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While innocently searching the Web for information regarding Thomas Aquinas' perspective on usury, I discovered the following piece of … analysis, courtesy of a discussion board at the Stormfront White Nationalist Community:

Usury is, in fact, as Ezra Pound wrote, against the law – of natural increase… just like sodomy.

The source can be found here: http:// www. storm front .org /archive/t-137903 Thomas_Aquinas _on_Usury .html. I have not linked directly, and have inserted spaces into the website address, in order to avoid raising the page's Google rank.

Interestingly, this particular page doesn't mention Jews at all, although other discussions of usury on the greater website do. I wonder if the writers assume that the connection between Jews and usury is known to all the site's readers. If so, the Stormfront authors would be making a neat little chain. Judaism, usury, the unnatural and sodomy all go together in one rejected category.

The other curious thing I found when, against my better judgment, I continued perusing the site, was a suggestion that Jews for Jesus are an evil proselytising cult … aimed at converting Christians to Judaism. Now, that's a new perspective. Link here: http:// www. storm front .org/ archive / t-152157 jewish_group_actively_recruiting .html
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
I read a book today about some children on summer holiday in rural Wales. During this holiday, the children discover that they are linked, in ways hitherto unsuspected, to supernatural events recorded in medieval Welsh texts. They see some significant standing stones, meet a farmhand who knows far more than he should, and encounter or hear mention of symbolic ravens, harps, sheepdogs, foxes and owls.

I have never read this book before.

Did I mention that Alan Garner's The Owl Service was first published in 1967, a year before Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising?

The full review, with minor spoilers )
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mechaieh asked, "Which five characters in fiction did/do you most want to assassinate (or, at minimum, signficantly maim), and with what?"

Here are the four I could think of on short notice:

4. Camilla n'ha Kyria, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books. Yes, I know you had a horrid past and all, but stop looking grimly and stoically tragic about your degendered self, woman, or I'll take your inch-and-a-half-too-short-to-be-a-sword and... let you kill me. Never mind, that's not a good plan. I can still wish Magda ended up with Jaelle, though.

3. Joshua, Arm of the Starfish, Madeleine L'Engle. Joshua is the ideal human being. He is beautiful, filled with love for all creation, and walks around or flies his little airplane with a big sign over his head marked "Sacrificial Lamb". Kill him sooner and save us the agony and allegory. Maybe he could have a plane crash.

2. Daystar, Talking to Dragons by Patricia Wrede. Daystar's mother kicks wizard rear ends from the Mountains of Morning to the Enchanted Forest and back again. Daystar's father at least attempts self-sufficiency in an endearing manner. Daystar himself is just boring and confused, and ought to be roasted over dragonfire until he acquires some flavor and texture.

1. Pamela, from Samuel Richardson's book by that name. Alas, woe, poor Pamela will lose her chastity. Eventually. In three hundred pages. When she marries him. Then the book goes on for two hundred more pages after that...! The book would be much improved if, near the beginning, someone had taken a spork to Pamela's true, precious jewel, the one that could never be replaced.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
I attended a free preview showing of Alexander tonight.

Thoughts of the not-particularly spoilery variety:

1. I could stare at the sets and costumes forever. (This does not mean that there was anything wrong with the occasional absence of costume.)
2. Angelina Jolie is actually good at playing a beautiful mad fifty-year-old woman.
3. There is no nonsense about Achilles and Patroclus being cousins in this film. Alexander's love for Hephaistion is completely surtextual, as is his lust for Bagoas.
4. The filmmakers should have trimmed about an hour from the final cut, mostly in the flash-forward scenes narrated by the future emperor of Egypt. The film as stands is an interminable 173 minutes.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Hermione secretly desires Meg Murry

What's Your Ultimate Fandom OTP?
Shiver My Timber--A Pirate RPG




Kazul smooches Bran Davies

What's Your Ultimate Fandom OTP?
Shiver My Timber--A Pirate RPG




If anyone writes me Hermione/Meg Murry, I will die of love.

I might just have to write the Kazul/Bran myself, though.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] calanthe_b considers the model of the modern literary theorist here:

When I know what is meant by 'deconstruct' and 'ideology',
When I can spot assumptions hegemonic from a mile away,
When I accept my preconceptions all need reconfiguring--
When I learn words like 'feminist' and use them without sniggering...

When I learn how to jettison all concepts common-sensible,
When I forget entirely what is meant by 'comprehensible',
In short, when I've adjusted to kaleidoscopic spectacle--
Well, then I'll be postmodern which is equally respectable!
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
If any of you happen to acquire time machines and travel to eighteenth century England, please tell the inhabitants, from me, that all writing of poetry between the years 1700 and 1800 should be outlawed on grounds of cruelty to readers. (Unless you meet an inhabitant by the name of William Blake, who of course does not count.)

If you wish to encounter quality poetry, you had best seek some other poem now. Behind the cut lurk horrors like the word mossy-tinctured, brutally murdered fish, and painfully correct iambic pentameter. )

I warned you.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Lately I've been doing some research on Robert Graves's beautiful, bizarre, deeply influential monstrosity of attempted anthropological research, The White Goddess. It's quite frustrating, because all the criticism I've found so far fits into three categories:

1. Scholarship that proclaims The White Goddess to be utter trash, bearing no resemblance to actual religious beliefs and practices of early medieval Britain.

2. Scholarship that examines The White Goddess as it relates to Graves's warped personal life.

3. "Scholarship" that assumes The White Goddess is a factual and important account of the true, formerly-neglected Triple Goddess of the Celts.

I'm looking for, and have not found, work that treats The White Goddess as a fascinating literary invention in its own right, and examines it for its content and, perhaps, its influence on other authors.

Usually, when I find a large hole in current scholarship, it excites me. There's clearly a great deal of research left to be done here, and I can do it. The problem is that I have very different plans for my dissertation. Will not become obsessed with Robert Graves. Will not become obsessed with Robert Graves.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Yes, it's that time of year again - specifically, the Jewish holiday of Purim, in which we wear costumes, bake cookies, and get really drunk - , so I'm commandeering [livejournal.com profile] prosewitch's kitchen and her cooking expertise and preparing to make hamantashen.

Here's the family recipe, originally from Jewish Cookery but with modifications since then. )

The only problem with the traditional family recipe is that the crust can sometimes be a bit dry. I'm wondering whether an egg-and-honey glaze would improve the texture. [livejournal.com profile] shirei_shibolim, could you give me the proportions for the glaze you put on challah?

By the way, if you're looking for the article on The Passion, I am about to post it under friendslock. It's publicly available on my other blog, but for various reasons I don't want to connect the two too easily. If you aren't on my friendslist or want to know where the other blog is, leave me a note and I'll let you know.

And does it strike anyone as odd that the LJ spell-checker doesn't know the word "blog"?

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