever, and didactic, but I think overall it's a novel well worth reading. For one, it's very tightly plotted. I cannot imagine myself coming up with a plot like that, ever. For another, Perlman introduces a lot of interesting ideas, such that the novel sometimes becomes a bit of a Cliff Notes to, inter alia, deconstructionism, psychology, and because Perlman's a lawyer, the similar fact evidence rule. This aspect of the novel got annoying at times because it tends to lead into digressions that are a lot lengthier than necessary. Still, it's good in the sense that he manages to get you interested enough on a particular topic to Wikipedia it.

More importantly, I started off immensely annoyed with Simon Heywood, the central character. I wondered why, simply put, this stupid man couldn't just get off his whiny, self-indulgent ass and get himself a bloody job and stop wasting other people's time. I have little patience for obviously capable individuals who are so immersed in their self-pity and whatever rubbish depression that they're suffering from, even worse if it's something love-related, that they can't even help others to help themselves. Such people really wear my patience very thin which is why Simon annoyed the shit out of me.

But somehow, towards the end of the novel, especially at the last part of the novel, my irritation with him wore off. And I must say that Anna is an incredibly well-crafted character with whom I related to quite a bit. Angelique/Angela was a bit of a Stephen Blackpool and I liked her part the least. But the opening is just completely arresting and brilliant. If you can't sit through a 607-page novel, read the first part. It's mesmerising, that's what it is.

Okay, my intention wasn't to write so many paragraphs about the book, but to mention something that left me rather ambivalent. Perlman is an Australian lawyer, see? In the novel he had a barrister character explaining the rule against similar fact evidence to Simon. (Basically the rule disallows the prosecution to admit evidence pertaining to the accused's past misconduct on the basis that such evidence is unduly prejudicial to the accused. Like all legal rules, there is an exception: such evidence is admissible if its probative value outweighs its prejudicial effect, a formulation which I still find really iffy and nebulous.) I read it and I thought two things: 1. If only I had read this before my Evidence paper; and 2. I'm not sure if this portion isn't the author being overly self-indulgent.

I thought hints of 2 during the trial scenes but not as much as the bits where the barrister was explaining legalese to laymen. Even the very short two-liner on hearsay was a bit of a 'Uh, okay'.

I don't know why. It's the fact that the author is a lawyer. I don't know why it matters, because if the author wasn't a lawyer, I would be nitpicking those parts for some misreading of the law or whatever. I have no idea what I'm talking about. It's just a sense I had. Maybe it's just me.

I'm not looking forward to Semester 2 because most of my friends won't be around and because my January timetable is a complete nightmare. I just found out that there is some element of class participation involved in Islamic Law and Infocoms which means I'm going to die. Another reason not to look forward to school.
Tags: books, health, law school

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