Thursday, May 10, 2007

The ____ with/in/of the _____

When I was writing my paper I came up with (what I thought) was a pretty cool realization. I was writing about "The gentleman with the thistle-down hair" and trying to write down my idea of what kind of person he was. I ended up comparing him to the "The cat in the hat" with a little bit of Hitler mixed in. I have since found at least one other obscure person on the web who thought similar.

It took me a few seconds to figure out that there is probably no better description, haha.

- The gentleman appears somewhat oddly and randomly, as does the cat

- They both have annoying "The ____ with/in/of the ____" names!

- They both are completely incapable of understanding how someone else feels

- They are both superb users and abusers

- They both seem to try and convince others to open what is sort of a "Pandoras' box"

The Hitler part just makes up for the extreme degree of evil that the gentleman has over the the cat.

This also led me to think about why they are referred to as they are: irony. They don't see people as Ted or Jane or Mitch, or whoever they may be. They see only generic people with discernable traits, such as "the guy with the blue cap" or "the dog wearing suspenders." What better way to refer to them in text than to give them a name that goes along with their personal philosophy, haha. At least that is the conclusion I have made.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Have a great summer!

I'm jumping on the bandwagon here. I just wanted to wish everyone a great summer and say that I've really enjoyed spending the semester in the company of such intellectually gifted people. I think I've really learned a lot through Andy, but more through the rest of you.

Mixin' it up.

Andy, I don't suppose there will be mix discs for this class, will there?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

stylistic problems

Odd question, I know, but when writing about The Gentleman in my paper, should I refer to him as The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair...or the gentleman with the thistle-down hair...or The Gentleman with the thistle-down hair...or The Gentleman...or the Gentleman...yada...yada...yada? Any suggestions? She normally keeps it all lowercase in the book, but for my paper I feel like it is hard to tell I'm actually talking about a character.


as i'm finishing up this paper and getting ready to send it in, it seems amazing how fast this semester has flown by. i want to thank andy and everyone in our class for a fun few months in which my eyes were certainly opened wide to this genre of literature that i had never really explored before. i have a brand new appreciation for magic and fantasy and all that it entails (which is actually a much wider range than i had ever anticipated), and if i run into any fun ideas over the summer regarding anything fantastical i'll be sure to post. hope everyone enjoys their time off from school!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Potter, Strange, and Norrell

Does anyone else wish that Segundus' school for magic would have been allowed by Norrell. I was probably most disappointed in Mr Norrell when he twarted the attempt by Segundus. How cool would it have been to have that added element in the plot (and what an easy paper topic to discuss!)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

La Jetee on DVD

The Criterion Collection has a new DVD edition of Chris Marker's La Jetee -- arguably the best time-travel movie ever made, and the one quoted by Elizabeth Hand at the end of her story "Kronia."

The Bilbao Guggenheim

Here's the website of the real-life museum where Isabel Allende's "The Guggenheim Lovers" is set. Note the architecture, inside and out.

The Raven King and human "purposefulness"

Here's the passage I was groping toward remembering in our final class meeting, from Chapter 45 -- which Clarke presents as a passage from Strange's prologue to The History and Practice of English Magic. It's on Pages 496-97 of my hardcover edition.
King Henry's counsellors agreed that fairies were naturally wicked. They were lascivious, mendacious and thieving; they seduced young men and women, confused travellers, and stole children, cattle and corn. They were astonishingly indolent: they had mastered the arts of masonry, carpentry and carving thousands of years ago but, rather than take the trouble to build themselves houses, most still preferred to live in places which they were pleased to call castles but which were in fact brugh -- earth barrows of great antiquity. They spent their days drinking and dancing while their barley and beans rotted in the fields, and their beasts shivered and died on the cold hillside. Indeed, all King Henry's advisers agreed that, had it not been for their extraordinary magic and near immortality, the entire fairy race would have long since perished from hunger and thirst. Yet this feckless, improvident people had invaded a well-defended Christian kingdom, won every battle they had fought and had ridden from place to place securing each stronghold as they came to it. All this spoke of a measure of purposefulness which no fairy had ever been known to possess."
All of which, I think, Clarke wants us to read skeptically, as it echoes so much of the condescension toward natives displayed by "Christian kingdoms" of our own timeline.

If the shoe fits

For those who missed it, here's a recent news story from Florida about police who arrested a suspect after they had him try on a crucial clue -- a shoe left behind at the scene of the accident. Note the somewhat strained "Cinderella" reference in the lead.

Deadline reminder

Remember, the deadline for your second (and final) paper is no longer Monday, May 7, as the syllabus states. It's now Wednesday, May 9. And I'm not going to scrutinize the time stamp too closely. As long as I can collect all of 'em from my in-box first thing Thursday morning the 10th, I'll be happy. (You're welcome to send them to me sooner, if you finish sooner.) And in the meantime, of course, I'll happily entertain any questions you may have.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Does anyone have any brilliant examples of my topic of Childermass and Vinculus as catalysts for the book on the tip of their tongue that you could share, please? Wow, if nothing else, you should be proud of how well I butchered that sentence. I am sadly very proud of that.

Harry Potter

Well, since we don't have any readings or class this week, I thought I'd post about Harry Potter (I'm re-reading the Oder of the Phoenix right now). How do you guys think the last one will turn out? Is Dumbledore really dead? Is Snape really bad? Who is R.A.B (I think those were the initials)? and so on...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Also, a plug

I forgot my essential advertising role, and since we have no more classes left...

Everyone buy a copy of Marr's Field Journal. It's amazing. You know you want to. $10, Morgan Hall, this week.

Okay, you may now return to your lives.