Monthly Archives: February 2009

Capital-R Romantic Libraries

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[Posted @ S-is-For-Somewhere.com]

I was busy aggregating Vic’s feed through my mobile when I read in reference to a collection of essays on Romantic Libraries. – re-reading this sentence informs my rebel aesthetics that this isn’t at all interesting and warrants no reckoning (except that maybe of the Almighty [praise be, praise be]. But, ah …, screw it. I am anxious to mine this jazz to put into context my current library-centered existence – especially a now democratic dissemination of lit. and the aesthete of having read tomes, although canon is losing its grip.

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Incredible amounts of sleep. Ineffective.

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[This Post was ported from my new site-in-progress: S-is-For-Somewhere.com]

In another ironic twist in my endeavor to visually[-and-verbally!] restructure my – ah … – public thoughts (I suppose), I have only complicated the matter through beginning a new journal in a spare black moleskine collecting dust. I am still learning to manage (and establish a sense of regularity of content) to a new hub (that’d be here – S-is-For-Somewhere.com), my personaltwitteringMySpacingWordPress, creative writing, the virtual presence of my library’s ‘Youth & Teen Services 2.0′ stuff, facebook – and making it all gel.

This is like an overload of outformation, this sort of dizzying wordy clusterflock geared through self-promotion (even if in the guise of lackluster SMS iReporting – this is a ruse [this is a ruse!])

Incredible amounts of sleep. Ineffective. Twelve hour shift tomorrrow, inc. detour to Inksmiths.

Subsequently, because anything I write [even “privately”] is meant to be read (I reserve bandwidth from the thought police), an old-fashioned journal – I wonder if “diary” and “diuretic” are etymologically related – is no different, except that the reception is delayed by years. I worried that by the time I come around to the journal I will have exhausted my vocabulary. But I am encouraged vis-a-vis the Orwell Prize’s redistribution of GO’s diaries through daily feeds, because even twentieth century writers – it seems – were prone to blahggery –

13.1.39

Two eggs (135 since 26.10.38.)

In the cleft of the rock on the N. side of one of the hills near hear° are growing a plant like angelica, a fleshy plant with round leaves & quantities of moss. Evidently these can only grow in places where the sun does not reach them at any time.

Moving Time // S is For Somewhere

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Intending to address the derth of content by pointing you to my new website-in-progress called “S-is-For-Somewhere.” I am still in the layout and code-buggery phase, but hopefully by the end of the week I will begin writing there semi-regularly. Essentially, because I exist at the Blogering Hole and vis-a-vis Bradford County Public Library virtual presence, twitter, and so on ad nauseum, I really wanted a master hub I could use as both a portfolio website and general hangout. I’m screwing around with a widget I am trying to install that will create a snazzy flash gallery to replace (or at least supplement) my Facebook, Flickr, and Myspace – for instance. 

I also wanted somewhere I could throw-up (blaaaaaahrg) my occasional short stories, some essays I’ve written, and so on. 

I know some of you RSS me, and I’ll probably have my journal postings there dumped into here for a short while, but the RSS feed is setup over at S-is-For-Somewhere for anyone wanting an early start.

Slamming Canon & American Gods

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Jon Evans slams on American Gods – and it smarts. I suppose a lot of readers are seduced more by the prestige of having read something canonized rather than its story. As a librarian I have seen this trend sort of diminish – in books; no one in Bradford County gives a lick about the Great Gatsby – good for them, it is boring. But as comics are legitimized, academics tag this stuff with a canon (Spiegelman, Moore, Eisner, ad infinitum) – much of which I don’t really care for. There is an existing manga canon among thirteen-year-olds I can’t really put my finger on. Hmm. 

Neil Gaiman sort of exists in this post-modernist canon, definitely in comics. I thought American Gods was great, but I couldn’t get through the first chapter of Neverwhere, and I sort of realized during Anansi Boys that I love the idea of his writing more than the writing itself. I loved The Graveyard Book, and I thought The Dream Hunters was just breathtaking. But he’s not flawless. Neil occupies this space of imagination I don’t think others do, though, and his storytelling can be magical.

What Jane Could Never have Guessed

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Partly to prepare for Gainesville’s next JASNA get-together (but mostly to stimulate this sort of writerly lull in me), I am going to take a note from the Reading Jane Austen blog (whose link I haven’t around right yet) and intermittently write on eReading P&P. It won’t likely be very aesthete, because I find myself a very unenthused academic – but it should be loads of short-bit fun.

So I am less than a full-day into my 2GIPod-Touch (dubbed Bad Apple) and I am swooning. I find her convenient and intuitive, and I am taken with the Stanza & eReader apps – neither of which can compare to the Kindle – but with catalogues of free classics (including everything on Project Gutenburg) I should be one hunky-dory dorian. I fully intend to exploit this power by secreting in this all my lit. trash I am at that moment embarrassed to admit reading.

I am also pleased with the Pandora app, which is smart internet radio – I drummed in Tom Waits, and after guaging which Tom Waits songs I preferred, it throws my way Alvin Youngblood-Hart’s Illinois Blues – and, all in all, I am finding myself hardpressed to tear myself away. 

Jane could never have guessed that her novels would be read in a palm-sized screen. eReader allows for highlights and notes, but hasn’t the access to the free Project Gutenburg text – so I am torn.

Henry Selick’s (& NG’s) Coraline

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I want to mention that on this past Saturday I was fortunate to watch Coraline in Real3D at – oh – ten-ish. There is a lot I would say, but Joshua Starr says it with grace.

Under Henry Selick’s meticulous direction and with the aid of an excellent cast of voice actors2Neil Gaiman’s spare, precise novella is transformed into a beautifully intricate stop-motion spectacle that avoids slavish replication of the plot’s details while remaining largely faithful in tone and spirit to the book. Which is a good thing, of course, since Coraline the book felt like a classic from the moment it was released, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that the film could become one, too.

Day of de Bourgh: P&P & Zombies II

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I was interested to see that most recently the better half (being gore-splattered women, I hope) of my blahggery activity has [probably] been due to blatant curiosity concerning the thread titled Dawn of de Bourgh (moreso than its content) that I plugged on Austenprose

Good silly stuff.

Still, I’m curious to see what Seth Graham-Smith does with classic. Many seem pretty apalled by literary rape, but I – frankly – am hard-pressed to think of a better alternative.

 

Day of de Bourgh

Day of de Bourgh

I’d gather non-advocates are likely to overlook that the raw narrative of much [z-]apocalyptic fiction relies on solid character development in response to overwhelming crises. Lauded for Lizzy B. & Darcy – as standalones, even, among her Big Six – Jane’s acute social perception would have had to been necessarily sharp.

My guess is that

  • both Wickham and Darcy earn glory through purely violent prowess, their incremental downtime spent goading control of the survivors (and Wickham, until the end, will win their hearts – on the surface his escape-plan is sound, and he is a capable killer). 
  • The lesser Bennets will be left behind. 
  • Bingley will be charming and friendly, side with Darcy, but fail to prove himself until the end when he falls defending Jane.
  • Catherine de Bourgh and her ilk will upturn their noses at the plebian ruckus and attempt to maintain their lifestyles (think “Masque of the Red Death”) until, refusing to leave her neice (recently infected), is left behind.
  • The Gardiners are well-defended in their warehouses.
  • Pemberly becomes an ideal stronghold with sprawling greens and isolation and the resources to hold-out.

According to its wikipedia entry (wow),

The literary subtext of a zombie apocalypse is usually that civilization is inherently fragile in the face of truly unprecedented threats and that most individuals cannot be relied upon to support the greater good if the personal cost becomes too high.

and that – given, for instance, the affluent merchant Gardiners – the social landscape of the English Gentry is changing, ending. Pride & Prejudice is set up to cope against an apocalypse no better symbolized than by an unliving mob. Zombies could very well be revolutionary (remember what is going on in the US & France around when Jane wrote), the macabre uprising from subalterns literally kept underfoot.