Monthly Archives: June 2011

All apologies

My blogging has been appallingly lax of late. Sorry about that. I will have some pretty momentous literary news to share with you — momentous to me, at any rate — if you’ll just be patient a wee bit longer.

A song of ice and ire

So I just finished A Storm of Swords, the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and I had a fine bloody-minded time with it, right up to that closing shocker that literally leaves everything hanging.  I like the way Stannis has moved to the foreground, I approve of the parting gesture Tyrion made, and I appreciate the way Dany is being groomed for greatness.

I’ve heard so much badness about the next volume, A Feast for Crows, that I’m somewhat reluctant to pick it up, though I want to be in shape for next month’s release of A Dance with Dragons, the title of which suggests we’ll finally be seeing some serious fire-breather action. (Though I did like the way the black one toasted that trash-talking slaver — great scene, that.) So I will put Martin on hiatus with a link to this discussion with the designer of the wonderful opening credits for Game of Thrones, the HBO adaptation now drawing to a conclusion.

Just to decompress from such an immersion in high fantasy, I’m re-reading portions of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s Martin Beck crime novel series. Right now I’m on The Fire Engine That Disappeared, and while I can salute Stieg Larsson for using the Martin Beck books as the model for his Millennium series, novels like The Laughing Policeman do three times the storytelling work of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in a fraction of the space. Martin has ice and fire nailed down, but Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo trafficked in ice and ire.

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We’re all Lester Freamon now

I swore I wasn’t going to pay any more attention to Sarah Palin and her cross-country pity party tour, but when I hear something like this:

I find myself feeling like Lester Freamon in The Wire:

Actually, I get the same feeling these days whenever a conservative or libertarian starts talking: “English, motherfucker! English!”

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Friday finds

Paying last respects to Gil Scott-Heron. And again. And again. And again. A list of his essential recordings.

A great day at Harper’s Ferry.

Jump cut or match cut? All I know is, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in a movie.

Call me a geek, call me a nerd, but I really am looking forward to seeing these.

“I imagined taking a knife and cutting into the earth, opening it up, an initial violence and pain that in time would heal. The grass would grow back, but the initial cut would remain a pure flat surface in the earth with a polished, mirrored surface, much like the surface on a geode when you cut it  and polish the edge. The need for the names to be on the memorial would become the memorial; there was no need to embellish the design further. The people and their names would allow everyone to respond and remember.”

Paul Theroux and VS Naipaul are buds again. Here is video proof. Take the Naipaul-inspired authorial gender test.

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