Posts on writing and reading that I’ve come across recently. What have you been reading or writing lately?
– “In the acknowledgements of Liar I wrote the following: “Without Scrivener this book would most likely not exist.” Ever since people have been asking me to please explain. Here, at long last, is my explanation.”
– “The good news is Terry Pratchett has two books in the works.”
– “What books are your feminist non-fiction favorites?”
– Books full of so many problems, but so many wonderful women
A Guest Post by Anna: A Literary Canon of Women Writers, Part Nine: The Seventeenth Century
(Echidne’s note: Earlier parts of this series can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 ,Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.)
Frontpage image thumbnail: Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce’s Ulysses
Categories: arts & entertainment, linkfest
I love me some Eddings for sheer joyful, fantastical romping but I seriously fell out of enchantment with them whe I realised that Every.Single.Character. spoke in the same voice. Except when Mandorallen was being all Noble Knight.
I tried reading a page of dialogue out to the Wicked Fairy without names or discernable two dimensional “characteristics”/catchphrases (a la ‘don’t you love me anymore?’) and it was impossible to tell who was saying what.
[I still own the Belgariad and Mallorean, and look forward to the day when I can read them to the Tiny Tyrant and introduce him to the fun, though. And we can have more fun analysing!]
Several years ago (pre the my-wife-is-my-co-author revelation, I think) there was a petulant rant online from David Eddings about how various people criticising the Belgariad/Mallorean just Didn’t Understand how much work he’d put in and how much more he knew about history and linguistics and theology and military strategy than they did, and it was all true and righteous, oh yes indeedy. It was one of the most inadvertently hilarious things I’ve ever read.
But I still love aspects of those books too.
Writing: trying to turn my Ophelia post that you put up last year into something that an academic journal will publish. Which is actually really naughty, because I should be doing the extra research for my book, which is falling behind schedule.
Reading: Madame Bovary on my smart phone, merely for the delightful incongruity of it.
Re: Eddings. Oh I own far more of his books than I probably should 😛 The main thing that annoys me these days is the bits where Polgara (and probably several other wise female characters in the other series) is telling the others about how women and men are inherantly vaaaastly different. Which has bonus hilarity since they often characterise Polgara as having some ‘masculine’ traits “Oh Polgara, what a fine son you’d have made”, her being so self-sufficient, etc. etc.
What I liked best perhaps is the fact that he admits (in the Rivan Codex) to being super formulaic. I guess I just love formulaic fantasy 😛
The Eddings’ got me back into reading fantasy after Donaldson and his imitators had ruined it for me, so without the Eddings’ i would never have stumbled across Robin Hobb and a bunch of others, for that i thank them.
Re writing, i am avoiding Findley’s How to write psychology stuff and the American psych association publication manual. that cannot go on for much longer i am afraid, time is running out, damn its linearity. These ways of writing seem to suck all the joy of composition and research from me.
Another wife and husband collaboration has just come out of the shadows, Robin Wells edits her husband’s, Paul Krugman, work. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/03/01/100301fa_fact_macfarquhar
Oh, Katherine, was that the bit where everything felt familiar because Time Goes In Circles? That made me laugh and then give up reading the books altogether. I have to be honest – I’m not a huge fan. I read a bunch of them, so they must have been very consumable, but very little stays with me except the above self-reflexive cover-up, Polgara being pretty cool and the really *awful* condescension towards the red-headed girl (‘isn’t she *cute* with her temper and overestimation of her own abilities’ is my really really fuzzy memory, which is probably extremely grumpy-making to people who liked them, for which I apologise). But then, like dylan agh, it got me back into reading some stuff that I’ve enjoyed, especially for their depiction of women (Hobb, Flewelling, Carey, and a few others)… But also, I did hit them in my very late teens, so probably too late to have them fall under the spell of teen stuff, really 🙂 Tamora Pierce remains my teen-book-crushes.
The Big Issue’s fiction edition had some absolutely brilliant stories, as it always does. Best short story collection you’re going to get for $5.
Yes, I second Kim. This edition is a corker. Buy two, one for yourself and one for your mum/son/daughter/BFF.
For some reason I’m engrossed (or enmeshed, or ensnared, or embroiled…) in mid 20th century England. I got Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop online – no shops here seem to have her nor does the library. A pensive, chilly little story in a Doc Marten-type rural setting with an almost Austenish, dignified heroine but a wicked sense of humour.. And A Dance tothe Music of time by Anthony Powell – I’m up to book 4 – a long series of basically nothing very much happening, but it fails to happen quite entertainingly! Powell, too, has a WSOH but you wish it’d show itself a bit more often.
From The Bookshop:
“You’d like a drink, I expect, before you open up your business.” Florence was expecting some Nescafe, to which she had become accustomed, but was directed to a large vegetable marrow hung over the sink. A wooden spigot had been driven into the rotund and glistening sides of the marrow. It was boldly striped in ripe green and yellow. Cups and glasses were ranged beneath it, and at a turn of the spigot a cloudy liquid oozed out drop by drop and fell into the nearest cup. Mrs Gipping explained that it hadn’t been up for long and wasn’t at all heady, but that she’d seen a strong man come in and take a drink from a four-week marrow and fall straight down onto the stone floor, so that there was blood everywhere.
“Oh, Smith,” said Erridge. “There is some sherry, isn’t there?”
It was impossible to tell from Smith’s vacant, irascible stare whether he had never before been asked for sherry since his first employment at Thrubworth, or whether he had himself, quite simply, drunk all the sherry that remained.
Quite alcoholic novels, aren’t they?
Oh, and ADTTMOT has a character called John Quiggin in it!
Justine Larbalestier has just announced that she has a new novel, co-authored with Sarah Rees Brennan, will be published early next year. Looks fun.
Ack! Only just reading about Orson Scott Card’s massive revisioning-Hamlet-FAIL. Ick.
Forgot to share how I got there: Welcome to the Big Gay Hamlet Ficathon! is one LJ fandom’s response to Card’s Hamlet: FAIL, which lets you all know the area of bigotry in which Card’s FAIL occurred (hardly surprising, really, given his statements about homosexuality in recent years).