mjj (flemmings) wrote,

What then, sang Plato's ghost, what then?

Finished The Surgeon's Mate, wondering almost to the last when the person in the title was going to show up. Ha ha ha on me. Instinct is to reach for the next volume in the pile, as when one reads a manga series, luxuriating in the simple pleasure of More, available and to hand. (Pleasurable if it's a good series, natch, and not the kind that makes you think *How* many more volumes of this until I'm done? Normally if something's that much of a slog I won't start on it in the first place, or will abandon it instanter; but there are certain Manga Must-reads that have affected me that way, Wind and Tree Song most notably and Yuki Kaori most recently.)

But yappari English novels are different, not least because a series of novels doesn't necessarily benefit from a fell-swoop reading, where IME manga always does. Continuing along with A/M feels more like a depression reaction-- line of least resistance, 'Nothing I want to take the trouble of reading, might as well read the next A/M.' Which isn't fair to A/M or to me, even if I already know most of what will happen in The Ionian Mission from starting Treason's Harbour. I should wait till I'm back in the mood for an O'Brian- meaning, when I haven't just finished two O'Brian's in a row- and go read something else from the English stack. (The Japanese stack is the last three vols of Tantei Aoneko and my heart sort of faints within at the prospect.)

Alas, O'Brian is the most respectable thing *in* the stack, I believe. A couple of Aristotle Detectives, a couple of forgettable fantasies, some lawn reading (ie picked up from a box of books on someone's lawn where it was left for passersby to pick up from. My neighbourhood does this not infrequently, is why I love my neighbourhood.) One of these is The Queen's Fool which two pages in tells me was a mistake. When the 16th century spoke of 'sex' alone, they meant gender. They didn't mean sexual congress or sexuality or anything on those lines, and this author does.

Which is why I should probably keep on reading O'Brian. His period vocabulary is spot on. It reminds me how people spoke before the 20th century: and this, whether one is writing dragons or Rainy Willow stores, is exactly the ear-training I need.
Tags: manga_07, o'brian, reading_07

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