varia

Apr. 23rd, 2016 02:03 pm
ricardienne: (york)
-I organized my books -- finally. I thought it might make me feel better to have them somewhat organized, so now it's: Greek roughly by date/genre and Latin roughly by date/genre, except that imperial Greek is stuck with high empire Latin at the end. And then, roughly, "Roman cultural history and lit-crit that I like/use regularly", "random other ancient history/literature", "reference" and "other novels/critical theory."

-My friend's pop-choir is giving a concert tonight, and I said I'd go and even bought a ticket but I *realllly* don't want to. Maybe I'll bring my knitting? Except that I don't really have anything that I can do without a chart right now. ARGH.

-The NYT is trying to explain Cassandra Clare. It's...well, I don't have much of an opinion about CC (except that I tried to read City of Whatever and thought it was boring and fairly facile: i.e. exactly like a billion other trendy YA authors. As far as the whole Harry Potter Fandom Plagiarism Scandal, I am actually somewhat sympathetic to no-it's-a-deliberate-web-of-quotations-to-be-appreciated defense.). HOWEVER, the profile makes her sound absolutely insufferable qua human being. Also, the NYT trying to explain fanfiction is hilarious. In addition to the fact that their hyperlinking manages to suggest that fanfiction.net is the *only* place where fanfiction exists (this is probably for the best, honestly), they also imply that it was invented by the internet, which is probably why this happens:
Fan fiction is a boisterous community of online writers, many of them women, who reimagine existing stories and characters, often in the fantasy realm, and often with erotic overtones: Spock paired with Uhura, say, or Spock with Captain Kirk are popular imaginings.

yuletide?

Oct. 25th, 2015 08:48 pm
ricardienne: (christine)
I'm seriously considering signing up for Yuletide this year. Because clearly I need an excuse to write fanfic in google-docs when I'm supposed to be doing serious work...
ricardienne: (christine)
I've had some sort of mild stomach bug since Friday, which has mostly made me sleep a ton, feel groggy, and waste my time rereading Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books instead of working on my dissertation. So this afternoon it has to be back to work. Even though what I really want now is Old Kingdom/Downton Abbey crossover fic: e.g., a couple years after Abhorsen, Nick and Lirael (who are friends and maybe occasional lovers but are *not* married, incidentally) are doing ambassador-y things in Ancelstierre, and Nick's familial obligations/connections get them invited to a house party in the North... anyway, I think it would be hilarious, but no one seems to have written it yet. So we can add that to the mental file of Weird Crossover Fanfic That Ricardienne Would Write If She Weren't So Lazy...
ricardienne: (christine)
So. This past weekend I obsessed about a couple of small points of grammar, but today I cornered Professor D. and geeked out at her about obscure syntax issues and Rules and text-editing, and now I think I have some of it out of my system. The other half won't be gone until after my presentation on Wednesday, though. The other thing that dominated my life this weekend also converged into a Thing, because I read Death Comes to Pemberley, a couple of the Victorian-Steampunk short stories in the Kelley Link and Gavin J. Grant Steampunk! anthology, and watched the finale of Downton Abbey. The result may have been that when I dragged myself away from JSTOR around 12:30 and fitfully fell asleep, I had dreams about the Dowager Countess and the pluperfect subjunctive.

I shall cut as soon as there are spoilers -- no worries. But first I would like to draw your attention to this article from the NY Review of Books (spoiler alert), which is, naturally, doing it's "critical takedown of overrated pseudo-intellectual television programming" thing. I think it's incredibly entertaining that so serious a publication as the NYRB has an essay whose first third is basically a shipping manifesto/plea for Lord Grantham/Bates* I always like to say that I learned how to do close reading by discovering the Harry Potter fandom in high school (back when…only 4 books had come out) and that fandom is basically an exercise in criticism of a sort; here the lines are definitely getting blurred!

I will say one thing about P.D. James's P&P sequel-cum-murder mystery: it was successful as a mystery: combining interesting period procedural details with red herrings and a not-too-obvious denoument. But I was expecting more Lizzie and Darcy tease each other and solve mysteries, and in that, I was disappointed…in this respect it is very like Downton: a noble, proud, and distant gentry obsessively caring for their dignity and their estates. Elizabeth and Darcy barely had any page-time together (she being busy bring jellies to the tenants and dealing with the housekeeper, while he was off doing the sorts of things that a magistrate of the county has to do when his estranged brother-in-law is found over a dead body on his estate.) I mean, Jane Austen characters are always more than paragons of social virtue! The best character by far was the eccentric and crochety fellow-magistrate Sir Selwyn Hardcastle, who got all the best one-liners and occasionally even provoked Darcy into being a little bit sardonic (obviously, Elizabeth was given no opportunity to indulge in such things.) [Also: aren't the Selwyns an old Harry Potter family? I'm just saying that Sir Selwyin's being a wizard would explain a lot.] I would say that it was a bit of a dystopian, Haha, You Thought It Would Be Happily Ever After Did You?, ironic sequel, but it wasn't. James obviously felt a great deal of affection and respect for Austen's characters. Too much respect. Spoilers for Downton Abbey S2 and Death Comes to Pemberley start here )

Also: these paper dolls are pretty amazing.
ricardienne: (library)
...since it turns out that my presentation last week counted for a paper (I should write the paper anyway, right? Unfortunately, I'm feeling very lazy about this.)

-Family Man: a webcomic set in 18th century Germany, about academia (publishing, perishing, getting stabbed in the back by your dissertation committee!) and werewolves.

-[livejournal.com profile] boosette's very interesting essay about "Mary Sue policing" and bully culture. (I posted a long long comment about 19th century and early twentieth century notions of girls' writing and its "Mary Sue" (or similar) tendencies before I realized comments were being screened. Oops, but maybe I'll write it up at some point more thoroughly.) ETA: another interesting essay here that deals with what exactly "Mary Sue" characters do and why that is maybe a problem.

-An awesome site for 19th century American children's literature.

-The Vulture Reading Room: a group of scholars and critics read and discuss Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol to much hilarity.

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