Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Dog Ears

This week's Dog Ears range include Jack Black's rendition of Jonathan Swift as well as an argument as to why there is no Jewish Narnia:
  • Am I the only one who didn't know that Jack Black is doing a film version of Gulliver's TravelsAnd am I also the only one who's at least a little bit excited?  (Jack Black is one of my guilty pleasures.  So sue me.)   
  • I'm guessing everyone's already seen this (because I've become such a cultural pariah lately that if I've heard of something on MTV, then your grandma's already heard of it, quoted it, tweeted it, and blogged about it).  Still, the NY Times title, "Harry Potter Trailer Out-Twilights Twilight," cracks me up.
  • Aaargh, matey, "Piracy May Not Affect Revenue, Says New Report."  What I find curious is that the report is actually about music revenue and not books, but even more curious is the fact that I don't know anyone who pirates books.  There are these great places called libraries that make effort like that completely superfluous. 
  • And in more evidence that sales will flourish despite online availability, "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Stephenie Meyer's new Twilight book, tops charts after one day," despite being available for free online.  There's no telling what people are willing to spend money on, obviously.
  • Michael Weingrad of The Jewish Review of Books explains "Why There Is No Jewish Narnia" in a really interesting article that you should read.  Seriously.  I love this kind of stuff.  One of the more adroit selections:
"To put it crudely, if Christianity is a fantasy religion, then Judaism is a science fiction religion. If the former is individualistic, magical, and salvationist, the latter is collective, technical, and this-worldly. Judaism’s divine drama is connected with a specific people in a specific place within a specific history. Its halakhic core is not, I think, convincingly represented in fantasy allegory. In its rabbinic elaboration, even the messianic idea is shorn of its mythic and apocalyptic potential. Whereas fantasy grows naturally out of Christian soil, Judaism’s more adamant separation from myth and magic render classic elements of the fantasy genre undeveloped or suspect in the Jewish imaginative tradition. "

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