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so I've been reading a collection of lovecraft's work, because I'm really interested in invented myth cycles, and he is so long winded, it's just GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!, i wouldn't mind if it was scary but its not, it's at best mildly disturbing. And so much of it is just absurd. like often a character will be banging on about how he knows some terrible secret which he hope nobody else finds out, but instead of burning the proof he hides it or writes a long treatise on what happened. He is so, so conservative, horribly classist and racist and women don't even exist in his writing except as shadows, puppets. Also he is really really anti science, anti finding out how the world works
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So, there's a very specific sub genre of adolescent literature that goes

  • Once a long time a go there was a worldwide disaster in which almost everyone dies

  • A handful of people survive and create a closed community in a valley/underground/in a person made bubble

  • a mythology/religion/very strict set of rules become an intrinsic part of the community

  • out of this arises an edict to not go outside, outside is dangerous in someway, wasteland, unsurvivably cold, poisonous, full of unimaginably fearsome animals

  • Most of the people in said community believe the rules absolutely and wouldn't dream of not following them

  • But hark! our protagonist enters the scene, said protagonist is always between 12 and 16 and restless, inquisitive and clearly more intelligent than the adults around

  • Protagonist decides they need to see what is outside for themselves despite it being taboo/being punished for it/forecasts of death and destruction.

  • Protagonist escapes community and find they were lied to, outside is survivable and there are other people there

  • ectetera

When this is done well it is absolutely my favorite type of ad lit (except for the nuclear holocaust stuff which doesn't get written any more and I think I've pretty much read all of) when it is done badly it is unutterably boring, but I was thinking someone should totally fuck with the conventions and follow it till the end when the protagonist finds that the stories/rules are all true and they die of whatever it is on the outside and possibly also bring down death and destruction on their community. That would fuck with a few heads.

Also in other ad lit news Tommorow, when the war began has been made into a film

Trailer looks good, I hope it is because I loved the book
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Reading is one of the great loves of my life, I probably like reading better than sex and certainly better than food. These are the books I read in 2009. This next year I want to push myself to read a hunderd books, but I want to really engage with my reading more, I want to write about my reading more,I want to write about every book I read. Traditional book reviews dont really work for me though. The closest thing I've ever seen to how I feel about writing about books was [ profile] yuki_onna when she wrote:

This is why I cannot review books, not really. I don't want to give them ratings or talk about their use of unreliable narrators--I want to talk about where they fit into all the other books I've ever read, how they make me feel, what I become because of their influence--because I am always and forever a golem patched together from the books I've read. This is not the work of a good critic. It is too personal. It rambles. But it's what I always need to do when I have finished with a book when that book has not failed me or enraged me, as so many books written today do.

(I found her through [ profile] andygrrrls book blog)

Thats how I write about books, how I think about books. The books I read weave themselves into the tapestry of my life, my world, into what I know and don't know, into who I am. I can't write a clinical book review because I always start meandering off about the way the book affected me or my world.

I was going to make a book blog but I realised that because of the way I do write about books some of the book posts wouldnt make sense away from the context of my personal blog

Anyway my book list plan for the next year is here
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so I tend to be over ernest, and everything i do/read/watch/listen to has to be important, has to matter has to teach me something or help someone else and I was thinking about this and I was thinking what book i wanted to read and i just thought

fuck it. What I really want to read in these dark days is watership down,

I come back to that book over and over again, such a complex mixture of invented myth and with the air of early twentieth century anthropological study along with the great hero archetype. And i know that landscape, i know it to my bones, geographically the setting is both very similar and very close in in distance, in the general scheme of things, to the place I grew up, so I know that, chalk and flint, steep low slung hills and farmland, winding lanes, copses and spinneys, the river Test. The landscape we grow up in shapes our psyche, is part of who we are and that landscape is a part of me.

So anyway my copy of Watership down, is so old the pages are falling out, so i bought a new copy with the gift token [ profile] interfaceleader sent me for christmas and I'm really looking forward to it being delivered
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The Magic Toyshop - Angela carter
Nights at the circus - Angela Carter
Tender is the night- F scott Fitzgerald
tortilla flat - John stienbeck
Tristam shandy - Lawrence sterne
Candide -voltaire
the3 bonfire of the vanities - Tom wolfe
A portrait of the artist as a young man
The graps of wrath- John stienbeck
Hucklberry fin - Mark twain

Non Fiction
school girl fictions - Valerie Walkerdine
Romanticism; an anthology- ed: Duncan wu
The second sex - Simone De Beavoir
Outercourse - Mary Daly
Unrully women: the politics of Confinement and resistance - Karlene faith
Gender trouble -Judith Butler
The rights of man-Thomas Paine
Common sense- thomas paine
Science in europe 1500-1800: A primary sources antrhology
Science in europe 1500-1800: A secondary sources antrhology
From enlightenment to romanticism vol 1-Ian Donnachie anc Carmen Lavine
reflections on the revoloution in france - edmubd burke
From enlightenment to romanticism vol 2-Ian Donnachie anc Carmen Lavine
heterosexuality in question -stevi Jackson
Border patrols: policing the boundaries of heterosexuality
Descartes: key philosophical writings
Genderqueer: voices from beyond the sexual binary
Of woman born - adrienne Rich
The social contract - Rousseu
Discourse on the origin of inequality - Rousseu
The self we live by
this is modern art- mathew collings
Women and madness: mysogyny or mental illness,

I'm not going to buy any more till ive at least read all of these (ecept if I've read a large chunk I mught treat myself to "the god delusion" when it comes out in paper back) Ill probably find more lying about that havnt been read so will add them to the list. also it doesnt really matter to me if I dont read them all thisb year, i am just trying to plan a productive year


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October 2010

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