lotesse: (curioser)
[personal profile] lotesse
I forget how much I dislike reading historical!KingArthur scholarship until I try it out again, ugh. It's all that thing in "The Monsters and the Critics" - the questions that are being pursued in the research are overwhelmingly documentarian-historicist when what i want is mythopoetics and sacred/social anthropology, I don't care if Arthur was real or not I just want to talk about who was telling what stories when and with what meanings -

I was trying to find out about Arthur, land-magic, and British-Isles colonialism. I want to know if I can legitimately make the land of the Thames valley react to Bran Davies as the rightful king come again, being that he's not English but Welsh. I would be confident having the Welsh mountains react that way to Bran, and the Thames valley would absolutely react to say T.H. White's Arthur, who isn't Welsh at all - but I'm not entirely clear on how it works, having a Welsh king function as a unification figure for Britain, when Wales has had a subordinated position in the British Empire since basically forever.

T.H. White's is the version of the canon that I know the best, and it doesn't deal with that aspect, being pretty post-Tennysonian in its characterization of Arthur and the meaning of his reign; and I mean I've also got a bunch of MZB bouncing around in the back of my head, but that's not likely to help me much in terms of either clear politics or good history. I turned up a book by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, whose work I've liked before, on the postcolonial Arthur that I mean to read, and I've had Graham Robb's book on sacral Britain on loan from my dad for about forever; but unless I turn up something explicit to prohibit it, I do think that Susan Cooper gives me enough in-text justification to cross British regional folklore traditions, if not to completely intermingle them. I feel like DiR very much lets particular traditions wash over each of the books in the series, leaving behind a series of overlapping residua. There's the never-explained Bran/Herne connection, for one thing, to justify the linkage; Herne is very solidly Thames-region-specific, and Bran Davies has his eyes.

Code push done!

Aug. 29th, 2015 10:00 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 22:30: We've been done for about 30 minutes and haven't seen any issues, so please go ahead and let us know if you notice any problems!

Code push!

Aug. 29th, 2015 01:12 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
[staff profile] mark and I are planning to do a code push tonight! We will start working around 7pm Pacific time but since it's my first time, the actual push to the site probably won't happen until closer to 8pm Pacific time.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push:

  • Rename swaps will accept rename tokens purchased on either account.

  • OpenID community maintainers will be able to edit tags on community entries.

  • Adorable new mood theme called "angelikitten's Big Eyes".

  • Username tag support for lj.rossia.org.

  • Embedded content support for screen.yahoo.com and zippcast.com.

  • Additional space on the user profile page to list your Github username.


And as usual, many tweaks, small bugfixes, and the occasional page source rewrite.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

Reading not-a-Wednesday, 8/27/15

Aug. 27th, 2015 10:32 pm
likeadeuce: (buffysurvive)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Back from vacation and -- actually slogged through almost another whole work week since then. Vacation was lovely, beach was pleasant and the saltwater pool at the house we rented was soooooo pleasant I don't know what this crazy technology is but being able to spend time in a pool and not come out with my hair smelling like chlorine is amaze. Got lots of time in with my parents and sister + my nieces. Also got a lot of quality reading in which, together with the rest of the past month since I posted, gives me a pretty long list here which I'll try to handle in bullet points unless I really have something to say.
)
• What are you currently reading?

In the middle of my fourth Tessa Dare novel (A Lady by Midnight) as well as Starling by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae, a m/m romance that [personal profile] stultiloquentia recommended.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Bullet points (or dashes since I don't remember how to make bullet points), the ones elsewhere in this post are cut-and-paste:

-A Night to Surrender and A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare; the latter particularly was quite funny and makes some ingenious twists on the elopement-and-ruination tropes of the Regency era.

-- Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I think LB is brilliant but this book was trying to be like seven different things, and about 3 of them worked? Recommended mostly for the dead on social media satire/pastiche and the exploration of contemporary Detroit. Also has a well-drawn mother daughter relationship among POC protagonists. Avoid if gore/body horror/serial killers are deal breakers.

-- The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante. Books 2 and 3 in the Neapolitan Cycle (I read the first, My Brilliant Friend, a while ago, and book 4 is coming out September 1). Follows the two main characters through the 60s and 70s in Italy. Lots of daily life and politics, smart and often brutal examination of class. Lots of domestic abuse, including marital rape, which is included in the context of a very pointed feminist critique (the women in these books are not always easy to like, but the men are universally along a scale of toxic to brutal to -- at best-- useless. For all that, a good third of New Name takes place at a Mediterranean beach resort and so was pretty great to read by the pool. I wouldn't recommend these to everybody but if 'feminist roman a clef about class politics on the Italian Left in the mid-20th century sounds, anchored around a complex, emotionally intense friendship between women" sounds like your jam, then do it. Definitely should read these in order, though.

-- In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (this is her new novel for adults). I felt like this was . . .anthropologically interesting? In a way it is to US air disasters and New Jersey in 1951 what the Ferrante books are to Italy in the 70s, but that's necessarily more familiar to me as an American reader. Too many point of view characters, some of whom are definitely more developed than others.

-- Paper Towns by John Green. Liked this a lot, good beach read with some surprising moments of insight.

-- The Green Road by Anne Enright. I picked this up because it was on the Man Booker shortlist (and available in audio, and pretty short.) Turns out Enright is an Irish novelist of some note that I wasn't familiar with, and I enjoyed her writing in this multigenerational family saga but in a minimalist way that collects and connects small moments to represent many lives over a lot of years. Also between reading this and Broken Harbor, I feel like I spent a weird amount of time thinking about the real estate bubble in Ireland in the early/mid-2000s. Interesting to see Enright make a lot of the same cultural observations that Tana French did which is not surprising because they are writing about the same place.

-- My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. Turns out George Eliot (and her common law husband George Lewes) were pretty cool people. This is engaging personal literary criticism with some memoir and biography thrown in. Probably only interesting if you've read Middlemarch recently enough to remember it well (guilty; it also made me want to reread Mill on the Floss. And to watch the Middlemarch miniseries from the 90s, which naturally Netflix has taken off streaming since the last time I meant to watch it but didn't.

-- Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek: This book is annoying. Read The Hemingses of Monticello instead; or maybe Wiencek's book about George Washington, which is supposed to be good, but this one isn't.

Previously mentioned books I finished: Broken Harbor by Tana French (very affecting; I would probably not recommend this to anyone with young kids, and definitely not to anyone who doesn't want to read bad stuff happening to kids. Also SPOILER )

And The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, which has since (deservedly, I think, regardless of any surrounding shenanigans) won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

In comics, I caught up with all of Gangsta. that's been published in the US, and read a lot of The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, some of which is amazing creative supernatural stuff with a great heroine and some some of which is, "Vision Quest Cultural Appropriation Paloooza -- really, we're doing this?"

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read Tana French's The Secret Place, though I need a break of indeterminate length first, I think. Also I have the back half of Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings, Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me and more romance novels calling, and the new Ferrante out on September 1. Plus I'm gonna read the new Jonathan Franzen as soon as the library gets it for me, if only to tweet incredulously about it.

Fiction: She Would Follow

Aug. 23rd, 2015 04:56 pm
clare_dragonfly: picture of an angel, text: prophet (Angels in America: prophet)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Title: She Would Follow
World: prison planet
Word count: 795
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: [community profile] rainbowfic Fire Opal 6, Fiery speech/sermon; The Hills of Iowa 8, I was out here listening all the time.; Antique Brass 20, Hey, Big Brother's watching. / Yes, yes, and so can Little Sister.
Notes: A little background on why these people ended up imprisoned on this planet.


People had already been imprisoned for saying things like this. Natasha knew that. No one had, yet, been imprisoned for listening. But she was being careful anyway.

Maybe she could have been more careful. But it was a big campus. She’d set up a couple of reroutes, so no one should be able to trace her specifically. And she seriously doubted that she was the only one on campus watching this speech; anyone hunting for dissidents on campus would have a hard time finding her specifically.

Besides. She had to listen.Read more... )

I don't post often enough.

Aug. 22nd, 2015 02:33 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
Let's see. I started playing Flight Rising, this dragon breeding game with forums and mini-games and monster battles. It's fun. Look at my pretty dragons.

I started Russian 101 on Wednesday. So far we've learned the alphabet and the weird Russian pronunciation rules (regressive assimilation, vowel reduction, palatalized consonants). It's very strange being in a class with 18-year-olds. For example, yesterday, two classmates were talking before class, and one of them asked when Chernobyl happened. I answered immediately and without thinking, "1986." They both were like "whoa, you just knew that!" So I said, "Well, I was alive then..." They asked what it was like, and I don't really remember, because I was 10, you know? But there was a lot of confusion and no internet to get information from, just TV news and newspapers, and it wasn't like Russia was terribly open about what was going on over there...

So yeah. It's weird. I don't want to be aloof or standoffish, but I also have this "well, I'm a LOT older than y'all, and it's weird to try to be friends with you because it could come off really creepy." So we'll see how things go.

Dragon Con is in less than two weeks oh fuck.

Still working on revising the spy novel. I'm getting close to the part where things get exciting, but there's a bit of rewriting I need to do, not just sentence-level revision, so, ugh. Also I don't have as much time per day to write, so I'll probably do something like spend a couple hours each day on the weekends and squeeze in some during the week. We'll see.

Helsinki won the 2017 WorldCon bid, so I'm planning to go to that. As long as it doesn't conflict too badly with grad school (if I get in). Their dates would get me back to the US about a week before the semester starts, which could make, you know, course planning exciting, especially if I go to Germany for language class on a grant.

But let's not put the cart before the horse, here. I haven't finished my application yet, because I haven't taken the GRE yet and I haven't uploaded transcripts. They at least take unofficial ones at the application stage, which is great, because those are free and things I mostly have on hand.

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Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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