mjj (flemmings) wrote,

No end to the making of books

Finished Mythago Wood sometime in the last few days, rather pleased by its outside-the-boxness. These days what one hopes for, usually vainly, in a fantasy is the unexpected, and the whole tenor of MW was certainly that, in that it did very little of what I thought it would and many things I'd never have considered. And ohh is it English. All those trees with all their connotations, assumed to be as familiar to the world as foodstuffs and weather phenomenon. Me, I can barely tell an oak from a linden. Beeches? What are they?

Today I was tooling along Bloor in my post-migraine fashion (read: spacey) and found me at the Blue-and-White used bookstore, and remembered I'd intended to see if they had any more Aubrey/ Maturin and to ask about their buying policies. So I looked for the first and found instead Monsieur Beaucaire, and asked about the latter and found they want most of my library. Have I said that most of my library is already there, even though someone else sold it to them? It is. I bought back my, or someone's, copy of Nifft the Lean, and a hardback Mask of Apollo to replace my disintegrated paperback from ohh 1970 was it? And Good Omens to see what the fuss is about, and The Lantern Bearers because Sutcliffe is cool, and Han Suyin's A Many Splendoured Thing, because she can't be worse than Pearl Buck.

And I despair: why am I buying books when I have stacks unread at home? The answer of course is that reading books isn't the pleasure: buying books is the pleasure, and I have distinctly enjoyed buying these.

Also got a Dutch phrasebook because Dutch has always charmed me. The only langauge that's really cognate to English: more than certain varieties of English itself, I sometimes think. "Which is the best road to...?" becomes "Wat is de beste weg naar...?" "What is your address in Amsterdam?" = "Wat is uw adres in Amsterdam?" When first encountered I thought it terribly Mission: Impossible; then like the ending of that Bradbury story where time travellers can go back and hunt mastodons in the past, as long as they kill animals that died anyway, but one guy strays from the path a bit and steps on a butterfly and when they get home the signs are all different. And now I think Dutch sounds like cat macros. Without offence to any Dutch people here, of course.

Also read the last story in PMT2. Actually comprehensible the first time through- Ima is losing her touch- and as ever leaving deep confusion as to Saburo's feelings for Young Dork. Aru? Nai? To say nothing of Dork's feelings for Saburo. Sorry, I just don't buy all that 'Be mine!!' routine. The... flashiness/ shallowness/ whatever of it feels more and more like Detective Bluecat; and the stronger the feeling I get that what we're seeing is the same manga drawn by different mangaka. Ima's character's aren't normally shallow at all, but PMT's guys fail to convince. What other reason can there be than that she's drawing Motoni's series?
Tags: holdstock, ima_ichiko, language, manga_07, o'brian, reading_07
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