2008-02-29

Here I sit

.

Here I sit
with a monkey on my knee

Trying to remember why
he's here with me

I once went to Pittsburgh
I was looking for a cow

And now that I'm in Cally
I will never once allow

Another fiendish monkey
With a scowl upon his face

Chirping over someone
That he just left in disgrace--

Weeping on the sidewalk
Weeping in the street

Weeping day in, day out
For the monkey's made effete

And now the primate army
marches out my door

Rendering all folk lonesome
With no access to their whores

And the land is scoured barren
and my mind feels much the same

And the monkey laughs so softly
and he crawls inside my brain.

2008-02-25

Reconnoitering Mecca

.

Yes. I did. But I can't tell you about it. Do you have any idea what might happen to me?

Thixar

2008-02-24

Svithe: 教長祝福

.

Today, stake conference.

Our stake has been given permission by (then Acting) President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to call two additional patriarchs, one to give blessings in Spanish, and one in a medley of Chinese dialects.

The church is true.



last week's svithe

2008-02-21

6of1

.

I just realized that one of my main complaints about hiphop and one of my main complaints about country are the same complaint (and it's one I have about much of popular and teen culture):

    A deliberate claim to ignorance.
    An ignorant pose.
    A posturing toward ignorance.

Not admirable.

Resurrecting the Western

.

So even though I haven't seen any of the movies I'm about to discuss, I'm anxious to and I think it's terrific that an artform as American as jazz is experiencing a renaissance.

Now, I'm not a Western junkie by any means, but some of America's greatest films have been Westerns. I'm not sure which I would say is my personal favorite -- High Noon? The Ox-Bow Incident? Back to the Future Part III? -- there's no doubt that the Western does not deserve the ghettoization it's been subjected to.

All five movies I'm about to mention are up for Oscars, and the first two are arguably to two most acclaimed movies of the year. I've arranged them by how much I want to see them.

No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers seem incapable of making bad films. Although I do not enjoy all their films equally, their unique vision makes each a must-see.

It might be surprising that a film set in 1980 can be a "Western" and you could argue that most of the films on this list can't check every box on the What Makes a Western checklist, but this takes place in the West; has themes of mortality, morality and violence; it's a Western in everything but date.

Also. I don't think you can use a cattle gun in anything other than a Western.


There Will Be Blood

This looks like the most, mm, filmy movie of the year--the most unique experience. That's reason enough for me. Also, I just gotta see it to figure out how the little pieces I know about all fit together.

The year's about 1900 and we're in California looking for oil. There are preachers and money and milkshakes. What more do we need to know?

Exactly. Which is why we should all go catch a matinee together.


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Brad Pitt has proven himself to be an actor as well as a star. His presence in a movie as always a plus. Casey Affleck is suddenly reinvented as a man with serious dramatic chops. I'm not sure when this happened. I'm used to him being funny as in Good Will Hunting or the Ocean films. I want to see this amazing new Casey Affleck everyone's talking about.

Also, much like There Will Be Blood, this film has a score that I am anxious to hear. Usually I'm not that interested in scores prior to hearing about them, but this year there were three. (The third belongs to Atonement.)

Also: I too am a big fan of beautiful cinematography. Et tu?


In the Valley of Elah

Now we're into the second half of desirability: the lower half. This movie intrigues me, but if you thought 1980 was too late to be a Western, you'll have to throw this one out entirely. Tommy Lee Jones is investigating the murder of his son, a veteran of Iraq. We're really pushing the bounds of what makes a Western now, but I'm going to say this counts. A father's quest through barren Arizona? It totally counts.


3:10 to Yuma

Christian Bale is the hero. Russell Crowe is the charismatic hero with the cool hat.

This is the most traditional Western of the bunch and everyone seems to agree: it's a killer.

Anyway. Enough of that.

Go watch a movie!

2008-02-20

Dental Calumny

.

I got my teeth cleaned today. My teeth. My teeth are naturally, mm, not white. At their most brilliant, they are still not particularly white.

Today's hygienist asked if I drank coffee or tea. Um, neither, not once. Lots of juices? Not really. Well, some people's saliva is just staining.

Ah. Terrific.

Well I don't know what I'm supposed to do about that.

Stupid saliva....

2008-02-18

3rd 5, 2008 TACKY ANIMATED GIF EDITION!!!!

.

015) Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, finished February 18
    Lady Steed's book group is reading this book now and I like to read them too so I can pretend I get to do fun stuff like girls do. Or at least talk about it with the Lady. It's nice to read the same books now and then.

    Careful with that knife, pal.I actually started the book before Lady Steed did, although I was only eight pages into it when she finished. I was anxious to pick it back up because Atkinson has a very compelling voice.

    I usually avoid giving anything away in these responses, and I won't give much more away than the jacket does here, but all the same: SPOILER WARNING.

    This book made Lady Steed gasp aloud in horror several times as she read it. And also other quite audible reactions to everything from the terrible to the sexual. This book has something for everybody! that's for sure.

    One thing we both agree is that the book comes very close to being too tidy. The almost Dickensian confluence of coincidence is decidedly unmodern. Although, to be fair, the characters never see quite how tidy everything turned out, and that somehow makes it okay.

    And here's a kudo to Atkinson: although she builds up big surprises, she doesn't make big reveals. She's smart enough to realize we're smart enough to figure out what she's up to.

    Anyway. Reading this book so soon after The Lovely Bones was not good for my mental calm. So many dead girls! Everywhere I look! I'm awful glad I don't have a daughter at the moment; I would not be able to sleep nights.

    Books like this often make me realize how fragile life is--that anyone could die at any moment. This book made me realize a corollary to this, viz. life is fragile--any one could kill someone else at any moment.

    Lady Steed was just saying that this book made her wonder how many people have accidentally killed someone and never told and never been found out. All those missing people....

    Life is precious. Be grateful you are both alive and not any more damaged than you are. And that you've never killed anyone. Assuming you haven't.

    Um.

    You haven't, right?

    a couple weeks



014) Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, finished February 15
    The Big O saw this while we were at the library and, as he's a big Spider-Man fan these days, he wanted to check it out. I said yes.

    Spider-Man swingsI had recently read an article in Entertainment Weekly about a dad who tells Peter Parker's journey to Spider-Man as a bedtime story, and the mythic power of the best, most enduring comics tales is not lost on me.

    Big O was bored by the beginning--everything precostume--and I had to skim, but as we moved on, he got into it.

    Me, I was less thrilled. I don't know if you;re familiar with Marvel's Ultimates, but they update old characters. I borrowed the X-Men one from Master Fob once and, if memory serves, it was a lot like this one:overslick, overglossy, overstyled---

    I'm not a big fan. I much prefer, say, Batman: Year One. I wonder if that's simply generational...?

    two weeks



013) Trusting Jesus by Jeffrey R. Holland, finished February 11
    First, I need to thank the person who left this book at church for any old anybody to pick up. Meaning me. I picked it up, and I thank you.

    JesusSecond, I need to note how sad I was to find out this was just repackaged speeches I had already heard or could have easily found.

    That said though, great book! For instance, the penultimate chapter is perhaps my favorite speech of his (evidence 1 and 2). And---but let me let you let yourself in on their greatness. Here's a sampling:
    Sometimes I feel I get more than I deserve. And sometimes I feel that Elder Holland was an apostle called just to say words designed to succor me.

    And sometimes I think what the heck! You seriously expect people to pay $19.95 for what they could get for free online?

    I may be conflicted.....

    guessing about sixteen months



012) Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham et al., finished February 11
    I read a couple volumes of Fables in 2006 and was so phenomenally disappointed in their mere okayness that I thought I would never try them again. But this book--a one off with a cool cover--caught my attention at the library and I checked it out and I liked it.

    The Big Bad Wolf, Japan
    Not every story is as successful as the best of them, but over all it's a nice collection with mostly great art. I particularly loved Tara McPherson's story--I couldn't stop staring. This school of art is pretty hip now and I love it. Does that make me hip? Discuss.

    Of course the big question for Vertigo is did it make me want to read more? And the answer is yes, it did. At least. I will keep trying other Vertigo titles.

    I still need to find a copy of Animal Man......

    Anyway

    two days



011) Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach, finished February 4
    So I like Mary Roach and really I don't see how one can not. Even though tradition tells us that strict empiricists shouldn't get along with choose-to-believe-ers, I still like her. She's delightful.

    Skippy dee deadAnd so I recommend this book heartily that you may learn about everything from soul weighing to the vaginal hideaways of ectoplasm to cutting-edge quantum speculation. As opposed to spaculation which went out of style decades ago.

    (Get it?)

    Ahem. Anyway. Very nice book, very nice. Get your own copy.

    And then get it signed. She has a really cool signature.

    since Halloween





Previously

2008-02-17

On entering my third year of svithing

.

It's appropriate that my third anniversary of official svithing is Tuesday because I've been reflecting lately on just what my svithing is all about. Not all svithes are created equal.

Of course, I predicted this when I started, but some of the svithes have been throwaways or utter nonsense. And some nonsvithe posts have been more religiousy than my svithes--SpongeBob comes to mind.

So what is the purpose of this blog?

I'll be posting the next installment of Books Read soon, and in the next list is a book by Jeffrey R. Holland. In the book is a speech he gave at BYU not long after I arrived there (pdf). I quoted that speech to myself constantly for months. Or, more accurately, I quoted that speech's quotation of Paul constantly for months: "Cast not away therefore your confidence"---

Paul is telling the Hebrews that when times get hard, do not forget that once you knew, that once you were instructed, that once the Holy Spirit spoke and, to quote another, "if ye have felt [before] to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"

Yes.

I don't meant to suggest that I am having some sort of crisis of faith over the true and everlasting principle of svithing or something. Haha. No, wiping tear from eye, no; it's not that at all.

It's just a matter of self-assessment.

Svithing is supposed to be a tithe of my blogging, the Sabbath of my writing. If I write one-offs that take no heart or reflection, what am I in fact saying? If I pay my tithing with the rotten egg, what sort of egg am I?

Now that I am with the grownups again, during church services, I am trying to keep up on my reading. I'm doing too well with the Book of Mormon--Lady Steed and I are a book ahead, which is sort of missing the point. But I'm right on with Joseph Smith.

It's a very easy thing to remember weekends when single when I could enter a minicloistering in my bedroom. It's much easier than finding time to remember God as a parent & high school teacher & fulltime student & Cub Scout leader &c.

But making excuses isn't what this is about.

And here's the crux for me. If svithing becomes an excuse for not being who I should be, then I have failed. But if it takes part of making who I should be, then it is a success.

I think about, for instance, the new prophet, and where he was at my age (or, for that matter, Samuel or Mormon or Joseph Smith), and think, what about me? Am I ready to take care of nearly ninety widows? Probably not.

And although I have no aspirations to be either a bishop or prophet in the coming weeks, were that to be required of me, I should be prepared.

So. Need to work on that.

Which may seem tangential to svithing, but it had better not be.

It had better not be.


last week's svithe

visit The Weekly Svithe

2008-02-14

Happy Valentine's Day, Lady Steed!

Lady Steed on the Beach
.

The first time I remember seeing Lady Steed comes some time after she had first noticed me. I was at her apartment for . . . some reason. I was sharing a church assignment with one of her roommates--that was probably why. Lady Steed was sitting at the kitchen table (which abutted the living room) working on a color wheel for her color-theory class.

I sat at the table and talked with her for a while and learned what her name was (though not her last name which name's pronunciation I thus remained unclear on for some time -- being male and 22, it sure looked like it had something to do with feminine undergarments), what she was studying (graphic design), et cetera -- all the basic getting-to-know-you college-style stuff. I tried to appear knowledgeable ("So I see you've noticed that orange and red make, um, orange. Wait.") and we chatted until whoever I was waiting for became available. I showed her my graphic design ideas for promoting a play I was working on and she hated them and told me very clearly that these ideas of mine were very very bad ideas indeed. This would be her first step in turning me into a person with (some) taste.

I'm not precisely sure when our second good conversation was, but fast forward eight months or so and watch me during the week after our first twelve hours spent together on a couch. The tweed jacket I wore that night is covered in long auburn strands and every time I note one, I pick it off and hold it so the light reflects off it and I smile before I let it float away. I smile because of who that hair represents. And because I know that there will be many more such strands in my future.

As it ends up, sometimes those hairs can get to be a little much -- big balls of hair in the baby's fist -- but they still symbolize something beautiful and wonderful, and the person I love more than any other in this great big world.

Lady Steed, I love you. And I still love getting your hair all over my clothes.

Happy Valentine's Day.

2008-02-13

At one minute to eight

.

At one minute to eight I still haven't finished deconstructing Proust or solving Fermat but I suppose it doesn't matter because others have already done these things. So instead I will focus on stepping on the cement in a pattern new and unique to me, today, that the cement will feel its day has not been wasted.

Meanwhile, I will focus on not tripping or having my glasses torn off by the tree whose branches own the airspace above the sidewalk.

And we will both smile to know today is February 13th and no one is the wiser. Not penguins, not ducks, not any amusing fowl, nor, for that matter, Proust or Fermat.

Now. Where are we going?

2008-02-11

Oscar Wisdom Frothing

Daniel Day Lewis Enjoys a Milkshake.

I dreamed last night that I was watching There Will Be Blood on PBS--I'm guessing they were trying to get more people to see it before the Oscar ballots were due. Daniel Day-Lewis was, yes, insane. And he yelled a lot. Also, EmmyLou Harris made spagetti noodles from cornbread and a mother dog, mourning her pups, tried repeatedly to commit suicide and failed each time. Curiously, there was nothing about milkshakes. Also: the cinematography was daytime soap circa 1988.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the details of this movie in the shower, I realized I hadn't done my annual Oscar Wisdom Frothing post. And I have decidedly less wisdom to froth this year. I've only seen two of the nominated films (What? No Darjeeling Limited?), and although there are ever as many movies that I want to see, I'm writing this post during a moment of lesser passion. So I have have fudged the 'gotta see' numbers a bit.

So it goes.



    Black = have seen
    Turquoise = glad I haven't seen
    Green = don't quite care either way
    Rotten Apple = wanna see
    Orange = really wanna see
    Red = gotta see


      Across the Universe
      American Gangster
      The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
      At Night
      Atonement
      August Rush
      Away from Her
      Beaufort
      The Bourne Ultimatum
      Charlie Wilson's War
      La Corona
      The Counterfeiters
      The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
      Eastern Promises
      Elizabeth: The Golden Age
      Enchanted
      Even Pigeons Go To Heaven
      Freeheld
      The Golden Compass
      Gone Baby Gone
      I Met the Walrus
      I'm Not There
      In the Valley of Elah
      Into the Wild
      Juno
      Katyń
      The Kite Runner
      Lars and the Real Girl
      Madame Tutli-Putli
      Michael Clayton
      Mongol
      The Mozart of Pickpockets
      My Love
      No Country for Old Men
      No End in Sight
      Norbit
      Once
      Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
      Persepolis
      Peter and the Wolf
      Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
      Ratatouille
      Salim Baba
      Sari's Mother
      The Savages
      Sicko
      The Substitute
      Surf's Up
      Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
      Tanghi Argentini
      Taxi to the Dark Side
      There Will Be Blood
      3:10 to Yuma
      The Tonto Woman
      Transformers
      12
      La Vie en Rose (La môme)
      War/Dance

2008-02-10

The Sustainable Svithe:
crafted from recycled pieces of others' blog posts

Green Moroni.

The same issue of Collegiate Post I was published in way back in . . . 2002? saw publication of an excellent little article from a BYU professor about all those scriptures re: dominion over the earth and describing it as stewardship and a responsibility to do a good job rather than as permission to screw things up as badly as we please. And I knew it was true.

Similarly, I'm currently acquainted with a fellow who has a really hard time with the lights at the Oakland Temple being on all the time--the bright outside lights (which can be beautiful) and the visitor-center lights left on even when no one's in the room.

The first, symblolic. The latter, convenient. But the points are good.

Several weeks ago, I found this issue addressed by a blogger named Green Mormon Architect. Here's a fellow interested in the greening of Mormonism--an idea with a long heritage, as I'm sure you know. If you don't, read this post. Or the links in his sidebar.

I sometimes think the curious link in so many people's minds (including many Mormon minds) between AM-radio conservatism and the Church has led to instant reactions against any brand of thought that smells ever so slightly of hippy.1

Anyway, GMA is not the only sustainable blogger. Take this guy. And Lady Steed was meaning to write a post on those reusable bags today. So be expecting that soon.

(Lady Steed is actually something of a pioneer here. I'm hoping she finds the paper she wrote during her BYU days on this exact topic, viz. Mormon doctrine demands environmentalism.2)

Anyway, back to the lights on the temple. I don't feel capable of saying judging between the physical good of turning them off and the spiritual good of leaving them on, but I think it's great whenever we look towards treating the Earth as the God who gave it to us no doubt wishes we would.

A local paper ran an article a couple months ago on clubs that give up buying anything new for a year. Other than food, I suppose. And perhaps toilet paper? I can't remember. I loved the article and wanted to do it, but it was impractical. The amount of time that would be required to find everything we need used locally is prohibitive. Getting it shipped is no more earth-friendly than buying new, it would seem to me. And us poor people can't afford not to buy new and super-processed.

What a weird world we live in.

Now, we're ethical enough to stay out of Wal*Mart and we'll fork out a bit more for decent bread and so forth, but the economy is still aimed at white flour, white sugar--- Oh. Did you hear? I forget where, but this week, the cops found out that the panhandlers outside Wal*Mart were making more than the employees inside? And as was pointed out on Wait Wait, they probably had about the same health plan as well.

But I think the market's headed in a good direction. I believe in Clorox's good intentions, for instance, and I believe in the general good nature of humanity. Also, in self-preservation. And although I am highly suspicious of big money, moths are white again.

As we were out today, we saw a woman just toss a bag of trash on the sidewalk. I can't believe she views the Earth as a good gift from a great Creator. Or even that she is functioning on a fully human level.3

It comes to gratitude. And on that topic, I bring in the dearly departed:

    Gordon B HinckleyGratitude is a divine principle. The Lord has declared through revelation: "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things . . . .

    "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things." (D&C 59:7, 21.)

    Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty. I have driven through thousands of acres of blackened land scourged by a fire evidently set by a careless smoker whose only concern had been the selfish pleasure gained from a cigarette.



last week's svithe

2008-02-07

Aiding a Surrender to Terror

Mitt Romney
.

So: Romney's withdrawal.

According to this article, he withdrew because "Frankly, I'd be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win . . . . I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."

This reminds me of OSC's recent article in which he expresses hope for a Republican victory in November because "If my party [the Democrats] wins this election, they will feel fully vindicated in that nation-wrecking policy [viz. ending the war posthaste], and America, along with the rest of the world, will pay for such a mistake in blood and terror for decades to come."

My favorite candidate still standing is Obama, but I'm concerned by his strict 16-month timetable. When he's commander-in-chief, and learns all the stuff the commander-in-chief knows, if it is then the wrong thing to do, will he still do it? I worry he might.

I think the Iraq thing was a mistake, but now we're there and we can't blow it off just because it was a bad idea. We're responsible. It's a you-break-it-you-fix-it sorta thing. The you-break-it-you-fix-it sorta thing that, if you don't fix it, could really screw things up for decades to come.

Anyway, for all the things I like about Obama, that one issue might be enough to swing my vote to McCain (whom I no longer like nearly so much as I did in 2000 when I gave him my Primary vote).

Romney was undoubtedly the best candidate for anyone concerned about the nation's economic health, but he was selfless enough--and thought the war matter was important enough--to drop out over the issue. (Yeah, yeah, he probably would have lost the nomination anyway, but who can say? No one--not till halfway through the convention, probably.)

So my question: is this an issue to base one's vote on?

I guess it depends, right? Is withdrawing speedily going to create a dangerous world? Could the Democratic candidate change his/her mind if it ends up he/she was wrong about their Lose-This-War-At-Any-Cost policy? After all, for Obama, changing his mind on that issue could well be Read My Lips: No More War.

Anyway. I don't get to chat with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I don't know what will be best.

Do you?

2008-02-05

Super Tuesday Results

.

We're still counting here in California, of course, but I held a vote in my classes today and here are the results:

Democrats:
    Barack Obama: 52 (15,21,15)
    Hillary Clinton: 15 (4,5,6)

Republicans:
    John McCain: 20 (4,6,10)
    Mike Huckabee: 8 (5,2,1)
    Ron Paul: 7 (0,7,0)
    Mitt Romney: 3 (0,1,1)



note: these tallies include my vote; also, everyone was allowed to choose one candidate from each party; also the parentheticals are breakdown by block

2008-02-04

Mary Roach! Don't be scared, but I am your biggest fan.

Bonk by Mary Roach.

I'm just about done with Spook; I loved Stiff; her column is really the only reason I like Reader's Digest; and I am super excited for the pending release of Bonk. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about an unreleased book about sex. You know what? I'm going to go out on a limb and say I've never been this excited for an unreleased book about sex.

I notice on her website that she's happy to visit book groups in the Bay Area and it gives me an idea.

I will get her over here for a "book group" then kidnap her. Stick her in the basement. I will, yes, let her have an internet connection, but I will also force her to write well researched jokes for me. I will be very happy.

And you, Mary, you will be very happy too.

2nd 5, 2008

.

If you haven't done it yet, click here and go read "The Oracle."


010) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, finished February 3
    Sometimes (unlike other times, a major runaway bestseller deserves all the love it gets. The Lovely Bones is such a book.

    It's beautiful and moving and completely new. I have a few minor quibbles with surface details (maybe five, all in the last twenty or so pages), but otherwise I am completely satisfied. I'm sure lots of you have read it, so instead of going on this time, I will simply ask you to comment that I may read your reactions to the book.

    Only one note, unlike other deserving properties, this book is being turned into a Peter Jackson movie. I'm very excited. Even if it does have Mark Wahlberg in it.

    over a week



009) American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, finished LDotFMotNY
    Okay. I see now why everyone loves this book, why it's won so many awards. It's fantastic.

    AMC by GLYCoincidentally, for a class I'm taking, today I also read an article about Asian Americans and the issues they deal with in the American education system. The two things played well off each other.

    Also: I can't believe there are so many jerks in the world.

    Anyway, great book, quick read. I'm impressed it pulled together as well as it did. I expected none of that.

    maybe eight hours



'The Infinite Column' by Constantin Brâncuşi 008) Zombification: Stories from National Public Radio by Andrei Codrescu, finished January 22
    This book was the perfect bedside reader. Most of the essays are just over half a page and most of them are quite good. If you're familiar with Codrescu, you can even hear him read them to you as your eyes pass over the page.

    These essays were originally for NPR and were recorded from the end of Reagan to the beginning of Clinton. A time, for a native Romanian / naturalized American / lefty poet, of great interest. The bursting forth of freedom (closely followed by fascism) in his native land. A governmental attack on art in America. Lots of weird, weird crap. But still lots of great people all over the world. And a bit of talk about allegedly super-famous sculptures by Romanians I've never heard of.

    fifteen months



007) Marriage Lines: Notes of a Student Husband by Ogden Nash, finished January 22
    One expects Ogden Nash to deliver snickers, teehees and the occasional belly laugh. This book delivers. What one might not expect is the sort of emotional depth some of these poems dole out with generous lovingness.

    Ogden Nash is awesomer than you think.

    Perfect for reading together in bed.

    less than one month



006) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, finished January 20
    I finished this book with about five minutes to spare before the movie began on PBS. And then the power went out. Dang it.

    Northanger Abbey is not a book that was ever on my radar until my buddy Lovecraft told me about it. And ever since I've been anxious to read it.

    First, N.A. is NOT a parody of gothic novels, as I had somehow come to expect. It is instead, as Lovecraft states, a satire. Important distinction. But it's not satisfied with being merely a satire either. Instead, it becomes....let's call it a "real" gothic novel. In other words, it takes the hightened yowziness of the gothic tale and recasts it as something that could actually happen. At least, in the midlands. In Italy, of course, the gothic tale is completely possible.

    If you do want to read something more parody-like, Neil Gaiman, in Fragile Things, has an excellent tale called "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the House of the Night of Dread Desire."

    If you want to read a good Austen novel, N.A will meet that need. But Persuasion is better. (I still can't vouch for any of the others. Though they make pretty good movies. This one comes first to mind.)

    seven days


Previously