January 9th, 2008

woxin_snow

"For now we see as through a cultural preconception, darkly"

(I need *another* Suffer In The Snow Emo King icon. This one is getting too much use.)

To end of ep 5. Oh Fu Chai you are such a manly man, except that even after three days in a wooden stocks you don't need to shave, lucky Mr Peachfuzz. Equally, I think even without my FL's collective encomia I'd have liked Wen Zhong, if only for the way he cuts straight through Shi Mai's slippery soap and slithery slime. Collapse )

Equally I finished The Janissary Tree last night. The historical detail is fascinating: that truly is what one reads the book for. The murder mystery is just an extra. I was amused on starting it to find the murder echoing that in The Lake Ching Murders, with the difference that I was quite ready to accept the former while the latter struck me as operatic and silly and unlikely. Flashy gimmickey grand guignol seems not wholly impossible in Ottoman Constantinople- the Ottomans did a lot of stuff that looks demented to us and Byzantium has always been, well, a Byzantine place. (Read Peter Dickinson's The Dancing Bear for a fascinating example of same, should it still be in print. Like, laws to regulate the amount of the bribes an official is allowed to accept?) But it's so not the style of good grey Communist China.

However after I finished, the murders and the schtick began to bother me more. Collapse )