Friday, 6 August 2010

7 Quick Takes (52)

1. We moved. I had little to do with it, besides packing and carrying a few loads up to the new apartment. My general lack of involvement was in large part because I was working overtime. (See next entry.)

2. This past Monday was Heritage Day at work, our largest annual event. I have written about it before. It has assorted cultural food and clothing/jewelry vendors and we had many activities going on in the park, like children's games, watermelon eating contests, and the presense of Bailey Jr. People call him a buffalo, but he's really a bison. People always call bison buffaloes around here. It's even in the municipality name.
Because of this event, I had to work a lot of overtime in preparation. Due to this, I did not complete a 7 Quick Takes last week.

3. I stayed home on Wednesday because I was burnt out. It was a little miserable.

4. I have finally come to realize that I am outclassed on the Internet. Following a few atheist websites and reading the comments has forced me to acknowledge that a lot of people are keener philosophers than I am. At the very least, they are better at arguing philosophy than I am, which I do know is not the same as being a better philosopher. As far as on-line conversations go, however, the difference is negligible. This means I had better learn when to shut my trap before I make a fool of myself.

5. The design that Jeniffer Fulwiller discusses in Quick Take 5 is so cool. I want a house with features like that!

6. I have finished reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. It was far better than I expected. If you far prefer Bram Stoker's Dracula to Anne Rice's decadance, or the figure of Vlad Tepes enchants you more than the glamourous eternals of Twilight do, than I recommend this book. That is, if a vampire book to your mind should be about hunting the damned monsters instead of joining them, I think you'll find this enjoyable. (And, along with C S Lewis, this is not frivolous cursing; according to the legend, they are damned.)
Also, if you like subtext, if you like subtle and cunning intellectual puzzles in your books, this is also for you. You do not have to read it for anything more than a hunt for the beast, but there is a lot to think about in this book. Throughout the narrative there runs a question: in what ways can we reach into the past, and in what ways does the past reach back out to us?
Three further notes on this book: it is obsessed with historical research, which means you learn a bit about the Wallachians, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, the Bulgarians, and so forth. It also talks a lot about different languages, which I know interests some people. It also has one of the best temptation scenes I have read. Imagine the best library in the world, brimming with old and forgotten books lost to history, books answering questions you never though could be answered. Imagine these books just sitting on the shelves, needing only a hand and a set of eyes to be read. You can have unlimited access to these books... if, and only if, you pledge allegiance to the vampire. That, ladies and gentleman, is a temptation that I can feel when I read it.
Readers who loved the Beast's library in Beauty and the Beast, what do you think?

7. For his birthday, I gave my father a used collection of Robert Service's poetry. In particular he likes "The Cremation of Sam MacGee." Ballads have such strong rhythms to them, so much that I think the ballad ought to be assigned in every poetry course.

Make sure you visit this blog carnival's host, Jeniffer Fulwiller at Conversion Diary.

1 comment:

abroadermark said...

My father read/recited a lot of Robert Service poetry to my sisters and me while we were growing up. We always liked The Cremation of Sam MacGee too, but The Shooting of Dan McGrew was the one my dad recited most often, and, for that reason alone, is the Service poem that I am fondest of.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin