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This is an archive of my LiveJournal posts from December 2003 - April 5 2017. It is not being updated. For my current journal, see radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org.

Many of these historical posts are locked or friends-only, and liable to stay that way for the foreseeable future, so at the moment this is really only an archive for my own benefit and endless rumination.

It didn't, somehow, feel quite right to append the last fifteen years (well, fourteen and change) of my original posts to my new journal, even with the same name. I liked the idea of a semi-fresh start.

However, like everyone else I am concerned about data loss from LiveJournal, so I have saved a backup here. This archive contains comments

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I'm over at LB's place working while she creates DIY airlocks for her fermentation experiments. I meant to mark a paper, but I left it at home, and while that's exactly five minutes' walk from here, tonight that is too much.

A propos of nothing, one fine thing about teaching composition is that I can now outline a damn good summary. Had you said to me ten years ago, “state the author's thesis and key points using new language and sentence structures while excluding specific examples or I will press this button and destroy every copy of The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson existing in the world," we would all be living without one of the key sources texts for retellings of Norse mythology, is all I'm saying.

Concise it has not made me. Which is to say, I've been reading things I will now not even attempt to summarize properly.

I've just finished Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer, recommended by [personal profile] kenjari. I hadn't read it before, but, like many people, I found that Swordspoint made me feel all funny inside. I've retained a sense of goodwill towards Kushner ever since, though I've not read the other Riverside works.

It was a pleasure to recall the particular flavour of high fantasy I associate with the late 80s/early 90s, some of which quietly naturalized queerness in a way very helpful to a queer-trans-weirdo teenager in a northern BC city.

Reading Norse Mythology made me want to re-read D'aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (it was the one I had as a kid.) Those illustrations! I've never forgotten Odin with his bangs in his eyes.

Reading D'aulaires', I noticed, with gratitude to Neil Gaiman, where he had restored some of the coarseness and ribaldry of the original stories. D'aulaires' is for children, and while it happily recounts the putting out of eyes and the crushing of giants, the authors choose to tell us that Loki tied "himself" to a goat to make Skadi laugh, which is merely perplexing, rather than that he tied his genitals to the goat, which is comedy gold.

Anyway, it's a lovely telling, though I fear I may have been almost equally influenced in my youth by the Dungeons & Dragons versions of the immortals.

From D'aulaires', naturally, to The Prose Edda, which I had never read, and which the library miraculously happened to possess in a tiny scholarly edition circa 1964 (hadn't been culled yet, I expect). I am plodding through the prologue right now, which is a strange melange of Biblical-crypto-historical justification for telling the stories at all. The scholarly introduction has interesting context for why Sturluson would do this, describing the Edda as part poetic manual, part veiled hoard of old faith. I'd like him to get on to the bit with the hammer, though.

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Audio version of this entry here

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/9969.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (Harold Ross of the New Yorker)
Hey folks.

So I've been on LiveJournal forever, and it's meant a lot to me, but I'll probably be closing this account permanently in the near future.

I'm Radiantfracture over at Dreamwidth, too, and would be happy to follow and be followed over there.

I'm sad that I rediscovered LJ just as it was ending as a useful platform for me.

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First an interest in barometers, and now another sign of encroaching middle age: idly musing about tide tables.

It's technically Monday now, so this sea-report is late.

It's end of term, so work is all there is in the world -- except that the sun has come out and one has a duty, you know. Here are some pictures of what that looks like along the water in James Bay, on an ostensible errand for groceries.

It was a dry day, the tide fairly well out. I only had one dodgy moment on the path, where I backtracked from a convergence of mud, narrow path, and rounded rock, all creating a natural tendency to the fatal pratfall, and ended up picking my way between the stones below instead. This was perfectly fine; the way was only partially submerged.

stones and sea and a surprising sight )

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/9576.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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East of Eden, John Steinbeck (1952)

Well, I cried at the end.

Spoilers for East of Eden plus way too many Expressive Capital Letters )

It's very good, if not quite my cup of ethical struggle.

P.S. What are the Hamilton-Steinbecks even doing in this book? I kept expecting them to intersect more directly with the Trasks.


The Snow Ball, Brigid Brophy (1964)

This is a small book forged from dense, ravishing language. It doesn't really function like a story; it works like music, with motives and themes appearing, submerging, reappearing in new forms. (And motive, here, has a lovely double valence of character motivation and recurring image or idea – the cherub's face, the mint cream, sex and death.)

The book is like a small, ornately-carved case that, opened, reveals itself to be a music box and begins to play, with little dancers twirling inside – and then, when the music reaches its final crescendo, suddenly snaps shut, almost on your fingers.

When I arrived at the finale of the book, I thought: am I disappointed with this ending? It's abrupt and it's not what I wanted for these people, as people. Then suddenly I could see, dimly, back over the course of the novel, the way its central characters, while being wholly and recognizably human (and in fact specifically really quite 1960s British humans), each also embody Eros and Thanatos, in immortal-mortal dance. The book ends as music ends, in the meeting and resolution of themes, rather than as a narrative: and maybe there is something unsatisfying in the resolution of even the most perfect music, precisely because it works at the edge of signification but never enters in. To do this from the other side, to take the tools of narrative – image, dialogue, event – and make them function like music – is pretty astonishing.2

This is more my sort of thing than East of Eden -- scintillating, amoral, elliptical, strange.

The Snow Ball was my favorite recent encounter with art until I listened to S-Town and saw Legion, and now I think there must be so much good creative stuff in the world that my heart can’t contain it all.

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1. I guess I mean not just the archetypal murderer but also the ones who lose out through some ordinary mistake, appetite, miscalculation, and the treachery of others.

2. Partly I get this musical stuff from knowing that Brophy was inspired by Mozart's Don Juan, and was a serious scholar of his music.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/9352.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (Harold Ross of the New Yorker)
Even in the rain, the cherry blossoms are luminous, though less distinct, like a vague cool glance from someone beautiful thinking of something else.

Their smell, though, coaxed loose by the precise and insistent raindrops, seems stronger and sweeter than on a bright day. Beyond the familiar peppery scent, something in them admits finally to being flowers.

There's a good cedary smell tonight, too, like a new fence, a young smell maybe also lifted up out of old wood and stain by the water's alchemy.

A fat black-and-white cat surges like a storm cloud into a foggy window, as if responding to me, but not looking at me.

There is a hole worn right through the concrete here, near the new sidewalk, showing through to the storm sewer like a wound.

This was a long day, and not a happy one, but these small witnessings are more than compensation; they are a clear rain that drives the ugly fragments into the gutter, down the drain, out into the great night-soaked ocean.

Though sometime I may have to retrieve and make sense of them, right now I am just grateful for a small clear space.

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Today was approximately evenly split between napping, working, and walking, which is not such a bad way to go about things when you can.

I have been enjoying the landscapes I've seen in others' posts, have been feeling even a little envious of their moss-banked waterfalls and rugged declivities -- which envy is mad, given where I live, but the sphagnum is always greener, etc.

Therefore, here are a few photos from today's scramble along the rocks in Beacon Hill Park. The path is a bit dodgy at the best of times, and today it was muddy and the rocks were wet, but I find if I'm willing to lower my centre of gravity more than dignity strictly allows, I can achieve some fair progress.

The rocks are something remarkable -- huge rounded whalebacks banded, veined, and streaked with surprising colour.

In the spirit of shared beauty, then: Photos from today's walk )

As I cried out through the wind to S and LB, in my gamin enthusiasm, "This is a downtown park." That's a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one.

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/8533.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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I seem to have endured a flurry of dopamine-click-led not-entirely-well-advised online book ordering. Things keep arriving, often things that are not quite what I imagined they'd be when I ordered them, if I remember ordering them at all.

An elderly yet still robust copy of Brigid Brophy's The Snow Ball arrived today (discussed brilliantly on Backlisted here). That can only be a good thing.

And this week I sat right down in the middle of the Salinas Valley (page 353) to read Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

I hadn't read any Gaiman in a good while. I thought it would be happy to check back in with him, and with the Norse myth-world of my childhood.

Norse Mythology's dust jacket is beautiful: a soft matte black infinity dusted with stars, with a lustrous Mjolnir in the centre.

Some of my favorite stories from the mythos are in Gaiman's book (the forging of Mjolnir, the birth of Sleipnir), and some I didn't know as well (the mead of poetry). Some of the gods I feel most affinity for are less prominent (Baldur, Bragi).

Gaiman and I are both totally hot for Loki, so that works out, because Loki kind of is the protagonist both of this retelling and, arguably, the mythos itself. I'm not a traditional storyteller or an anthropologist, but it seems to me that Gaiman picks up on the culture-hero role of tricksters like Loki as creators and bad/fortunate role models.

I’ve loved Gaiman's use of this mythos in other works: Sandman especially, and American Gods. Norse Mythology itself isn't a wholly successful adaptation for me.

Why? )

Ultimately, reading Norse Mythology made me want to re-read the book of Norse myths I had (or at least read) as a child. I did a search; the book must almost certainly be the d’Aulaires’, probably in the 1967 version.

I found it in a Popular Online Bookstore, and then, on even sexier second thought, at the local library.

Now I will say positive things about a book, to prove I can.

Just when East of Eden was fading me out, Steinbeck dropped deeper into the workings of Cal's character, and my faith flared up again. Steinbeck is very good at imagining the inner lives of people without ordinary empathy. I find it exhausting to be in those minds for such long stretches, but this is not the same as the work not being well done. The work is done very well.

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/8312.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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The things I do when I can do little else include doodling pictures on my phone; lately, pictures of monsters uttering wordless speech. They seem to belong.

Cut for vaguely disturbing rectangular images )

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/7933.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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I stayed too late watching Grand Budapest Hotel on LB's new TV (which is S's old TV), then left babbling messages of goodwill all over the Internet in a frenzied state of benevolent fatigue.


Park-Hunting

In addition to being structured around a series of thoroughfaric vortices, this city is also populated by innumerable small roving parks who drift on earth-currents from site to site. One can hunt them, like Pokemon.

Here are today's parks:

1. Postage Park
Difficulty: 0

The park at the bottom of the hill, which has another name, but is Postage Park to me because it is small and square. It used to be flat, too, but a few years ago they came in and remodelled it with a rustic fence and a manufactured hillock and a driftwood-framed sand pit and a new swing-set in a slightly different position than the old swing-set and two poles between which you are meant to imagine a badminton net (or whatever kind of net you wish, I suppose).

2. Pocket Park
Difficulty: 3 (Shifts up and down Bay St.)

This park (which also has some other name, but who cares) can only be reached via walk-through. It has no street access at all. It's surprisingly large for a secret hideout -- about three regular housing lots along each side. There's a Narnian lamp-post, an elaborate playground, and a green garbage can helpfully labelled #35.

3. Ridge Park
Difficulty: 8

Couldn't find it.

4. Baseball Park (N.I.R.N)
Difficulty: 0

Cut through on the way to

5. Summit Park (actual legal name)
Difficulty: 2

The ground was carpeted with purple croci and there were many dogs leading their people about. The reservoir was surprisingly low given the late amount of rain. The ducks were moody. At this time of year we could normally expect daffodils and all sorts of other flowers, but this is not a normal year. The moss was deep and vividly green and full of sodden secrecy.

6. Ridge Park
Difficulty: 7 (Reduced by familiarity)

Caught it on the way back. This is another park you almost can't see from the road. It cuts in behind some housing, and is just a strip of rock and wild grass with a path through it and a swing-set at one end. It's like a clipping taken from Summit Park. I hope it takes root and grows.

I saw a beautiful cat on the way home, a tortoiseshell mottled bronze and black like sunlight fragmented in an iron-dyed pool. She flashed away when I stepped in for a better look.

{rf}

Audio version of this post Here.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/7353.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (Default)
On Sushi

Another day of heavy rain. I made it out to pick up meds and some probably unnecessary groceries. I did a little marking, for which future me will thank me, though he'll wish I did more. I did some doodling and watched art videos on YouTube. I worked on the cover of my next journal until I didn't like it and then I worked on it some more until I liked it a lot.

Tonight we the default triumvirate are meeting at S's house to celebrate his job interview. It's for the job he's already doing provisionally, but to do it like for real this time. He says he feels good about the interview, so we're celebrating, despite having no formal news of the outcome. Toby Ziegler would yell at us, but we live out on the wild edge of magical thinking, taunting the void.

LB has been sick with the spiralling virus that has been hacking such deep grooves through this winter. Now S. thinks he may be sick, though it doesn't seem to take the same way with him. I think I'm over my second round, but my energy is still low and it's left me in a classic old-fashioned depressive state, which is, you know, inconvenient. Also it's aggravated my asthma and dairy sensitivities.

Then, it is grotty old March, and we are in the wrong timeline, so how should one feel?

Yet -- shortly there will be spider roll!

On Steinbeck

I'm about 1/3 of the way through East of Eden. The prose is like a river of the purest water. The Salinas Valley is imprinted on my mind like a place I've known since birth.

However, a number of people I know and trust have told me that the book is one of the most humane books they've ever read -- and so far I have not seen that; I am still waiting for that to kick in.

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/6793.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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Exercise: write ten bad poems

(That was the original parameter – I got to 8 before this particular thread exhausted itself. I could have written a couple of unrelated bad poems, but eh. It turned into more of a versioning thing; the urge to revise took over.)

This is to loosen up my hold on the idea of always making perfect things.

I picked hockey because I don’t watch it and am therefore unlikely to accidentally write something good about it.

Warning: profanity and terribly prosody )

"Bonus"

Actual poems written somewhere between the ages of eight and eleven and still (god help me) remembered by heart: )

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/6487.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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If you happen to find yourself in that beautiful bit of the continent's edge, here are some events I've been asked to mention:

LGBTQ2 All-Ages Drop-In
Thursday, March 16, 6-8:30 pm
Rockwood Lodge in Sechelt
Wheelchair accessible
Contact editor@prideguide.ca

A monthly “drop-in community centre,” this is open to all LGBTQ2 and questioning people of all ages and backgrounds.


Trans Mentorship and Support Network Drop-In
Thursday, March 23, 6-8:30 pm
Rockwood Lodge in Sechelt
Wheelchair accessible
Contact editor@prideguide.ca


This drop-in offers folk of all ages a place to connect with peers for friendship and support, and occasionally presents guest speakers.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/6005.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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This morning's freewriting produced this fragment.

In June I would sometimes climb onto the ruined trampoline )

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/5810.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (writing)
I've been running a D&D campaign for the last... well, I mean, we met four? five? times, but the whole process has lasted more than three months. Various members of the group1 kept getting sick, and then we're maybe also just the kind of people whose default response to life is often "keep very still and hope it won't notice you".

This was a tendency we struggled with early in the game: the players wanted to do a lot of watching and waiting and careful avoiding of danger. They declined to pick up the fallen jewels and become infected with a potentially deadly plague; they declined to enter the stricken city or even explore its walls. Instead, they sensibly wandered off to find a farmhouse to sleep in.

I had to fight the impulse to hiss please stop exploring the window dressing.

All this was very educational for me about trying to provide opportunities for character motivation within a given scenario. Each week thereafter, I sat down beforehand and thought: ok, what would each of these characters want? How can I put that into the encounters? I meant to do this from the start, but I got to sink deeper into it each time.

By this final session, it was fantastic how much the players had grown into working as a team. They were playful and inventive and came up with all kinds of things I hadn't expected -- but the scenario was flexible enough to accommodate that. So we've seen growth on both sides of the screen.

No one in the party was really a warrior, since we ignored party balance in creating the characters. I liked the idea of a party made up of noncombatants. Our enforcer was a ranger ([livejournal.com profile] kainhighwind_dr), and we had a druid, a bard, a healer and a rogue. This meant that any conflict demanded much creativity both on their parts and on mine. In the first session, they spent an incredibly long time trying to defeat a large cat. (The cat won.)

Flash forward to the present.

In today's final battle, the bard exorcised an evil spirit from the healer by casting a minor spell to make her laugh hysterically until she fainted. The druid enhanced the spell effect by making fart noises.

This kind of brilliant collaboration has the side effect of making it very difficult to break up XP. (How much XP do you get for effective fart sounds?) so I just divided most of it evenly amongst them, except for the person who was missing today.

(We decided that her dragonborn rogue started shedding her skin and went into a semi-hibernation state. Because the characters' alliance is still... imperfect... she will wake up alone in the middle of the forest next to a dead body. Good place to start a story, anyway.)

I didn't come up with a Friday story this week. This might be the closest thing I did:

Account sent to dragonborn rogue's player of the character's experience upon waking )

I haven't DMed in decades. I started to get too much stage fright about gaming in general, and I gave it up entirely around the age of 20. I never got into online RPGs. I liked the tactility of the paper and the dice and looking things up in the tomes. Mostly I loved poring over all the lists and tables.

It's been a pretty loose, freewheeling game -- I made some dice do some rolling, but play was more intuitive than anything else. A purist would shudder. I made up a lot on the fly.

Really, It was good just to play again, to have people over, and to feel well enough to want to be social. And get my dishes done in advance.

{rf}

1. (Me)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/5533.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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I almost never cull books, since I am shoring them up against the apocalypse. Once in a long while I let myself admit that there are books a) that I will not read and b) that won't be immediately useful after the revolution. I culled my novels on Saturday, and therefore on Sunday there were thirty boxes of free books at the library. They were left over from a rummage sale for the seniors’ centre.1 I took home five books. I call that remarkable self-control (and illness-induced fatigue).

  1. Samuel Beckett, Stories and Texts for Nothing Grove Press, N.Y. A collection of pieces first published in the Evergreen Review. In terms of material culture, this is the score. It has a great cover: fragments of Beckett's name arranged orthagonally in blue and green. The paper's water-damaged and mustier than I usually accept -- but the illustrations!

    The book is illustrated with terrific 60s-era line drawings, and these drawings are all about the line. Geometrical forms somehow give the effect both of rapid work and of obsessive precision, and the image arises out of their intersection -- almost despite the lines rather than because of them.

    I thought I had a mystery in the illustrator’s name (which I was misreading), until a friend pointed out his credit on the copyright page right where you’d expected it.

    The illustrations are actually by Avigdor Arikha. (Cut for biography intersecting with traumatic 20th C history.) )

    Further instances of obsessive precision behind the cut )

  2. James Thurber, Lanterns and Lances I mean, Thurber. This is an odd artefact, a "Time Reading Program Special Edition"3 printed in or about 1962. The cover is of thick immobile cardboard, matte purple inside. There's no jacket copy, just Thurber's drawings blown up. It is also illustrated, by Thurber, natch. You'll be excited to know it has a New Introduction, probably because it's a posthumous edition.

    A thing I like very much is a book with layered introductions which, as we read forwards, take us backwards into innocence and before death. Alternatively, I have, I think, that edition of James Tiptree, Jr's Warm Worlds and Otherwise with the two introductions, before and after.

  3. (Collected by) Sage Birchwater, Chiwid Now this is interesting. It's an oral history of a Tsilhqot'in woman named Chiwid, born in 1904. She lived in the Chilcotin (a region of British Columbia just south of the Cariboo, where I was born a long time later.) Birchwater seems to have been interested in her because she was famous for living independently on the land, and maybe more as a figure around whom stories crystallized than for herself (she'd died before the book was published).

  4. Christina Rosetti, Goblin Market A tiny Phoenix booklet containing the titular poem and a few others, marked 60p. A lot of UK expats fetch up here.

  5. Vera John-Steiner, Notebooks of the Mind: Explorations of Thinking Printed in 1985, this is an obviously dated book about modes of thought, but as I leafed through I saw it had a section called “The Thinking of the Body”, which goes to my preoccupation with embodied mentation, so I snagged it on spec. As well as compiling published research, John-Steiner conducted many interviews for the book with subjects from novelists (Margaret Drabble) to psychologists, poets, and scientists (though fewer of these).

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1. I say material culture, but it's just books and ephemera. "Rummage sale" makes me think of a fluted lamp of molded pink glass or a warped cardboard landscape in a heavy wooden frame, but no -- just books.

2. The 5 looks like a 1, but that would be an oddly specific price.

3. More on that imprint here. This edition follows the design specs they detail: "The editions were trade paperbacks, with covers constructed of very stiff plastic coated paper, for durability .... each book had a wraparound cover with a continuous piece of artwork across both covers and the spine".

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/5364.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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Early in the year, I vowed (or heavily implied) that I would read only books that, at the end of the year, I'd be glad to have read. Then I got sick, and I guess inasmuch as I'm now glad I've read anything at all that vow is still in force.

Plans of the best-laid varietals.

Here are the top 11 book recommendations I received )

Audiobooks

I’ve been listening to the recent Shirley Jackson biography, A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin, using my local library’s Hoopla subscription. It's grand to have effortless access to such a recent audiobook. This doesn't quite count as reading the book since I use it to fall asleep and so have dreamed through many months of Jackson's life. I know the skeleton of her story well enough to be able to pick up wherever I start in again, at least so far. I'm having a little trouble with the voice of the reader; she seems skilled, but a bit mechanical. That could be my brain fog, though.

Books of the paper variety

After Loving, I finished another of the three Henry Green novels in the collection, Party Going. (They are very short novels.) The Howards End re-read is finished in time for book group, but I may not actually go, depending on my health by Sunday. Last time my most insightful contribution was a sporadic hacking cough.

Next, I went on a bit of an Alan Garner bender, reading Red Shift, The Owl Service, and Thursbitch, all of which I liked – probably Red Shift most. It was the most difficult, and had I not already listened to the Backlisted conversation about the book, I would have had quite a lot more work to untangle the threads.

The three books are all roughly the same kind of spell of deep time and sentient landscape (a term I've just learnt by reading reviews), but each through a different myth.

Some spoilers for Red Shift and Owl Service )

I did have a go at puzzling out the message at the end of Red Shift, and by rights should have got it, since I could see what the first sentence had to be and I had the cipher block, but somehow I became hopelessly muddled. I love puzzles, and books that are puzzles, but I am not that perfect reader who actually works the whole business out. I do, though, enjoy a Mystery as much as a Puzzle, so that’s all right.

{rf}

Notes

I don't think I get to use "equivalenced" as a transitive verb, but I wish I could.

Here's a link to some discussions of / with Garner. I have not listened to them yet.


Unlinked References

Butler, Catherine (as Charles). “Alan Garner's Red Shift and the Shifting Ballad of ‘Tam Lin’”. Children's Literature Association Quarterly. Volume 26, Number 2, Summer 2001. Web.

(I am delighted to discover Catherine Butler whilst down this rabbit hole.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/5099.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (writing)
You can hear everything that crosses the roof of the Beautiful Shed, including squirrels, cats, rain, raccoons, and hail. My sleep was thin last night; I think I heard each in turn and in combination. I definitely heard the hail sometime in the small hours. Therefore, here is another bit of a story about the cold, since it is on my mind.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

No particular title )

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Mostly I was wishing for the lyricism of a recent post of [personal profile] aldersprig's.

{rf}

Audio version of this post here.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/4617.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
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I tend not to follow trans-related news, arts, and media as much as might be expected – not out of any disaffection with the identities or ideas, but more as a sort of not very useful self-defense practice against a number of painful and complex emotions. Anyone talking about trans issues, even talking about them really well, hurts at least a little, for the earth is made of knives. Still, a different habit would serve me better.

The (re-)restriction of trans people in American public space is frightening, yet it's almost background noise to me because of everything else that's happening.

And also of course, as a passing transmasculine person, I am least affected by this violence. It's the trans, agender, and cisgender people who don't fit into expectations of gender presentation that are most at risk, and especially transfeminine people. So a powerful if unstable privilege and the frail membrane between Canadian and US politics create a little space of denial in which I lately crouch. It's easier to worry about other people's problems, and the scale is so much greater.

It is maybe not strange, in some larger analysis of the rise and fall of empires, that this institutional violence intensifies as there is a surge of great thinking and creativity in and around gender and sexual identities -- but it feels strange, like boarding a rollercoaster and then finding yourself thrown through empty air.1

Yet I'm inspirited the recent agender, ace, aro, and fluid writing I've encountered. While my default habit is to worry about the way categories put hard borders on the mutable forms of experience, I feel like a lot of air has been let into the rooms of sex and gender lately via these identifications and discussions, and I'm grateful for that. In particular, it's made me reflect on what my own terms of intimacy might actually be.

So I hope -- I even believe -- there is enough power in these movements, these people, these ideas, to keep it all going until -- I guess until the rollercoaster can be rebuilt -- but right now I am ill in body and in spirit.

Um, so, I don't know -- any good fic recs?

{rf}

1. And look, in the final analysis, I refuse to believe in some absolute or causal connection between increase in personal freedom and incipient societal collapse. (I don't buy that goofy story about the granaries either.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/4534.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (Harold Ross of the New Yorker)
And some attempt at measure.

Beauty: A walk and an opera

The Opera )

A pause to take stock: Operas I Have Seen and How they Made Me Feel )

The Walk )

And frustration: I'm sick again

I thought I'd recovered... )

I wander foggily, coating everything in the Beautiful Shed with a thin film of Vicks VapoRub.

{rf}

NOTES

1. I say "them", but the primary singers generally come from away, so we heard entirely other voices last time.

2. Opera dates from http://www.pov.bc.ca/repertoire.html

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/4166.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.

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