Friday, January 28, 2011

Not-So-"Literary": A Feminist Musician's Rant

Note: The following post is not at all literary, except for this: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."  Oh and there's some potty language.  I'm feeling much better now, by the way.

Why Setting Makes All the Difference in the World

One of the books I got for Christmas last month was Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures, which came highly recommended by my mother. 

The story was interesting, following two female proto-paleontologists in the early Regency.  Chevalier (whom most people might know as the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring) focused not only on the talent of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot (who really existed, by the way), but on the scientific community's utter lack of respect for said talent due to their being "only" women.  While I might have preferred that the theme of "poor me, I'm a spinster" had been a little less heavily applied throughout the novel, I suppose it's probably historically accurate.

What I will best remember about the novel, however, is the setting--Lyme Regis, host of Jane Austen's Persuasion and much of John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman, two of my all-time favorite novels.  Had this novel been set in Bath or in Brighton, it wouldn't have spoken to me nearly as strongly as envisioning the dramatic coast of Lyme Regis. 

I would highly recommend this book... and Persuasion... and The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not-So-"Literary" But Still Totally Awesome: Dot Dot Dot

All right, so maybe I wish all of my reviews could be read in this voice with this background music, but that doesn't make me jealous.  That makes me smart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Dog Ears

This week's Dog Ears includes some of the crap-tastic literary news that has come out recently.  (Anyone else want to move to a cave with me and hide from the internet for a while?)
  • On the bright side, Amazon now allows lending Kindle Books.  As a non-Kindle owner, I'm not sure how revoultionary this will prove to be, but I am sure there's at least one person who's going to give a crap.
  • On, the not-so-bright side, Snooki from The Jersey Shore has "written" a book, blah blah blah.
  • A new sanitized version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that has removed the "n-word" has been released, and the blogosphere is up in arms about it.  Having hated reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I can't force myself to really get upset about this, but I amused by the new verb "to Huck Finn" something.
  • The upcoming film version of The Great Gatsby may be released in 3D.  Oh, sigh.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Puns, Puns, Everywhere!

"A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller! he follows it to all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way, sure to engulf him in the mire. It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible." --Samuel "the Party Pooper" Johnson, on puns and Shakespeare

I'm positive Dr. Johnson would have just looooved this, then.  (Many thanks to Jen for sending me the link!)

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