rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[personal profile] rymenhild
During a visit to my family home this week, I have accomplished very little dissertation work. I have, however, spent much of the time uplifting my mind and my morals with some edifying words. You see, the local public library had a book sale this week. I acquired, for the price of a single dollar, John S. C. Abbott's enthralling book The Child at Home: Or, the Principles of Filial Duty (New York, NY: The American Tract Society, 1833) (full scan; Project Gutenberg e-text).

I have learned from Abbott that if you take the smallest step off the path of righteousness to pick flowers on the way to school, you will probably be led farther and farther astray until you die and go to hell. If you should play with your little friends and make them laugh, and your aunt should come scold you for making the children laugh so loudly, and you lie to your aunt, saying, "It was not I who made them laugh," be warned. A young girl who did precisely that died at the age of eleven with a troubled soul, and while Abbott does not tell us certainly that she went to hell, it is possible that she may have done so.

I have also learned that it's kind of God to put all the sinners in a permanent prison so that the few who do get saved can live in eternal peace, untroubled by any wickedness. By the way, heaven must be appallingly boring. Anyone who has ever been known to enjoy attending parties or even playing with other little children in the streets is unlikely to go there.

What have you been reading lately, O Friendslist? Is it immoral pap that will ruin your virtue and deprive you of your hopes of heaven? If so, send me a recommendation, because I think I need a change of pace.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whatifoundthere.livejournal.com
I am so glad that God built those dungeons, deep and dark! If he were a cruel deity, he would not have done so!

The last novel I finished was Donna Tartt's mindblowing The Secret History, which I want everyone in the world to read. My review of it is over at my dorky book-review journal.

The bit about God punishing sinners reminds me of the climax of A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, which is also worth reading, though I have not read it LATELY so maybe it doesn't count.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 06:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
And what about that wicked boy who ran away to sea? Familiarity with sea life gave him courage, and he became inured to its hardships. Constant intercourse with the most profligate and abandoned, gave strength and inveteracy to his sinful habits; and before the voyage had terminated, he was reckless of danger, and as hardened and unfeeling as the most depraved on board the ship. Constant buggery will do that to a young man.

O wicked children! Frolick now amidst the flames of the Pit!

Er. I have been re-reading novels about Tanakh characters: The King David Report by Stefan Heym and God Knows by Joseph Heller for one of my courses, and Pillar of Fire by Judith Tarr and The Red Tent (don't hate me!) by Anita Diamant for another. If you haven't read TKDR, it is utterly wonderful.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-08 12:04 am (UTC)
gramarye1971: a lone figure in silhouette against a blaze of white light (Hornblower: Articles of War)
From: [personal profile] gramarye1971
Constant buggery will do that to a young man.

Rum, sodomy, and the lash: pick two?

*runs away to avoid being flogged round the fleet*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 12:59 pm (UTC)
ext_13979: (Shell)
From: [identity profile] ajodasso.livejournal.com
The Speed of Dark, by Ian Duhig.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 02:34 pm (UTC)
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] larryhammer
True, that book is about the Flowers of Evil. Oy.

My carry-about reading is Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs, which is both immoral and pap, though very tasty. At home on the nightstand is Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison, which is neither, and yet even tastier. I've made little progress on either this week, however, because I've been poring through travel guides to Iceland.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jandersoncoats.livejournal.com
Fat Bald Jeff by Leslie Stella. Twentysomething slacker girl toiling in a Dilbert world who drinks a lot and engages in office sabotage.

Pap. Purely. But quite immoral and very hilarious.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 05:38 pm (UTC)
genarti: Knees-down view of woman on tiptoe next to bookshelves (reading by the seashore)
From: [personal profile] genarti
I have been rereading both Outlaws of Sherwood and Neverwhere. The former continues to be a delightful if somewhat anachronistic romp; I love Robin McKinley's writing enough to forgive her such foibles as far too much feminism for period and the sacrifice of political complexity for the sake of the kind of story she wanted to tell. Abbott would, of course, find it dreadfully wicked; it contains such divers sinful elements as violence, outlawry, romance, kissing and even conjugal relations before marriage, and cross-dressing, not to mention banter and *gasp* fun. The latter I am rereading in part for Milliways reasons; I continue to love the world and find the protagonist mind-numbingly boring. It's Neil Gaiman, so I don't think we even need comment on the shocking immorality inherent in every page.

I just read Tithe, by Holly Black -- the first book of Kaye's canon, from Milliways again. It's a quick read, an urban fantasy full of fae who are delightfully and edgily inhuman, and all following their own self-interest; there's not a ton of depth to the story, but it's quite fun. And, of course, it will seduce you to a ruined life and eventual damnation in that benevolently safe place of torment which God has created for the good of the world.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-08 12:07 am (UTC)
gramarye1971: close-up Tube map of London, with Baker Street replaced by gramarye1971 (Zone 1)
From: [personal profile] gramarye1971
I continue to love the world and find the protagonist mind-numbingly boring.

That's what struck me most about the book when I first read it; the attempt to create an 'everyman' character completely backfired to the point where I almost actively didn't care what happened to Richard. It takes a lot for me to really not care about a protagonist.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-08 03:12 pm (UTC)
genarti: Knees-down view of woman on tiptoe next to bookshelves (Default)
From: [personal profile] genarti
Yes, likewise. I'm skimming for worldbuilding in this reread, basically, which includes denizens of London Below. (Thus Door, the Marquis, and... everybody who isn't Richard, basically.)

Though I think part of it may, as someone (Sandry, I believe) was saying to me recently, be the fact that it's a book that was adapted from a television script. It doesn't seem to have been adapted enough, because it takes "show, don't tell" TOO far -- there's very little under the surface of Richard's thoughts that isn't shown anyway by what he says. And that's one of the things I find most annoying about him: the fact that he keeps on saying "I don't get it" and making dumb assumptions aloud even after he should have had it proven to him that none of his assumptions are likely to be correct. I don't mind him making them based on prior understanding of the world; I mind that he doesn't know how to stop making himself stand out as not only a Topsider but an idiotic one, and that he's apparently the world's slowest learner. And I think some of that may be because internal monologue gets you precisely nowhere on tv, unless you've got an actor with very eloquent facial expressions, and there wasn't enough adaptation to make Richard work for the book as well.

Mind, I haven't actually seen the show, so possibly he's just as irritating there.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reconditarmonia.livejournal.com
I've just read Guardian of the Dawn by Richard Zimler. Have you read his books? You might like them, I think. Anyway, I thoroughly recommend The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon. It's a mystery and mystical and historical and there is canon gay. GotD also has a retelling of Othello as part of it, with the UST acknowledged.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-07 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taylweaver.livejournal.com
I just finished "The name of the Wind" (sorry, can't get the italics to work) by Patrick Rothfuss. Rather good. Probably sinful. Lots of lying and stealing and cheating.

Currently rereading Harry Potter (up to Book 2) so that I will have it all fresh in my mind before the last one comes out. (And this time, my students will NOT spoil it for me! I mean that!)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-08 12:19 am (UTC)
gramarye1971: a lone figure in silhouette against a blaze of white light (C.S. Lewis)
From: [personal profile] gramarye1971
...that is an amazingly edifying book. Mr Abbot and Mrs Mortimer would seem to have a lot of ideas in common.

At the moment, I'm finishing up two short works by Sigmund Freud, the damned atheist, sex-fiend, and corrupter of youth that he was. Totally immoral there, especially the parts where he talks about how belief in God is a delusion and goes on and on about repressed desires to commit incest and kill one's father. I just picked up C.S. Lewis' An Experiment in Criticism, which is about the distinction between 'good' and 'bad' books, and promises to be both fascinating and filled with the wickedness of literary snobbery. And to round out these selections, I managed to get my hands on a book that compares the ideas of Freud and Lewis. All coming soon to a massive Tuesday Book Review near you.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-08 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm reading a lot of teen novels. A. Lot. Most of them mediocre, some mildly atrocious, and all despicably sinful. Good ones, IMO: Tamar by Mal Peet, and Spelldown by Karen Luddy.

EETS Reprints: Free to Good Home

Date: 2007-06-14 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deliasherman.livejournal.com
YOu expressed interest in Early English Text Society reprints. Can you email me at cordsher at gmail dot com? And then I'll send you a list of what I've got and you can send me your snail mail address and all will be merry and gay.


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

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