I hadn't heard of Marguerite Yourcenar before this, but she have been a sort of Belgian Mary Renault. Mid-century female writer, bisexual, spent most of her life living abroad with a female partner, wrote historical novels about gay men in the ancient world. (New Yorker article about her)
Her style (or the translation, which was done by her partner) is self-consciously literary in a way that makes Mary Renault look like the middlebrow hack writer that she was. (Kidding, except in the sense that I'm not.)
And although I'm not that far through the book, she seems to have had a rather more humane outlook than Renault. An interesting read.
1. Our final concert of the season went well, and so did the reception afterwards. The audience seemed inclined to hang out and eat for as long as possible. I carried many empty wineglasses into the church kitchen, and a friend gave me a very, very welcome ride home. I don't live far, but I'd been on my feet for about three hours. (We had to run everything with trumpets and timpani during the warm-up, since we didn't have those guys for the dress rehearsal on Tuesday.)
2. A close friend of mine will be in town this weekend, and I will see her Saturday night. Since she's staying near Chinatown, I am sure we shall manage an excellent dinner; I've already sent her a list of possibilities.
3. Elderly Cat spit out his stomach pill last night, but took it this morning and appeared in good spirits.
4. There are movies out and coming out soon that I want to see.
5. I have my WisCon schedule!
Comment with one of my fandoms, and I'll tell you:
- the character I least understand
- interactions I enjoyed the most
- the character who scares me the most
- the character who is mostly like me
- hottest looks character
- one thing I dislike about my fave character
- one thing I like about my hated character
- a quote or scene that haunts me
- a death that left me indifferent
- a character I wish died but didn’t
- my ship that never sailed
And a poem:
Personal Letter No. 3
nothing will keep
us young you know
not young men or
women who spin
their youth on
cool playing sounds.
we are what we
are what we never
think we are.
no more wild geo
graphies of the
flesh. echoes. that
we move in tune
to slower smells.
it is a hard thing
to admit that
sometimes after midnight
i am tired
of it all.
by Sonia Sanchez
2. I played a little Zelda tonight and found three shrines, two stables, and Hebra tower. That leaves only the two Gerudo areas that I don't have the towers for yet. I'm actually kind of sad to have so much of the map filled in. I remember when I first got off the great plateau and realized how huge the world is, it was so exciting, and now it's like, aww, I only have a little bit left to explore. ;_;
3. Somehow I don't have any new pics of kitties, but luckily I have plenty of backstock to choose from. Here's an explorer Jasper from a week or so ago.
Yesterday, bound for a conference. Got the train okay.
About a third of the way into the journey, train stops.
Someone had collided with a train further up the line.
In due course we are informed that train will be terminating at a station not previously on the schedule, where we can change to a train going, presumably by some more circuitous route, to the next scheduled stop, but not, however, onwards to my destination.
When we arrive at designated point, it is chucking down rain. Fortunately the next train is in and we only need to cross the platform. It is, however, rather full, though I did manage to get a seat.
Another, local, and very crowded train at the next change.
My dearios may imagine that all this was by no means conducive to reading a serious academic study for review purposes.
Once at my destination, some 2 hours later than anticipated, there was supposed to be a taxi booked for me - I had been in touch with the conference admin person anent delays - what I had not been told was that it would be round the back rather than the main exit.
Not that it was there when I found the spot, and cameth not as I waited in an increasing state of fume - it would always have been tiresome but after the preceding misadventures this was particularly infuriating - and a chilly wind. Fortunately, what did turn up was the taxi for one of the other participants, so I went with her.
I do not mention the faff over my ticket - got details and booking ref latish previous afternoon.
Inadequate curtainage in hotel room meant undesirably early waking....
And now I have to present a paper, sigh.
The Summer Without Men, by Siri Hustvedt.
• What did you recently finish reading?
Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars, by Jeff Lemire. A robot who is also an adorable little boy survives terrible and mysterious catastrophes. He may hold the key to understanding and preventing their return. The other characters and the settings are interesting. The art is beautiful. I would have loved this if I had read it when I was young. Now, I have read enough stories to notice when the plot is steered by the Rule of Cool, when the answer to "Why didn't the characters do the smart thing?" is "Because the author wanted a torture scene/a robot gladiator scene/a woman dying, gasping a slogan." Also, I have read enough stories that treat women as people to find the Weasley ratio really annoyingly noticeable. There's one female main character, one female supporting character, a few more who get a line but not a name. And only one of these female characters is human: the robot boy's dead mom.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I've got suggestions to read or reread for my SF economics panel:
The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
The Peripheral, by William Gibson
The Marq'ssan Cycle books by L. Timmel Duchamp
More suggestions still welcome!
If you are interested in images rather than text, check out the three shots I posted on Instagram -- #1 (fannishly relevant to all fans of the true Captain America), #2 (that captures members of our Berkeley scientist group), and #3 (the most heartening one in many ways, also nerdy).
At night, then, we made it to HAMILTON: second time for me, thanks to an invitation from my wife's family to both the musical and the dinner before. My in-laws are the sweetest and most generous...as well as representative; most of the audience of this musical cast only with actors of color were wealthy White-looking people. (Sally has written a HAMILTON review, plus her tag has more entries.)
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant)
Hmmm not quite sure what to say about these books! It's been quite a while since I've reread them since this was never the Tamora Pierce series that I was most captivated by.
They're obviously her first books, and have a variety of flaws (some plot points/character choices that don't quite make sense, the well-meaning racism that's racism nonetheless, the uncomfortable dynamics in how some of Alanna's romantic relationships are portrayed, and so forth) but the books are nonetheless a charming quick read, if you can look past those factors.
Also its brand of feminism is...of its era (Alanna is Not Like Other Girls! And so forth.) but it's well-meaning and was hugely important for its time.
And I still have huge quantities of childhood nostalgia for these books. I care about these characters so much!
The Price of War by shuofthewind is a massive retelling of the first season of the Daredevil Netflix series, with the addition of Darcy Lewis, who never met Jane and Thor and ends up becoming a lawyer. I loved that this story had a lot more female characters than the original version, but was sad that Karen's character gets less to do because it's Darcy's story now. There is eventual Darcy Lewis/Matt Murdock. My interest in the story lagged a bit once the romance kicked in, but I still enjoyed all the comics (616) characters who appeared.
You have to be registered by the 22nd May to vote in the election on the 8th June.
A lot of people, especially young people, seem to be registering. This is a good thing.