dragojustine: (Reality ruins my life)
Linkspam appreciates George R R Martin )

Borgias, which you should watch )

Question for fandom at large: You will soon be providing me massive amounts of kinky intense conflicted unbearably loyal fucked up Cesare/Michelotto porn, right? I can't be the only one wanting this.
dragojustine: (fantasy)
Have a poem )

Hearing Richard Dean Anderson say, "yes sir" really turns me on. Most men, really, but his is especially good.

As far as I can tell, Macgyver as spent the last three years getting impulsively kissed by a new beautiful woman every week. Every two weeks at the outside. And yet he still manages to look sweetly surprised and dazed every time. I like that in a man.

I want this so badly I can hardly stand it. Even though I'm not a gamer anymore. *grabby hands*

Wizard of Earthsea, LeGuin )
dragojustine: (Reading is sexy)
I am in lust with Rachel Maddow )

The only thing that keeps that from being a full-blown sexuality crisis is that obviously, I mostly want to be her but just know I'll never be that awesome.

I have things to say about Whispers, and a ton of SGA plot bunnies and such. But, later.

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami )
dragojustine: (Land war in asia)
[livejournal.com profile] miriad, thank you SO MUCH for this! It was cute and adorable and fun, and all his little asides were just brilliant and hilarious. (Also, I feel quite bad for the guy's wife and kid)
dragojustine: (Turkey)

One of those things that I should have read a long time ago, and have read, and don't think I got as much out of as I should have.  In any case, it does indeed have that particular feel of oral heroic epic, which appeals, and I'm going to read more and try to get into what I know I missed, and I'm glad I did.  There's obviously some incredible play of language in the original, and I think the translation I read was good.  The history is fascinating and the linguistics certainly would be if I had a clue, and the glimpses of heroic culture are both very familiar and in some ways quite foreign to a classical mindset. 

Tales from the Expat Harem (Foreign Women in Modern Turkey) edited by Anastasia Ashman and Jennifer Gokmen

This was charming and wonderful and sweet and made me desperately, desperately long to see Turkey.  More than that, it made me long to be a braver person than I am- to be the sort of person who travels the middle east alone and learns Turkish and lives in a stone house in the Cappadocian mountains and...  a braver person than I am.  Maybe someday. 

Game of Thrones, George R R Martin

Ah, what delightful fluff.  I re-read this one on a whim, and had forgotten how enjoyable door-stop fantasy can be, if it has any tinge
of originality.  Martin's refusal to fall into the traps of an utterly black and white world with strangely invincible characters is
refreshing.  This series might have more truly memorable characters per pound than any doorstop fantasy I've read.

What really makes it good, though, is the strange amalgamation of sources.  The political struggle in the South is two-thirds War of the
Roses and one-third Hundred Years War.  Daeny's struggle across the sea comes half Ghengis Khan and half Anne McCaffrey.  And the Wall and the north is part Hadrian's wall but mostly Germanic myth.  You never could have convinced me that these elements could come together for an enjoyable whole (in fact, they don't really come together, and I am still withholding judgment on whether Martin will be able to pull that off), but they sure do work here.

Clash of Kings, George R R Martin

Yea verily, more of the same.  Martin can be brutal- he tears hard at your emotions, challenging you constantly to face what he gives you
without shutting it out.  Many people think he is just too unpleasant to read- I think it's about damn time one of these high-fantasy
mideaval authors took a hard look at the historical setting they've chosen and face it.

The Crucible, Arthur Miller

Oh my.  What an incredible and tear-jerking thing about honesty and integrity and hypocrisy and goodness.  More than that, about community and hysteria and vengeance and repression and.. oh my.  Quite something.
dragojustine: (fantasy)
Pan's Labyrinth (movie)

This is stunning and haunting and beautiful and horrifying and terrible and chilling and horrific and moving, all at once. It taps into that part of myth and fairy-tale that is deep, deep down at the base of us, where we know that the world is terrifying and mysterious and horror and death are inevitable and hope and magic are bare beams in the dark. It has some of the most innovative visuals ever, along with some of the most deep-seated patterns- the intrusion of a strange world into our own, the secret wonderful identity, the strange speaking beasts with arbitrary and terrifying demands and orders, the "three tasks"... Most of all, there is no sharp line between the world and the dream, nothing between the horrors of civil war and sadism and evil stepfathers, and labyrinths and fauns and monsters and strange gates to the underworld. They are all one and the same, part of the horrible terrifying fabric of the world.
dragojustine: (Greek poet)
Tolkien and the Invention of Myth (various).

I have an overwhelming urge to read Beowulf, and the Finnish Kalevala, and the old Norse Eddas and Sagas, and Gawain the Green Knight, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, and, you know, everything ever written about any of them. Most of all I am impressed with what one essay in here identified as the specific tone and flavor of Norse mythology- that the gods are mortal, that the inevitability of defeat does not in any way change the moral quality of the fight- and what it said about the Elegiac tone, that very particular emotional tone that seems so very powerful. I just want to devour all of this material. I want that light-headed, crystal-clear, soaring, free, aching feeling brought on by really powerful myth. Apparently there's a lot of it to be had in the Finnish and Norse and Old English, while I've just been putzing about with the classics. Dammit, I want to bottle that feeling. I want to be able to read it all in Finnish and Norse and Anglo-Saxon. I want to be a hell of a lot smarter than I am. That is all.
dragojustine: (Book stack)
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins.

This book makes me squirm. It's very similar to Farenheit 911, in that one half of you wants to cheer wildly in desperate joy that someone finally has the courage to come out and SAY IT, but the other half of you cringes, realizing how many fence-sitters and moderates are alienated, not by the argument, but simply by the tone. That said, the guy is hugely influential, and he is rational, witty, charming, well spoken, and brilliant. It is good to finally read something of his, and it is good to not feel terribly alone in ones views, you know?

The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy

This book makes me feel stupid, in a big way. There's an immense amount going on here, emotionally, psychologically, and thematically, and I don't understand any of it well enough to articulate. It is, perhaps, a manifesto of existential nihilism, but the mail character, Billy, has too much love and pathos in him for it to be at all coldly clinical. It's a chillingly depressing book, with, at first glance, no overall shape or pattern or anything to give it any meaning whatsoever- and then, another level down, more and more functional structure emerges. I feel like a complete idiot, groping in the dark.

Christians as the Romans Saw Them, Robert Louis Wilken

I really like the basic premise of this book- an attempt to analyze early Christianity through the prism of pagan criticisms and analysis, as reconstructed through later Christian apologists responding to those criticisms. The conclusions revolve around Christians' retreat from civic, public religion (which I expected) and their apostasy from the more ancient and therefore more respected Judaism (which I didn't). He deals a lot with Porphyry and Julian, both fascinating. Overall, there's a focus on the sheer amount of communication and intellectual engagement shown between pagans and Christians in those centuries, quite the opposite of the normal picture. Quite good.

Mossflower (Redwall), Brian Jacques

This was a blast of nostalgia. I devoured Redwall books when I was.. 10? The writing style is, of course, more juvenile than I remember, with a few very annoying quirks, and the characterization is shallow at best, a bit over the top. But how fun! How sweet! It is really an accomplishment of world building on a very small and cozy scale, and the young age he aims for should diminish that, I think. A better job with interwoven legends and backstories than most other series. How fun!


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November 2014



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