15 February 2017

larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (chain mail is sexy)
A reading of a Wednesday meme. Or something like that. I guess.

Finished:

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery, a comfort reread during the flu.

In progress:

Am bounding along with I Shall Seal the Heavens and now just shy of 500 chapters in out of 1600+ total, ~¾ of which are available in English. I should however flag a content warning: an element that early on is handled as gruesome humor is later given a morally dark and potentially triggery explanation, at which time the narrative does not clearly signal understanding of just how dark it swerved; I am staying with it because the author has shown multiple times that he plays a long game and other moral issues have been returned to for questioning (and requestioning). This aside, it's working quite well as an adventure story with an ever-expanding canvas, and I've finally reached a point where there's glimmerings as to the meaning and significance of the title. Ultimate Vexation is a lot fun, but I understand how it would have gotten tiresome (both to write and read) if it hadn't been eventually suppressed.

Plus I've been reading two poetry anthologies of note:
  1. Villanelles ed. Annie Finch & Marie-Elizabeth Mali is an excellent collection. There's a historical section (as well an illuminating introduction: it did not originate as a French peasant form, despite what French poets told themselves) but the bulk is contemporary poets, including variations on the form. Unexpected inclusions of note include Ursula Le Guin, Tom Disch, and an ex-girlfriend. The layout is sweet: a pocket-sized hardcover just large enough that a standard 19-line beastie exactly fits on one page. I'm about ⅓ through, but still highly recommend this one.

  2. Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century ed. Carolyn Beard Whitlow & Marilyn Krysl is another single-form collection built on contemporary poets, where the book is laid out such that a standard example fits on a page, and that has poem by an ex (same one). Haven't gotten as far in this one yet -- a 39-line layout means it's not as portable.

This hasn't been my only poetry reading, natch: I'm not noting other anthologies now because too scattered -- if/when I finish one, I'll record it then.

Other fiction, I've bounced around with unsettled mind, picking up many things and putting each down after a chapter. This happens betimes.

---L.

Subject quote from "The Wish," Abraham Cowley.

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