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OK -- let's try this!

Read:

Since the last time I posted I did end up reading Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, and speed-tachiyomi-ed Hannibal Rising in Chapters with one eyebrow lifted. Hannibal reminded me a lot of The Honourable Schoolboy, actually )

I liked Hannibal better than tHS. It has an Anne Rice-ish "fuck the mortals" open ending, whereas in tHS the wrong side wins no matter how you slice it (emotional, ethical, political). Of course, Le Carré kept going -- Le Carré stories move forward in time as wholes, pretty much, whereas one suspects Harris's texts will blur but the characters and tropes look to live on independently. Once you've taken your best shot and potted that position, a valid choice is simply to hold your fire and avoid fucking it up. Which of course leaves me with no more series to read. XD; I've been plugging at George Bataille's La part maudite and Habermas: A Very Short Introduction by James Gordon Finlayson, and am halfway through Borges's Dream Tigers (El hacedor in Spanish). There's also another Kathy Reichs in the picture. Probably I'm gearing up to write.

Also bought a whole bunch of books but mostly of the previously-read, shelf-stocking variety (Angela Carter, Lawrence Durrell).

Watched:

3 out of 5 Harris movie adaptations, Valhalla Rising, Pompeii, Kaze Tachinu )

I'm following Hannibal-the-TV-series, of course, which gives me pleasant flashbacks to watching The X-Files late on Friday nights. I'll write about that separately, probably? Like thematic meta, on Tumblr.
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Haven't posted on DW for a while! (Did make a couple of posts on LJ.)

Not holding myself to this on a weekly basis, clearly, but it's still a useful exercise when there's something to report.

Read:

* Close to finishing The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot. This was my main reading during the holiday season -- an Indigo staff pick obtained on a whim while buying presents. ("Oh, this is Glen's pick," said the cashier. "I want to read Glen's pick!" "Is Glen very outdoorsy?" I asked. "Well, he's one of our managers and a bit of a hippie.") Highly recommended, though if you're as sedentary as I am it will make you feel like pre-Adventure Bilbo Baggins. In fact it makes one realize Tolkien didn't just make up all that mysticism of the road going on and on, he was writing a value set he would have expected his original readers (adult, if not child) to be able to contexualize easily... Tezuka Kunimitsu would enjoy this book.

* Read Red Dragon, since I've never watched either of the film adaptations. Actually, I've never read any of the Thomas Harris novels. )

I will probably read Silence of the Lambs after? I did watch the movie, but I never felt like I got it. Like there seems to be some "holy shit" thing that people get from this story or character interaction that never struck me. Regular people treat this canon in a really fannish way, yanno?

Watched:

* Her. This is one of those movies where you will quite likely watch a different movie from the person who accompanied you into the theatre, depending on your respective attitudes toward gender relations, technology, alternate visions of LA that look more like Shanghai (+commuter trains -black people), and so forth. I will say that a full decade after Lost In Translation, one finally feels like one has both sides of the Spike Jonze-Sofia Coppola marriage story.

* Sherlock S3. Cut for vague spoiler. )

* Hannibal, earlier in the month, obviously. I keep thinking, maybe once they finish season 2 or whatever they'll publish a cookbook. XD;;; Someone on Douban wrote one of those insta-classic reviews that was just a massive cookery treatise on the preparation and consumption of the longpig, in traditional Chinese. (Rather, classical references are to the "two-legged goat". #themoreyoulearn)
petronia: (postcards from Italy)
Since everyone else is doing a count.

I only listed stuff I read a significant chunk of. )

Did about a book a week at a steady clip for the first part of the year, then read almost nothing during June/July, then very little again Sept/Oct/Nov as work got insanely busy. I basically gave up on logging progress during the second half of the year, so some of these (esp. the comics) are very much from memory. Most of the serializations equate to 2-3 skinny hardbound collections, which in time turn into 1-2 massive paperback collections. Say maybe 30 book-length reading units.

Read/watch

Nov. 22nd, 2013 03:31 pm
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The Canyons, on sororial unit's Apple TV. Through the first scene you're like "Wow what have I gotten myself into," but then you keep watching. It's completely ludicrous and morbidly compelling, which I guess makes it a successful Bret Easton Ellis movie -- actually, of the ones I've seen, probably the best at conveying the mood of a Ellis novel (it never was a novel). It must be said that Lindsay Lohan is one of the greats.

I've wondered why I give Ellis the time of day, given complete ludicrousness etc. and came to the conclusion that dude basically writes non-supernatural horror. I mean, sometimes I have thoughts like, maybe the acting is terrible because the ppl dude writes about really are that stunted IRL, how would I know, but it's like asking The Cask of Amontillado to be sociological commentary on 19th-century Venetian nobility.

***

Twelve Years a Slave. I don't find Steve McQueen clinical and frankly kind of judge people who do; that suggests to me that you require some sort of Vaseline smear between yourself and reality, because McQueen is simply intensely present, in both senses of the word. It's been said that Hell is an eternal present, and so McQueen happens to be very good at portraying inventive flavours of Hell, to add to his obvious interest in the exercise. Allotment of spoons being what they are, it's OK to not see this movie because you don't want to squat in Hell for two hours. But he's also good at, I dunno, creeks. Creeks are very present things too, as Annie Dillard noted.

As McQueen's career continues I look forward to plotting his Hells on a matrix. XD; This one is decidedly non-self-made, meaning it is political. The mainstream reviews have combined into a mega-slab of Liberal White Guilt(tm) but none of the ones I read captured how McQueen digs to the heart of the horror; it's not that the protagonist is relatable, but that the story is correctly Kafkaesque. Slavery is absurd -- a terrible and absurd thing to do to a person. The main character falls into his situation absurdly and abruptly, and falls out of it just as absurdly and abruptly (OH HAI CANADIAN BRAD PITT). Alice in Wonderland, Odysseus and the Lotophagi -- you're never more intensely present than when you're stuck in a nightmare you can't wake up from, and for some reason Benedict Cumberbatch is there too.

I also really liked the gazebo. (It's hard to explain without spoilering the structure of the entire thing.) This movie seemed more museum-piece arty to me than Shame, actually; there were a lot of highfalutin' arty choices, like how the white supporting cast is a rampaging horde of "name" actors doing accents and how the slaves spoke to each other, not in the language that 20th/21st historical fiction might put in the mouths of slaves, but... something else. Maybe an early 19th-century novelist who had never been to the South and/or had no interest in simulating it. Maybe this was the language that Northup's memoir attributes to these people (I haven't read the book).

***

Switching gears, Thor 2: The Dark World, which I wrote up on Tumblr and in Kristin's LJ comments. Probably not going to do it again here. XD I will say in addendum that I liked the "Ta-da!" bit. That felt really Comics Loki.

***

Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red. Read this probably more quickly than I should have -- it's a long prose poem, but a short novel. If I had to specifically pin it to a genre I would call it a present-day non-superpowered m/m AU of Greek myth, but... yeah. It is not technically wingfic because the character had wings in the canon too. It was just a thing.

DON'T GIVE UP: YOU, TOO, MAY LIVE TO SEE YOUR PRESENT-DAY NON-SUPERPOWERED M/M AU TECHNICALLY NOT WINGFIC OF GREEK MYTH PRAISED BY ALICE MUNRO AND MICHAEL ONDAATJE ONE DAY. NOT SUSAN SONTAG THOUGH BECAUSE SHE IS SUPER DEAD.

As with Bret Easton Ellis, everyone returns in a later book, older and not wiser!

Read/watch

Oct. 28th, 2013 08:29 pm
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Aeon Flux season 3, Deleuze/Guattari's Mille Plateaux. Possibly these are the same things! For extra credit I'll listen to a Knife record.

I think I may never have seen Aeon Flux season 3. I have no memory of it. I have no memory of, uh, this stuff containing dialogue or a semblance of linear narrative. Google is not doing well at coughing up pretentious cultural studies essays other ppl must have written in the 1990s. I don't mean like Freud 101, I mean like explain why you should cry tears of sadness that George Bataille didn't live to watch late-night MTV. Geocities is dead, yo, repost that shiz.

Other TV: watching Agents of SHIELD -- it has the same mystery plot as my dumb fanfiction, but less sex pollen. Watched a few eps of Elementary S1, a few eps of Attack on Titan, and a couple of eps of Adventure Time just so I know what is what.

Movies: Gravity was very good. Wanted to see Prisoners but it fell through. Going to see The Counselor tomorrow.

Also picking up Pilgrim at Tinker Creek again, since the seasons have turned.
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Books:

Tanith Lee, The Book of the Dead (Secret Books of Paradys #3). Found used, chowed through these stories in short order. Going for, I don't know, not Poe but Poe as translated by Baudelaire back-translated into English, or some of the weirder efforts by Maupassant or Wilde or Henry James. Uncritical wholesale adoption of 19th century racial imagery makes Joseph Conrad look like Jean Rhys, but otherwise a good read.

Marta Acosta, The She-Hulk Diaries. Read about half of this in July; it was the only book I was up for. If you Google it, the first hit that comes up is The Mary Sue's review, which seems roughly to be the intended audience. Is a well-written genre exercise that, well, exists in its entirety as the reification of a Borgesian one-liner joke ("female attorney lives in NYC, has adventures with wacky friends, used to date character played by Robert Downey Jr. -- Ally McBeal, AMIRITE"). I like how Marvel occasionally greenlights corny genre exercises, though ("Spider-Man from Mary Jane's perspective is basically a shoujo manga, AMIRITE"): one thing I like about the universe is that it's shaggy and riotous enough to potentially swallow or be shoehorned into any genre. It shouldn't actually matter that the genre is ostensibly "female-oriented", because girls also like these character, right? Right? I did wander away from it halfway through, though, because I like Jen Walters considerably more than I like chick-lit.

Marguerite Yourcenar, Sous bénéfice d'inventaire. Critical essays published in 1962. One is on Cavafy, which I should probably read again with the poems in hand. The best one is the Red Violin-esque history of the château of Chenonceaux. And from the essay on Piranesi's Imaginary Prisons: the image of Piranesi sleeping rough in the ruins of Hadrian's villa, sketching by sun and moonlight and surviving on cold rice, catching malaria and ensuing fever dreams of endless enclosed architecture... The nonexistent Escher drawing that was De Quincey's (opium-addled) report of Coleridge's (faulty) memory of said engravings. Morpheus's realm... Got a used copy of The Memoirs of Hadrian in the same lot.

Movies:

A whole list from Fantasia I'll address separately. Also went down to the Bryan Singer event for a lark, as I passingly mentioned on Tumblr. That moved me to actually go see The Wolverine, which... I'll also address later since I have to get out of here. XD; I will say that I liked the scene in Nagasaki when the obasan came around the house and was like, Mariko-sama! A tree fell over and is blocking the road! But word went around that you brought a superpowered gaijin lumberjack down with you from Tokyo! I mean, that is what Wolverine-in-Japan should be about, what it would actually be about to the Japanese, rather than what comic writers keep trying to make it be about. Tragically however there is no scene of Wolverine in a yukata eating odango off his adamantium claws, which is all I ever wanted out of the operation. Close, but still no cigar.
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Skipped a week because there really isn't all that much reading/watching going on. I'm either working, running condo-related errands, or at MUTEK. I carry a few comics in my bag so I have something to do during intermissions and subway rides, but that's it. (And even then I mostly play Candy Crush or Blendoku. XD;)

Books bought:

* I-Ching: nice big bound edition, $5.
* Fodor's Guide to Greece: vacation planning.
* C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems (Daniel Mendelsohn): if you want your Cavafy with 300 whopping pages of historical notes on dudes like Julian the Apostate, this is the edition for you. The translation strikes me as felicitous, though my sense is that modern English is one of the better languages for re-rendering Greek poetry anyway. Of course, we're still within the same constellation (i.e. Carson, Yourcenar, Borges... E.M. Forster appears in the margins. I should get back to A Great Unrecorded History; sort of wandered away from it a third of the way through, way back when, but it's good to read the occasional biography about someone who was truly nice and liked).

Comics:

cut for mild spoilers )

Movies/TV:

Watched a few more eps of JoJo. Am up to 15 now, I think?

I downloaded a couple of eps of Hannibal because the Tumblr flotsam itself was giving me weird dreams, and anyway it's been renewed so I figured I may as well just watch it. XD; Haven't had time, of course. If/when I do I'll write it up with Matthew Herbert's One Pig performance at MUTEK (in short: a sound collage composed/abstracted from a pig's life/death. At times quite disturbing. One of the live miked inputs was a chef cooking a complex pork-based dish onstage. I am not sure what it was exactly, but it smelled delicious. XD;;).

The more I thought about Star Trek Into Darkness, the more it seemed like one of those "Yes, but it would be a grillion times better if you did X instead" movies. Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] ladysisyphus wrote it up in exhaustive detail so I don't have to. (Great minds think alike?)

Mostly, they should get someone other than JJ to direct, though that is probably inevitable now anyway. Given that they're going to make these, they should've made this one two years ago.
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Books:

Not much this week. Got through a few more chapters of the Mark Atherton since I posted last, IIRC; am about halfway through that one now. My best reading experience this week was actually an interior design photobook called New Small Apartments, in a nice thyme-scented bath with a campari soda. XD I've never wanted a big house -- it feels ridiculous to walk and walk just to get from kitchen to bedroom, and I hate cleaning floors. My current place is 375 sq.ft. without the balcony, enough to qualify as Officially Small, but the apts in this book are in NYC and HK and Tokyo and Paris, where if you're dropping a cool million on a 2 1/2 you may as well hire an architect to renovate it.

New place, by the way, is 892 sq.ft., which is all the space I will ever need in my entire lifetime. Any bigger than that and it'd have to be because I decided to start a wine cellar or take up metal welding as a hobby or something.

Anyway, this reminds me that I keep a mental list of "stuff I would be incapable of explaining to Captain America," and second on that list is theworstroom.tumblr.com. (First on the list is that Lana Del Rey video where A$AP Rocky is JFK.)

Comics:

Chiho Saito's Dangerous Liaisons manga. Whatever you are thinking right now: yes. It is exactly like that.

EDIT -- went to the comic book store, so chowing through serials, only stopping to comment on All The Freakytrigger Posts. XD; That's Avengers Assemble 12-13 (Natasha story! ft. Chekov's karmic marker and surprise Pizza Dog), and the very Whovian 15AU (I am... missing a 14 I guess?). New Avengers 5 (backstory and cliffie), The Enemy Within #1. Dunno if I'm plowing through all of these tonight.

Movies:

Went to see Kon-Tiki. Eh, all right I guess -- felt like the script worked hard to generate interpersonal conflict for ~drama~, whereas tbh the book didn't give one the impression there was any. Read more... )
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Books:
Plugging away at the Borges interviews. The interviewer dude is très French.

EDIT -- back to the Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish thing. (A boring Saturday morning spent in queue at the walk-in clinic.) Of the three main "paths," I'm most enjoying the exophilosophy series -- unsurprisingly as it falls in line with the Carson, etc. The same names crop up, except instead of the topic being love, or God, or time, it's aliens. (Man, after all that Borges I was dying to know what Berkeley thought about aliens!!!) The story path starts slow but eventually goes off in an interesting direction. The porn path... is not for the easily triggered. XD; Personally, I'd've preferred less conflation of "exophilia" with exploitation, but the link is wrapped up in a logical argument. Can't fault the writer for imaginativeness, anyway.

Comics:
All the Captain Marvel I had lying around (up to #11), one of Erin's volumes of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. (so... lots of Monica Rambeau), the first Avengers Assemble hardcover.

I'm not a hate-reader, but I gotta say, when I see ppl complaining that they don't like Filipe Andrade's or Emma Rios's art I'm like, YOU ARE WRONG IN A COMMENT SECTION! ON THE INTERNETS!

Movies/TV:
I've been getting an attack of sore throat/randomly spiking fever, sometimes exacerbated by other bodily dysfunctions (lower back pain, inflamed gums...), every month or two. The least-bad thing this could be is a recurrent sinus infection, in which case it's a pretty special one since my nose doesn't get stuffed up, and also I thought the antibiotics for the root canal infection that gave me stomachache (the drugs, not the infection) had taken care of the sinus issue, but that shiz keeps coming back like Ultron. The latest new symptom is tinnitus. :D :D :D So no, it was not a good winter, and this is starting to bum me out. In the meantime, I was afflicted with the inability to brain and so watched an evening's worth of JoJo. Think I'm on episode 11 now? 12? JOSEPH. Why are you flawless.

EDIT -- went and saw The Great Gatsby with the family, for Mother's Day. Spoilery for moviemaking, not for plot. But you know the plot. )
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Still on the Borges -- 2/3 of the way through the before-last essay, a comparatively long and dense "refutation of the existence of time." Yeah. XD; Then there are the interviews.

I'm pretty broke right now and for the few upcoming months, due to Soon To Be Announced, so I'm not buying any new books for a while; and we have reached the time of year when my reading productivity takes a steep dive anyway, due to alternate options such as listening to very loud live techno, drinking on sunlit outdoor terrasses with friends, watching movies about superheros and Japanese ghosts, and so forth.

Still trying to sum up what I think about Iron Man 3. I'll need to watch it again, but I don't think I'll be compelled to rewatch it an embarrassing number of times. XD; It may be the best of the three, with the caveat that they stop the series here.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS )
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Books:

Finished On Writing and went back to the other Borges essays collection, which continues to be better. But in general Borges turns out to be a good critic, in that he is not only insightful but makes you really want to read the books/authors in question, many of which/whom I had zero or even negative previous desire to read. XD (He is also the sort of critic, of whom I've encountered a few in music writing, who persistently relates new work to his own top ten favourite artists regardless of whether the latter are well-known and generally well-regarded or not. This is neither a good nor a bad thing per se, but it's a thing.)

Started Mythologies, which turns out to be a bit 101 for me (Barthes wrote it as a 101; another one of those books which would have started life as a blog, today). That is, dude was making his audience think about daily life, pop culture stuff they would normally not have tried to analyze intellectually, but said culture was that of 1950s France, i.e. I have to reconstitute the past in order to revisit it. I mean, I had no idea there was French pro wrestling in the 50s, did you? XD Also, everyone overanalyzes pop culture for signs nowadays. You've won, Roland.

Comics:

Usual serialization stuff. Read The Thanos Imperative which was the big cosmic arc before the current thing; so big that they probably had to soft-reboot. And the concept is rather clever.

As I keep mentioning I'm fascinated by the thematic underpinnings of all this )

I realize I've argued myself into the position that Peter Quill is basically Lawrence of Arabia. XD; Though, I've only just described what's going on in the comics -- all this is text, occasionally infodump text even, barely extrapolation -- so maybe they intend to go there. "We turned him blond because we felt like it" seemed rather thin, I have to say.

TV:

More JoJo. Up to episode 6. The weirdness is ramping up, but hasn't coalesced into a gestalt (my experience, which seems to be similar to everyone else's, was that this happens around Caesar's introduction). It's like the delicate moment when a mess of eggs turns into a custard.

I have figured out how to add the footer on a crosspost! Go me! /rollsalot (Original post is here: http://petronia.dreamwidth.org/53440.html)
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Books:

Finished On Writing and went back to the other Borges essays collection, which continues to be better. But in general Borges turns out to be a good critic, in that he is not only insightful but makes you really want to read the books/authors in question, many of which/whom I had zero or even negative previous desire to read. XD (He is also the sort of critic, of whom I've encountered a few in music writing, who persistently relates new work to his own top ten favourite artists regardless of whether the latter are well-known and generally well-regarded or not. This is neither a good nor a bad thing per se, but it's a thing.)

Started Mythologies, which turns out to be a bit 101 for me (Barthes wrote it as a 101; another one of those books which would have started life as a blog, today). That is, dude was making his audience think about daily life, pop culture stuff they would normally not have tried to analyze intellectually, but said culture was that of 1950s France, i.e. I have to reconstitute the past in order to revisit it. I mean, I had no idea there was French pro wrestling in the 50s, did you? XD Also, everyone overanalyzes pop culture for signs nowadays. You've won, Roland.

Comics:

Usual serialization stuff. Read The Thanos Imperative which was the big cosmic arc before the current thing; so big that they probably had to soft-reboot. And the concept is rather clever.

As I keep mentioning I'm fascinated by the thematic underpinnings of all this )

I realize I've argued myself into the position that Peter Quill is basically Lawrence of Arabia. XD; Though, I've only just described what's going on in the comics -- all this is text, occasionally infodump text even, barely extrapolation -- so maybe they intend to go there. "We turned him blond because we felt like it" seemed rather thin, I have to say.

TV:

More JoJo. Up to episode 6. The weirdness is ramping up, but hasn't coalesced into a gestalt (my experience, which seems to be similar to everyone else's, was that this happens around Caesar's introduction). It's like the delicate moment when a mess of eggs turns into a custard.
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I suddenly really did not feel like filling this out, for some reason. XD; Anyway, I spent the bulk of the week reading Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is very famous for good reason. (It turned out Kahneman and his collaborators originated a great deal of the research that made it into my MBA negotiation class, unattributed.) I'll probably post a bit about this on Tumblr.

Bought another volume of Borges' essays -- On Writing, in English this time -- but it's not as good overall, being a subject-based survey that contains some relative juvenilia Borges himself tried to suppress, one might concur for good reason. XD

Read a few comics: Nova up to #3, Iron Man up to #9 (iirc?). I don't particularly want to be buying this but Gillen is writing it well, and this current nexus** of "cosmic" stuff is just really well executed in general. It feels a bit like watching a space opera anime with multiple storylines/protagonists that are clearly intended to slowly come together. It's also obviously intended for movieverse fans, though not in the OH HAI TUMBLR vein of Young Avengers/Hawkeye.

Anyway I'm probably going to stop reading so much for a while, I need to integrate. XD

Watched:
  • Trance (cheap Tuesday with Anthony Easton), which was utterly ridiculous but had the merit of featuring spoilers )
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure ep.1-4. It is what it is. XDDDD I should dig up the old stuff I wrote about Dio; some of it has remained "unpublished." He was really such a compelling villain -- I find him more compelling in parts 1 and 6 than in 3, actually.


** In my head Nova/Guardians/Gillen!IM is like one thing, and YA/Hawkeye is one thing (along with Secret Avengers/Winter Soldier, except I'm technically not reading those at the moment, and am actively ignoring Uncanny Avengers despite the presence of Wanda because I find it kind of depressing), and Captain Marvel/DeConnick!Avengers are one thing, and Hickman!Illuminati!Avengers is something else completely off to the side. I can't really convince myself that these four mental set-circles are meant to be one continuity, and tbh no one seems to be trying to convince me that they are, either. XD;
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Pascal's Sphere

TRIPPING BALLS!!11! I feel bad that Andy Warhol never got to see Twitter, and that Borges never got to see a Mandelbox. Well, he wouldn't have been able to see it anyway, c r y i n g

Via [personal profile] dira, the first lines of my last 21 10 stories in reverse chronological order. This takes me up to the last time I did this meme, I think. )

Not sure there's much to conclude, other than that I like to jump straight into things -- I'll always tell you who in the first two sentences, almost always where, and most likely what. A lot of these just state what the entire story is about. PS: You know, I didn't realize that This Means War mentions two wars -- the impersonal and the personal. I totally thought I named this fic after that terrible Tom Hardy/Chris Pine movie meant to do that, I swear.
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Back to Friday for the moment, because I don't have enough time on Mondays. I'll probably just edit this over the weekend. XD;

What are you reading/watching now?

Hmm, let's review the list (only stuff that's moved forward this week):
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Other Inquisitions: followed by interviews in this French edition. Borges can throw out five pages of opinion on Chesterton or Hawthorne, essentially blog entries, and trip you the fuck out.
  • Mark Atherton, There And Back Again
  • "Supervert," Perversity Think Tank (I think I have like 10 pages left in this)
  • "Supervert," Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish
  • Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
  • Anne Carson, Eros The Bittersweet: highly recommended. Not only about Greek pederasty love but poetry, language, writing, cognition, and Velasquez too. I'd read this before undertaking any of her poetry.
  • JRR Tolkien, Unfinished Tales: finished this last week and forgot to mention it. The part I had left was Théodred's death at the Fords, the character cast of which made it essentially intact into the movie.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles - Art & Design: should probably also note this even though I read it in the bookstore, really. XD
  • Yamazaki Mari, Thermae Romae vol.1
  • Saint Young Men vol.1: this was hilarious. Read more... )
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Infinite Comics #1-3: I'm not sure how to refer to these -- they're free tablet-optimized comics I got off the web site. They're sort of semi-animated? More like flipping through a movie storyboard than reading a comic. Which is to say, also more like reading manga, or French BD. Anyway, I'm reading these because I've come to realize Bendis is essentially writing them for little ol' me -- I represent the intended audience, as it were.

What will you read/watch next?

We'll see? XD I could probably stand to finish one or two things before starting anything else. In practice I'm probably going to read Barthes.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?
  • Doctor Strange Year One: in French. Because I was in the French comics store. I basically bought this for Emma Rios.
  • Mori Kaoru, Bride Stories vol.3-4
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Other Inquisitions
  • Roland Barthes, Mythologies
  • Roland Barthes, Éléments de sémiologie: I know, I know, but if you find pristine second-hand works by a mid-century French theorist for $15 or under, I'd recommend you take advantage of it, too. Note to self however that the "proper" step up from Anne Carson's Socratic springboard may be S/Z, The Pleasure Of The Text, or A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, but neither of the above (Carson certainly read Barthes for her last chapters, because she quotes him; I suspect she meant to critique him, without coming right out and saying so). Incidentally, I'd really appreciate it if someone could point me to a ready-made queer theory 101 (...OK, maybe 201) reading list.
  • Diane Duane, So You Want To Be A Wizard
  • Diane Duane, Deep Wizardry: similarly pristine paperbacks, $4 each, not next to the Barthes.
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Should be fairly light (last week was heavy).

What are you reading/watching now?

Started the Mark Atherton. Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish arrived so started that as well. More Greek philosophers, in the opening salvo at least (perhaps it's just that it was the first golden era of leisurely, intelligent people giving dinner parties where they theorized about sex? I was saying to [personal profile] ayalesca that someone ought to try marketing Plato's Symposium as m/m RPF, see where that goes XD;). Then I got bored and bought a few current issues of Iron Man #4-7, in which Tony Stark... tries to sleep with a space princess from a civilization that is roughly the galactic homologue to the ancient Greeks. Whom he picked up at a dinner party.

...Huh.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
  • Jason Wilson, Boozehound: cut for reading notes. )
  • Ruth Padel, Darwin: A Life In Poems: will probably post some of this? It's not National Poetry Month in Canada, I don't think, but. XD
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 and #1: see above, also here.
  • Young Avengers (2013) #1-3: series emphasis on "young" i.e. supernatural/superheroing/etc. as a metaphor for YOUTH i.e. (per end notes) Heinsberg's idea of What Sixteen Means vs Gillen's idea of What Eighteen Means. Changing role of authority figures, lampshaded. "I'm Tyrion!" #blessyourheart If I were prone to worrying about stupid shiz in the middle of the night I would worry about the as-yet nonexistant 2020 storyline in which Billy decides he wants kids with Teddy and recapitulates Wanda's eff-ups again such as moving to suburban New Jersey.
  • Fashion Beast #2: Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren...... look for this in trades, methinks.

Movies/TV:
  • The Eagle: Friday girls' night out -- Erin and I went for pub food, came back to my place, I mixed a batch of Singapore Slings and we watched a Channing Tatum flick. Well. It wasn't quite Magic Mike. XD Meditatively slow, Gaelic dialogue, and dead kids (though Meg always said the book was a YA adventure). Also, the colonialist question. )

What will you read/watch next?

Whatever's on the list? Probably not much reading this upcoming week tbh, want to get some writing done.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?
  • Jason Wilson, Boozehound
  • Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen
  • The Eagle (2011)
  • Incendies (2010)
petronia: (Default)
The other entry was getting ridiculously long, and I had to go to my D&D game. XD;

What will you read/watch next?

In theory after I finish the Anne Carson, but knowing myself probably concurrently, I'll finish the last 10 pages I have left to Unfinished Tales then move onto Mark Atherton's There And Back Again, which is the first Tolkien litcrit I've come across that appears liable to hold my interest. It's also about time I started back on Pilgrim At Tinker Creek again (deliberate hiatus: I want this reading to match the weather).

Other stuff that is left deliberately out in the "to read ASAP" pile, for the record:
  • Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays

  • Jean Anouilh, Pièces roses

  • John Compton Sundman, Cheap Complex Devices: slow going.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 and #1: not getting into the actual comics/manga backlog which is ridiculous, but I should probably read these to figure out if I want to keep buying it. Though I will, out of curiosity, since Neil Gaiman will be writing the series from issue 5 on (as I've been informed ad nauseam XD;).

  • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. vol.1-2: apart from these, which are on loan from Erin and should go back.

  • Steel Ball Run vol.20, 23-24: and these. You see we have a problem.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

Aside from the aforementioned:
  • Denyse Beaulieu, The Perfume Lover: a blogger I appreciate greatly.

  • Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World: a Twitter presence, and also his book was 1) on sale for $5 and 2) covered in hot pink velvet.

  • Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho: also on sale. I sneaked three pages of Aaronovitch when I was at [personal profile] flemmings's house, enough to rate him roughly as a version of Jim Butcher I can appreciate. So. XD;

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles - Art & Design: the Weta coffee table book.

  • Ruth Padel, Darwin: A Life In Poems: had an eye out for this forever. It's basically me, Ruth Padel, and Karin Dreijer Anderssen on this particular tip, folks.

  • "Supervert," Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish: I greatly look forward to the recommendations Amazon'll hit me with after I buy a book called Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish.

  • Lois McMaster Bujold, Brothers In Arms: gave G. Cetaganda for his birthday. We're getting there.

  • The Invincible Iron Man vol.6: I now I have a four-volume straight run if I ever get around to reading it.

  • Journey Into Mystery vol.3: ditto.

  • Young Avengers (2013), #1-2: I will get to this eventually!
petronia: (Default)
As previously noted, I'm going to start doing this on Mondays.

What are you reading/watching now?

Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet: the follow-up to Marguerite Yourcenar's The Crown and the Lyre in an impromptu graduate course I seem to have devised for myself. XD; There is also a link to be drawn between Carson's remarks on oral versus literate mindsets and some of Ruskin's writings (see below) exemplifying the latter. Some skippable notes on this. )

EDIT -- I totally forgot because this is an e-book: "Supervert," Perversity Think Tank (download can be found at the link, knock yourselves out, perfectly work-safe unless someone is reading closely over your shoulder). I'm nearly done with it. The nature of the work is not dissimilar to Carson's, if you ask me: but that's a whole other graduate course.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
  • Jeremy Bentham, On Torture: finally got through this. See notes on movies below.

  • John Ruskin, On Genius: a collection of quotes, essentially. I've never actually read Ruskin, weird considering how long this dude and his opinions have loomed over my consciousness (I'm kind of a Pre-Raphaelite stan). I mean, objectively everyone should probably read Ruskin? He was the Ur-privileged white male critic. He could well have been the Ur-Victorian. He embodied everything good and bad wrapped up in those two statements.** Sometimes he is so spot on, still, and sometimes you want to scream FUCKKKKYOUUUUUU at him over the intervening century and a half. And then drag him forward in time.***

  • Hawkeye (2012) #1, 3-6: still missing issue 2. Wrote a post about this and, uh, Pantone colour trends here.

  • Young Avengers, uhh... the first series, a few individual issues after that, then Children's Crusade. Re-read, of course; I have a better idea now of what I'm missing, continuity-wise, though it's really Journey into Mystery that I have to read before I can start the current series. XD; Also, I read the letters pages re Billy and Teddy dating, because I roll hardcore. )

  • New Avengers (2012) #3-4: with regard to note 3 below, it has not escaped me that there are no women in the Illuminati, and yes, I do think this is one of their problems. (In-story, I mean.)


Movies/TV:

  • The Gatekeepers: in practice, my Bentham reading was bookended by this and Zero Dark Thirty, which I couldn't have planned better if I were actually taking a course. Worth watching even if you don't have a good sense of why the Middle East is a mess. Worth watching, if frivolity is permitted, just to see someone do the Alex Guinness-as-George-Smiley I-am-bespectacled-and-mild-mannered-until-holy-shit-I-am-not thing in real life, which is as scary as it sounds.

  • Lost in Thailand: the Chinese mega-hit comedy from last year. My parents brought over a dodgy camrip DVD, which of course h0rked on the last 20 minutes. Read more... )

  • Samurai Champloo, ep.1-6: it was on Netflix, I was eating dinner. I watched this series so long ago I've completely forgotten large chunks of it. Still some of the best anime fight scenes ever, though.

  • Chaos & Order: an art film at the Technological Arts Society. The amount of time I've spent at the SAT over the years is kind of amazing; to the point where I hope it is my taxes financing the thing. I'd be getting my money's worth. Cut for crazy math. )


Cut for footnotes. )
petronia: (Default)
What are you reading/watching now?

I'm beginning to think I ought to do this meme on Mondays rather than Fridays; I usually start books on weekends. (The resolution for this weekend is to finish the stuff I've left hanging.) In any case, the actual answer today is An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which has been my iPod reading project for a while now. Cut for stuff. )

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:

A couple of first issues, in the bath -- a Sherlock Holmes one, the prequel to Star Trek Into Darkness...

Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Notes. )

Movies/TV:

Stoker. It's Park Chan-wook, all right. I mean like "haha, weird to see an all-white cast in a Korean movie" obvious Park Chan-wook. It is dialled down some, but my personal opinion is that Park improves by dialling down (or "maturity," if you prefer). Cut for length and mild spoilers. )

The Incredible Hulk. I'm starting to feel a bit fandom-deprived (the good stuff starts coming out again in May), so I got around to this. Cut for notes. )

Also, I did indeed go see the Peruvian art exhibition at the MMFA. ARQUEBUSIER ARCHANGELS.

What will you read/watch next?

Maybe some comics? Maybe I'll pick up some more Star Trek comics. XD;

EDIT -- It is still Friday night, so I'll note here that I just watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier on Netflix. Cut for... cut. )

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

None, but a whole lotta records!
petronia: (Default)
Back on the wagon!

What are you reading/watching now?

Nothing much, actually? Really busy with work, not to mention backlogged on writing projects. Finishing the last story I had left in Unfinished Tales. I need to type up a few excerpts: I know I've talked about it, but I really cannot stop laughing at some of this stuff.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
Forgot to make a note of Captain Marvel #1-6 the other week. It really is the loveliest book.

I took Kon-Tiki with me to Cuba for beach reading, which was an excellent choice. It turns out that my sister and I have different ideas of what to do on the beach -- she's one of those people who likes lying like a slab in the sun. XD I like to run along the edge of the surf and gather seashells, and stargaze at night -- there were so many stars I was unmoored; spring is my weakest season for pattern recognition, though Leo is easy to find. But I was waking my sister up with these stories about whale sharks and coral reefs. It was also a good follow-up to Beowulf, in the "Scandinavians with vastly underdeveloped senses of self-preservation" category. This year's theme!

Read a bunch of online short fiction and whatnot in the wake of the failed Clarion submission (which is only 1/2 failed, actually, since Clarion West acknowledged reception, which means I've had to worry about it. XD; They respond at the end of the month, so not being bounced yet means... I got the manuscript formatting right? This was by no means a sure thing.) Anyway:

The Heart of a Mouse, by K. J. Bishop (who will have a short story collection out soon; that ought to be worthwhile)
The Glass Essay, by Anne Carson
Annie, by Jehanne Jean-Charles
The Dust Enforcer, by Reza Negarestani
The Man Who Lost The Sea, by Theodore Sturgeon (a reread, due to reccing this story to Anthony Easton off TSJ, and now that I'm poking desultorily at Strange Horizons' archives I see they have it online in its entirety)
86, 87, 88, 89 by Genevieve Valentine (immediately followed her Tumblr, only to promptly forget who this person was)

There was a Cat Valente story in there somewhere. Darned if I can find it again.

Movies/TV:
Nothing, I think?

What will you read/watch next?

Several options here, ensuing on the Thor Heyerdahl.

1) Watch the movie? It was nominated for an Oscar. Not sure whether it's worth the bother of tracking down the Norwegian version, or if I should just wait for the NA theatre release.

2) Look up what the current research says about the topic. Dude was enamoured of his theory to the point that it came across as both compelling and dodgy -- this mysterious red-headed clan that taught astronomy to the Incas and monumental sculpture to the Polynesians. Did they originally sail across the Atlantic, then? Did they accidentally look like Vikings quite a bit? XD A cursory search says archaeologists are still debating how the Easter Island moai were transported, though Heyerdahl's hypothesis is as good as any.

3) Visit the Ancient Peru exhibit at the Fine Arts Museum? What a nice idea.

4) Watch VIKINGS???

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

None. We're on a roll. :P

June 2016

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