In mathematics, the eccentricity – denoted e or - is a parameter associated with every conic section. It can be thought of as a measure of how much the conic section deviates from being circular. This from Wikipedia.
In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive. This also from Wikipedia.
In South Africa, eccentricity denotes cultural buried treasure that author Pat Hopkins is digging up for a book project. His latest, Johnny Golightly Comes Home, about the artist John Anthony Boerma, is “a curious hybrid of a book”. This (carrot, mostly) from Margaret von Klemperer:
THIS is a curious hybrid of a book, partly explained by its subtitle: A Portrait of Eccentricity. One part is autobiographical and is Pat Hopkins’s own journey from an alarming childhood in the Drakensberg which included being present when his father was killed in a shoot-out with the drugs squad. He even spent some time as an articled clerk at a law firm in Pietermaritzburg — there are people here who still remember him. The other is the story of the book he tried to write. This was to be the biography of John Anthony Boerma, aka the artist Johnny Golightly. Hopkins wanted to parallel Golightly’s reinvention of himself with South Africa’s reinvention as a country post 1994. It was to be a triumphant tale.
- Johnny Golightly Comes Home: A Portrait of Eccentricity by Pat Hopkins
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