Saturday, March 06, 2021

Cancel Culture Has Gone Exactly Far Enough!

I don't one hundred percent know if this is true, since it seems to be only being reported by right-wing outlets (this could just be because normal people don't care about it), but supposedly, Mallard Fillmore has been cancelled.  In my early blogging years, I was somewhat obsessed with the strip, so I should probably have some kind of celebration requiem for its passing.

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Thursday, March 04, 2021

If I Ran the SeussCo

So I kind of want to talk about the Dr. Seuss thing--with the Seuss Foundation discontinuing six books that they deemed to be racially insensitive--but the problem is, there are just so many right-wing culture-warrior shitheads, and it's hard to have a conversation without feeling like you're in some way engaging with them.  So let's just let it be noted that they are arguing in one hundred percent bad faith, they don't actually care even a tiny bit about Seuss other than this providing them with a convenient cudgel, they'd almost certainly never even heard of any of the books being banned, and that, really, they suck in every way.  I don't care what they say, as indeed nobody should.  They can go straight to heck.  Though I should also say that I'm not a fan of scornful liberals dismissing the books tout court on the basis of their newly-discovered principle that Dr. Seuss sucks.  Much less people who note that they've never heard of the books in question, as if that has anything to do with anything.  A pox on both yer dumb ol' houses!

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

John le Carré, Call for the Dead (1961), A Murder of Quality (1962), and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)

I'd been thinking about trying le Carré for some time, so I decided to start at the beginning.  I wouldn't do this with any ol' writer, but hey, his first novels are also his first George Smiley novels, and if I get into the series, I'll want to read them at some point, but it might be anticlimactic.  So why not just bowl on through?  They're all short, anyway.

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Monday, December 28, 2020

E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr (1821)

Hoffmann, of whom there are famous Tales.  A book I'd had on the radar for some time.  That title is not taking liberties with the German; it is indeed meant to evoke Tristram Shandy, of which Hoffmann was a big fan.

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Saturday, December 05, 2020

Wilkie Collins, The Dead Secret (1856)

So I had previously read Basil, Collins' second novel, and thought it flawed but still relatively fun and promising.  So I decided to read this one, his fourth--right before The Woman in White.  Surely it would be at least as good, right?

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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day (2006)

 So was I not reading anything from, like, June to November? Well, I'd certainly have enough excuses, but it's not true: I was rereading this. I don't know if I should admit this, considering that I wrote a dissertation chapter on it back in the day, but this was only the second time I'd read it cover to cover. I mean, obviously I'd read parts of it many times, but, you know, the whole thing is kind of an investment.

Still, I would definitely have finished it a lot faster if I hadn't been blogging about it. You may remember, although definitely not, that I actually made an abortive attempt to do that back when I first read it. But most of what I wrote was pretty superficial, and then I got bogged down and gave up before the end. So now, fourteen years later, blogs aren't a thing anymore, and the book isn't new--impeccable timing on my part to try again! But I did, anyway. I wrote A LOT, I'll tell you that much.

So, what did I think about Against the Day on rereading? Well...a number of things. As you might expect. Scattered thoughts:

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Myron Brinig, The Flutter of an Eyelid (1933)

Here's a new reprint from Tough Poets. And guess what? I read it. Unbelievable, but true! It's easy to be at least a little cynical about obscure old books (or operas, or whatever) being lauded as "lost classics." Not that it can't happen, but often, my reaction is more "yeah...I guess that was okay" than "WOW!"

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