Friday, June 29, 2007

literature, part II

(quote continued)

the scent of the raw, dark earth and for the gleam of the yellow moonlight on the wet, rustling leaves.

Downright pornographic.

This longing may come in adolescence, or many times until the frost of age has withered the senses. It may come amid the showery warmth and the roving fragrance of an April day, or beside the shining, brown, leaf-strewen streams of November.

Men are, I guess, interesting creatures.

(Roving and showering?)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

more great literature

It's a very long story why I ended up with this book in my hands and before my eyes instead of Nancy Drew.

Anyway, today's literary quotation comes from Ellen Glasgow's 1911 work, The Miller of Old Church. Think American Thomas Hardy, but racist. The story, set in Virginia, is actually quite good, with a few interesting plot twists... but there's a lot (and I do mean a lot) of of people just standing around and expostulating. The narrator expostulates a lot, too.

It is a mood that comes once to every man - to some men more frequently - a mood in which the prehistoric memory of the soul is stirred, and an intolerable longing arises for the ancient nomadic freedom of the race; when the senses surfeited by civilization cry out for the strong meat of the jungle

It goes on. Men long not just for jungles and nomadic freedom and strong meat but, apparently, also for pottage.

I do not pretend to understand men, much as I like, admire and appreciate them. This information, however, casts an entirely new light upon them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

further literary moments

Taken from The GHost of Blackwood Hall

Mrs. Putney looked at the jeweler. "I cannot speak in your presence," she said haltingly. "I was warned never to tell any man or woman of this matter."

"That's why brought you to a girl detective," the jeweler said quickly. You'll be breaking no confidences in telling Nancy everything."

Nancy Drew is eighteen (pretty much permanently.) She's only enough to vote, make porn, buy cigarettes, serve in the military, get married without parental consent, be thrown out of foster care - indeed, in some counties of Nevada she could work as a prostitute.

"Girl detective" ei yi yi!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

well, of course, it was obvious, wasn't it?

In honor of summer vacation, I've been rereading books I know that I read as a kid, but which I do not remember at all. On my last library trip, I picked up several Nancy Drew mysteries, including Password to Larkspur Lane.

I give away none of the intricate plot details in this post, I assure you.

In Chapter One, a pigeon crash-lands in Nancy's yard. A humantarian, Nancy is concerned for the creature's physical safety and well-being. OK, I buy that - pigeons may be public annoyances, but neither do I wish death upon such creatures. Nancy, as a compassionate being taking care of defenseless creatures sets a good example for the impressionable readers, fine.

Following a quick examination of the bird (Nancy somehow knows that no bones have been broken) her first reaction is, and I quote: I'll wire the International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers and give them the number stamped on the bird's leg ring.

OK, so the idea of sending a telegram is quaint and now impossible - the book was written in 1933, revised in 1966, so that's a nice historical moment/ touch for 21st century readers. At the same time, WHAT eighteen year old knows to contact such a group? Knows what their ID badges look like? Even knows that they exist? Combines this with an in-depth knowlege of botany?

This is probably why I have not reread the book in a while - though the implausibility of the stories has actually been a lot of fun.

Monday, June 11, 2007

lemming as super-hero?

Ah, yes, well, back to work then.

Just as soon as I've run my blogroll, checked the BBC headlines... so many possible methods of procrastination.

Last night I dreamd that I had some sort of secret double-life as a Zorro-esque figure. I suspect that I wasn't a particualrly efficient heroine, as most of my dream took place in a Bat Cave, complete with (why not?) an automatic latte maker.