I. Careful readers might notice that my Friday and Saturday posts in this series are usually shorter and lower in quality than the others. This is because Friday/Saturday is the worst time of the week for me work wise, and am quite tired by the time I get a chance to write these things down.
II. My tour of British detective fiction continues. I wrapped up Gaudy Night the other day, and am now on P.D. James’ Death in Holy Orders. Both are set in schools: the former at a women’s college and the latter at an Anglican seminary. Adam Dagliesh has yet to become a character for me, but I like everything else about it so far. James looks like she’ll be mining some theological/ecclesiastical territory, and it will be interesting to see what she does with it.
III. A couple of things occur to me about detective fiction in general: like fantasy (and unlike SF), Christianity seems to have made a fairly strong mark on it. Unlike SF/Fantasy, there seem to be a lot more famous women writers.
IV. Alan Jacobs recently linked to a post where Adam Roberts speculates on why Tolkien is so popular. For once, the comparison to Wagner’s Ring cycle is merited.
V. Although LOTR and the Ring cycle superficially resemble each other in terms of focusing on a magic ring, I think that where there are more parallels between Wagner and Tolkien is in the latter’s Silmarillion.
VI. The Mandarin offers some advice for those of you planning a vacation to Disney World this summer: “Disney can be expensive! Only bring the absolute minimum henchmen you need. In my case, I brought along a toadie, three goons, two thugs, and a cretin. I left the fast-roping machine-gunning ninjas at home, along with the karate army. And frankly, I left the cackling cretin in the hotel most of the time because he might have gone nuts in the Pirates ride.”
VII. I finally got around to watching Haibane Renmei, passing the halfway point the other day. So far, it’s as good as everyone is saying. Although it’s often mentioned in the same breath as Serial Experiments Lain (same creator), it’s really not the same thing at all. To make a pretentious modernist lit. comparison, Lain is more Eliot/Faulkner/Joyce while Haibane is more Proust.
VIII. Speaking of which, I had a bit of an obsession with Joyce from my late high school to early university years (including my gap year where I was in danger of becoming some sort of shut-in). Every now and then I open up Finnegans Wake and, if nothing else, am in awe at the man’s ability to pun.
IX. This list is taking far longer to write than I hoped it would.
X. One last link: Anthony Sacramone has a grievance against Alexander Graham Bell.