rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[personal profile] rymenhild
Absolutely rage-inducing advertisement of the day, printed in white text on a black background on a poster pasted on a vacant storefront:

Strippers will not tolerate disrespect... HAHA, just kidding!

A website address beneath the text suggested that there may be a movie associated with this poster. I feel that it is not a movie I want to see. In fact, it is probably a movie I want to wave protest signs in front of.

In cheerier news, instead of writing this afternoon (*facepalm*), I ended up in the basement of Local Independent Bookstore reading Sir Terry Pratchett's Nation. (Then I ended up purchasing the book... remind me not to walk into bookstores.) The plot involves an analogue-Polynesian boy and an aristocratic English girl recreating civilization on a tsunami-wiped island, but the plot itself is only a vehicle for an argument about human dignity and faith and belief and rage against the divine. Oh, and there's a postcolonial reclamation of science from imperialism in there: the Galápagos writes back, or even more precisely, we learn, the Galápagos wrote first. I'm trying to avoid an author-centric critique here, but I can't stifle the sense I get that in writing Nation, Sir Terry manipulates his own, deeply personal, rage and desire for dignity in the face of mortal and divine failures.

Not a perfect book by any means; there are subplots that seem unnecessary and moments of tonal dissonance; but a very fine book, worth reading and worth debating. I keep thinking about how it's a direct reply to Lord of the Flies and an indirect reply to His Dark Materials, but since what I should be thinking about is my dissertation, I'm going to stop my post here and invite comments.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] of-remedye.livejournal.com
No intelligent comment to make, but I always love reading your entries and think, where have you been all my life? :)

Go think about that dissertation ;-P

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 05:34 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I've been here. :) Actually, one of the better discoveries of my twenties has been that the world includes many friendly geeky medievalists who enjoy hanging out and discussing books. There are lots of us around!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybird97.livejournal.com
I understand not wanting to be too author-centric, but I'm right there with you on finding it hard to think about Nation without thinking of Terry Pratchett's personal circumstances. It would be a beautiful and tragic story on its own, but there's an extra dimension of heartbreak with those other thoughts floating in the background. I hope that he has the chance to give many many more stories to the world...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:12 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Huh, he says himself he'd already drafted the book by the time he was diagnosed.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybird97.livejournal.com
Huh. Wow. I guess some of those emotions in the book were informed more by the tsunami, then, but still - all of the rage and pain about things you can't control. Ah well.I still loved it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:10 am (UTC)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (find the light)
From: [personal profile] skygiants
I really, really liked Nation - I love Terry Pratchett's humor, but I think I love him best when he decides to get serious. I hadn't thought about it as a reply to His Dark Materials, but you're absolutely right - or at least, he's looking at the same questions. Maybe they're both essays in response to the same prompt. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:44 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Daughter of Eve)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
They're both struggling with several of the same problems, most obviously (to me), the relationships between science and religion. It's not accidental that in Lyra's world, physics is called experimental theology. Something about the underlying... I want to coin the awful word "telescopepunk-ness"... of Daphne's alternate-universe British Empire also reminds me very strongly of Lyra's world.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reconditarmonia.livejournal.com
I don't really have anything to add - but don't you love being able to call him Sir Terry?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 03:39 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 07:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I saw the same ads -- nauseating. I can actually tell you the provenance (http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/09/beer-in-hell-cta-ads-update.html) of those ads; they're indeed for what looks to be a deeply woman-hating film.

That link will inform you that irritated citizens successfully lobbied to have the ads removed from Chicago buses with a swiftness.

Not here, of course.

N

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 07:38 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
...I really regret following those links as far as I just did. I expected woman-hating, but not quite so much verbal vomit. D:

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 11:29 am (UTC)
owlfish: (Default)
From: [personal profile] owlfish
I somewhat begrudged the epilogue to Nation; it seemed unnecessarily belabored and pushing the point home too hard. The rest of it, I quite liked.

I bought Unseen Academicals this morning (five pounds off voucher, hurray!), so am looking forward to reading his latest, post-diagnosis, soon.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] obopolsk.livejournal.com
*adds Nation to TBR list*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-06 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempestsarekind.livejournal.com
Yeah, I've been seeing those ads (commercials, though, not print), and every time I see that one, I start seeing rage spots in front of my eyes. Disrespecting women is hilarious! Silly you, for thinking we might have meant that first line!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-07 03:32 am (UTC)
ext_36698: Waterhouse painting of Circe, labeled "So Much To Read" (circe)
From: [identity profile] ayelle.livejournal.com
I'm currently listening to Nation as an audiobook! Yay, sneaking in reading-for-fun with audiobooks on my commute!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-07 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hyperparasitoid.livejournal.com
How funny--I just finished listening to it on audio today, and had you mentioned it to me, you could have had it on your ipod tomorrow. Oh wait--I have your ipod. Oops.

I don't think there were any unnecessary subplots. I thought it was lean and tight. I'd like to hear which you thought were extraneous. In general, I thought it was a cathartic fantasy from a modern author plagued by the guilt of his nation's imperialist history.

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rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
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