Call me Russ L

The “Page 56” Meme

Posted in Books, Modern Living, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 5 November, 2009

(Idea yoinked from Culture And Anarchy).

1) Grab the nearest book;
2) Open it to page 56;
3) Find the fifth sentence; and,
4) Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.

The nearest book was Linsey Hanley’s “Estates” (borrowed from Our Louise and resting in the pocket of my coat on the back of my chair), which I’m glad indeed to have read (well… very very nearly finished. The bus tonight will do for it). It’s an exploration of the world of council housing in Britain: of the stigma now attached to what was once (briefly) one of this country’s prouder achievements, and of the ‘walls in the head’ that arise from shutting people off in an isolated and un-mantained area before going on to tell them that they’re some kind of failure for having to live there.

The definition of ‘sentence’ in the instructions is perhaps more ambiguous than one might have expected: I’d have assumed it meant ‘the fifth sentence on the page”, but the abovelinked post that I got this from appears to read it as the fifth line down the page (I say ‘appears’ – theirs is a Tolkein book, so who bleedin’ well knows). (EDIT: Woah there Nelly, it’s been all a-changed).

If, then, the former:

“The LCC’s actions would still have lasting significance in that it was the first example of the state, operating at a local level, stepping in to do what once only charities, The Church and philanthropists had been prepared to do.”

Although if the latter:

“…slum had been demolished, never to be replaced.”

These may not be the most spectacular excerpts (it’s not dryly written at all, nor is it a purely historical account. There’s a lot of personal material about her own experiences in Chelmsley Wood and Tower Hamlets) but it is nevertheless an amazing book that everyone should read.

Everyone should also do this meme. This is my idea of fun.


5 Responses

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  1. […] meme was swiped from the blog of Russ L. Here are the […]

  2. Serena Trowbridge said, on 6 November, 2009 at 10:12 am

    You are quite right – for some reason I went for 5th liine rather than 5th sentence – now amended on my blog!

  3. Russ L said, on 6 November, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Whilst I would not have thought any the less of you for not amending it, I hereby proclaim this another victory for the forces of pedantry.

  4. […] and here’s a bit of fun, it’s a meme that can be found here on number 1’s site […]

  5. […] so was attracted to this meme when I came across it on Chris Unitt’s blog. Chris got it from Russ L’s blog. Here are the […]


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