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1. I know I sneer at people who say Tolkien couldn't write. Must… - Off the Cliff

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Sat Apr 26th, 2014


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12:40 pm
1. I know I sneer at people who say Tolkien couldn't write. Must amend that a little. Was at The Little Girls' the other night. Elder LG is having LotR read to her at bedtime (after reading The Hunger Games herself, oy vey.) Is in the middle of The Two Towers, Pippin talking to the Aragorn-tachi at Isengard. I will say now that Tolkien couldn't write dialogue that I, at any rate, can read aloud. It's just so oddly paced and given to tag-on bits and... well, it doesn't flow, basically. Is still miles better than the SW novelization the younger LG is being read, but that's not saying much.

2. My neighbourhood has front porches, usually concrete, that many enterprising former owners have closed in to make an extra room. Houses in this area being small, extra rooms are appreciated. Losing your front window-- that usually doesn't get much light because of the porch roof-- probably plunges the front and middle rooms into darkness. Perhaps this is no drawback in cultures that keep the shades down all day anyway. But on the street to the coffee shop is a much better solution: a front porch parlour. The sides are enclosed with wood partitions; the front has a thin blind that I assume is plastic: semi-transparent with tiny openings in a square pattern to let air in but keep dirt out. The house has an exterior socket so the owner can have a lamp on his table, and there seems to be a loveseat with cushions behind it. The light over the door is encased by a white Chinese lantern that seems impervious to the grit and dirt that blow about this city. (He's across from a school yard, so gets a double dose.) Coming home at night I often see the owner's dim form reading within the sudare- well, you know what I mean- and think how romantic it actually is, Genji-fashion and all. And how I'd like one for myself.

3. furiosity posts pictures from her fannish pilgrimage to Tottori, a prefecture on the Japan Sea side of the main island. Ura Nippon or not, oh how Japanese Japan still is, even the newer concrete box bits. (And more picturesque than what I recall of Fukushima nearly 25 years ago or Gunma a dozen years back.) Take me home, country roads...

4. Bought the doorstopper Obsidian and Blood trilogy and promptly tore through 250 pages of it last night. This is the speed of summer lightning for me. I might consider much later if, on the meta level, all detectives in detective fiction are the same, no matter how much their methods vary, and whether it's possible to have a culturally different kind of 'solve the mystery' story. (The only one I can think of is cultures that tell you at the start whodunnit.) But as mystery and fantasy both this one is very satisfying.

(6 comments | post comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:incandescens
Date:April 27th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
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I'm glad you're enjoying Obsidian and Blood - it does go down nice and smoothly. I do like how comfortable the protagonist is with daily life. "Woke up, pierced earlobes for daily prayer, walked out to see sacrifices in progress, all right with the world."
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:April 27th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking that making it a fantasy where hideous things really would happen without blood sacrifice was sort of cheating-- short-circuiting our culture's reflex reaction to 'the morning prayers of the Aztecs.' And then I realized that for the Aztecs, hideous things really would happen without blood sacrifice. One can only say Bravo.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:April 27th, 2014 05:47 am (UTC)
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That porch sounds wonderful!! Someday I want a house with a porch surrounded by mosquito netting.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:April 27th, 2014 03:31 pm (UTC)
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Mosquito netting has the double advantage of keeping mosquitoes out (you have them in Seattle? sad) and filtering the dust and grit. Passed it today and saw that the side barriers are actually wooden lattice. Damned if I know how he keeps the place clean.
[User Picture]
From:i_am_zan
Date:April 28th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
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That porch DOES sound quite lovely.

Although here dust would be the problem more than anything. It's insane.

^__^

[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:April 29th, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
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Dust must be a problem anywhere, but yes, I imagine LRD is worse for that than anything but an actual desert city.

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