)))

Nov. 1st, 2012 02:32 pm
oblomskaya: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] arpad at post
it's gay )

TP x AR

Jun. 20th, 2012 02:53 pm
oblomskaya: (ar)
So, okay, Pratchett's Going Postal contains a bit of Ayn Rand parody: "Who's Reacher Gilt?" is quite obvious, combined with Gilt's "free commerce" attitude. On the other hand, Gilt is a typical "moocher & looter," i.e. everything Rand was against; and TP makes clear that his "free enterprise" speeches are just blah-blah to cover his crimes.

Basically, in not a single one of TP's books could I find anything that opposed AR's philosophy. On the contrary, there were enough examples of their mutual compatibility (No wonder: Rationality is the common denominator here). But unfortunately, it looks like TP (as many before and after him) has this typical superficial knowledge of AR as a "free enterprise at any cost" proponent - and mocks this "straw man," without noticing the real thing.

Oh well. Apart from that, Going Postal is an absolutely great book, so one mustn't grumble.
oblomskaya: (Default)
A bd present from my kid (I asked for a piece of writing)

IRISH GOLDEN THOUGHTS

There are tales in which is told
Of Leprechauns with pots of gold,
They hoard them at the rainbow's end.
Many's the fool who's followed its bend.

The fools who sought the Irish treasure,
Who dreamt of wealth in godly measure,
Whose search went through the seas and lands,
Returned back home with empty hands.

Their hands were empty, but their minds
were not just gold, they were gold mines.
oblomskaya: (Default)
Давно хотела переосмыслить концовку "1984" и наконец-то дозрела. Получилось на английском.

1984 – An alternate ending.
(With many thanks to Ayn Rand)


As one might remember, after his crushing experience in the Room 101, Winston once met Julia in the Park. They acknowledged their mutual betrayal, and Julia confirmed to him what he also felt: "And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But it isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there is no other way of saving yourself and you are quite ready to save yourself this way. You want it to happen to other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself." (1)
Winston quite agreed that this definitely changes one's feelings to one another as well. After that, there was not much to be said, so they sat in silence for a while, and than Julia asked casually, just to break it:
"So, what was it they used against you?"
Winston had some difficulties with telling her, but then he managed to whisper the horrible word.
"Rats? Are you afraid of them that much? Now, that's really funny."
"What's so funny about it?"
Read more... )
oblomskaya: (Default)
I finished The Fountainhead, and I will never again be able to look at tabloids without feeling sentimental. :D I nearly shed a tear at the sight of the infamous "Bild am Sonntag" in the bakery today, and that's the newspaper that used to fill me with hatred diluted only with disgust at the mere thought of it. I don't think Rand wanted this particular reaction, but then she shouldn't have written the tabloid tycoon as such a grand-scale guy and his newspaper as such a dear (though horrible) baby of his.

Dominic:Dagny - 0:1, or Why Dominique is an Angel, and Dagny is a Robot )
oblomskaya: (Default)
I swallowed most of the book in one gulp, but now I'm stuck in the middle of JG's 3 hour long speech (pgs. 1009 - 1064 - how come most of them mindless looters didn't fall asleep while listening?!), so I might as well write smth down.

6. Typically, the sterile Paradise of the utopian Colorado valley was more boring to read than the Hell of the rest of the country, but ok, ok. Mostly I was taken aback by Dagny's immediate falling out of love with Hank at the first sight of JG, but than again that's Dagny.
What I was wondering about, is whether it is possible to re-analyze this secluded Utopia part as a metaphor of 'emigration as the only solution'. But I guess I'm too early with this, 'cause I still don't know what she holds in her sleeve for Dagny and I don't want to suspect nasty stuff.))

7. A propos nasty stuff, I was hoping she'll save Cherryl somehow. It was all logical, but it's a pity that Dagny is left to be the only one good female character worth mentioning.

8. On the other hand, that makes the whole character setting all the more endearing. One great Dagny plus 3 great guys - and all three love her and don't mind each other, that's terribly nice. But Rearden almost begs to be slashed with Francisco, and it's all her fault. :D

9. Even with the sound bomb thingy, the absence of any direct state violence (secret services etc.) is striking (esp. compared with 1984). But it makes sense, 'cause the human self-destruction is more evident this way. They'll chain themselves etc. etc.

10. All in the whole, it's great. Goes right into my brain and straightens many things there which I always wanted to get straightened (like "unconditional love" etc. etc.). I still have a couple of questions, but by now I see myself as converted. (Not that there was much to convert)).
oblomskaya: (Default)
Usually, I'm making notes on books after finishing them, but due to its 1000 pages Atlas Shrugged will be an exception, otherwise I'll miss something along the way.
So, after ca. 80 pages:

1. Steampunk, that's what it is. So nice to finally have a term covering both the anachronic futurism and that "striking combination of moral philosophy and action thriller" or whatever they wrote in the annotation.

2. It's so blatantly biased that, after a while, it even stops being irritating. Ayn Rand's rule of thumb is: Whenever a character utters smth like "it's for the benefit of our society", "think about thy neighbor", "let's help our brothers" etc. - (s)he is a BAD BAD VILLAIN, and the more sincere (s)he is, the worse. And those are all ruthless businessmen who say that, that's the funniest thing. First, it seemed totally conceited, but then it started to remind me of the stuff one hears nowadays from every corner, from "one needs a social state" to "let's all help those big banks in trouble, 'cause we're all in one boat" etc., and so gradually it started to look credible - although a bit monotonous anyway.

3. Although the characters clearly are the pawns of authorial ideology, they've managed to hook me. It has been a long time since I worried about some fictional people (recently finished Snow Crash was such a nice, dispassionate reading), and I don't want to start now, but that's the problem with 'action thrillers', you have to read on.

(somewhere in the middle)

4. SEX! Sex was rather lovely. I thought she'll be more Victorian about the whole procedure, but it was rather like they do it in Rosamunde Pilcher etc. novels, even a tidbit better - at least some of it was more natural than just "he twisted" "she moaned" etc.
And everytime I read smth like it, I want to know: What about CONTRACEPTION?! 'Cause if you write explicitly about all this, then this seems like a huge gap in the whole process. In her case, one has the impression: they are so rich, they don't have to think about it. Aha.

5. They should have made a series out of it. It reads like a series: long and filled with ups and downs. (But please, please, no movie with Angelina Jolie!)

p. 1030

6. Typically, the sterile Paradise of the utopian Colorado valley was more boring to read than the Hell of the rest of the country, but ok, ok. Mostly I was taken aback by Dagny's immediate falling out of love with Hank at the first sight of JG, but than again that's Dagny.
What I was wondering about, is whether it is possible to re-analyze this secluded Utopia part as a metaphor of 'emigration as the only solution'. But I guess I'm too early with this, 'cause I still don't know what she holds in her sleeve for Dagny and I don't want to suspect nasty stuff.))

7. A propos nasty stuff, I was hoping she'll save Cherryl somehow. It was all logical, but it's a pity that Dagny is left to be the only one good female character worth mentioning.

8. On the other hand, that makes the whole character setting all the more endearing. One great Dagny plus 3 great guys - and all three love her and don't mind each other, that's terribly nice. But Rearden almost begs to be slashed with Francisco, and it's all her fault. :D

9. Even with the sound bomb thingy, the absence of any direct state violence (secret services etc.) is striking (esp. compared with 1984). But it makes sense, 'cause the human self-destruction is more evident this way. They'll chain themselves etc. etc.

10. All in the whole, it's great. Goes right into my brain and straightens many things there which I always wanted to get straightened (like "unconditional love" etc. etc.). I still have a couple of questions, but by now I see myself as converted. (Not that there was much to convert)).

dusa moja

Mar. 21st, 2009 08:50 pm
oblomskaya: (Default)
For many years we've been trying to find the Slovak original of that beautiful Ho, Young Rider song that Dunn/Dorin (Dr. Lovelace/Antoinette) sing in The Wild Wild West series, but to no avail. I'll just collect some tidbits here before trying song-search communities etc.

wav
youtube (it's a medley, our song is betw. the 2nd and 3rd minute)
lyrics & English-language source )
more lyrics
lyrics on Dunn's web-page

***
Ищу песню. Найду вряд ли, просто записываю, что знаю. В сериале Дикий дикий запад был такой восхитительный злодей-карлик д-р Мигуэлито Лавлес, который в перерывах между злодействами распевал со своей не менее коварной помощницей Антуанеттой прелестные народные и тп. песенки. По какой причине, мне не ясно, видимо, в качестве comic relief, ну и еще потому, что игравший его Майкл Данн был не только замечательным актером, но и певцом, и еще до сериала пел дуэтом с Фиби Дорин, ака Антуанеттой. Сам сериал (секретные агенты, стим-панк, кэмп и чего только не) не смотрела, а одна песня живет у нас в семействе своей жизнью, то в качестве колыбельной, то просто так - так что созерцание поющего ее Данна (по ссылкам выше) каждый раз вызывает у меня когнитивный диссонанс - какой же это злодей-психопат?

Песня впервые была опубликована на англ. в сборнике для скаутов в 1946 году. "Словацкая народная песня", автор англ. текста Fjeril Hess, поется там про всадника с щеками как яблоки и "словацкие горы", которыми он то ли гордится, то ли они рядом с ним, есть разные варианты. Последние слова dusa moja - переводятся как my sweetheart. В исполнении Данна/Дорин меня они каждый раз сражают наповал, т.к. те поют не правильно "дУша", а "даша", что, понятное дело, особенно греет душу. ;)

Как бы то ни было - где словацкий оригинал? Сколько нам ни попадалось словаков, на слух не мог опознать никто (ну, мы поем, конечно, похуже Данна с Дорин). И вот как ее искать? Cижу перебираю на ютубе все славянские варианты "души моей" - пока безрезультатно.
oblomskaya: (Default)
Has "books in a book" become a sort of a genre of its own?

E.g. Inkheart, Fforde's Thursday Next series, or that book [livejournal.com profile] mimoletnoe mentioned recenly, Wit's End, or a Spanish bestseller I'm reading in German now - La sombra del viento by C.R. Zafon...
Inner books may be invented or real or both, but the pattern seems to be similar: the main plot constituent is a book inside a novel which adds to the novel's value. Either by the fact that you know this book already and it's a darn good book (Jane Eyre etc. in Fforde), or because this inner book remains The Great Unknown, the mysterious text you'll never read (similar to Pratchett's Where is my cow :)).

And in any case, by being within the novel its inner book is kind of exploited, at least that's my feeling about it. It's like I put the famous text into my new one which is bigger and so gives me the power over that famous text which is thus subjugated to mine. Fan fiction does quite the opposite (I already wrote about it somewhere re. Ffrode): one dives into the given text and subjugates oneself to it more or less, because one writes from the inside and never objectifies the source. The same can be said about that guy's Wicked book (I've only seen the musical), or Michael Ende's Never-ending Story where we actually are reading the inner book alongside the hero.

I still have to decide on which shelf to put Zafon in this respect, but one signal of "exploitation" is already there: many books and the air of general bookishness around. Overflow of books is often a sign: aha, someone is going to build on someone else's bricks here (cf. Inkheart).

current r.

Mar. 19th, 2008 12:48 pm
oblomskaya: (Default)
Nursing mom's reading - 2.
(preferably long, slow, quiet classics; tbc)

- Ирина Хакамада Sex в большой политике. Not long, not slow, not classic, but it's not her fault. Легковесность объясняется как потребой публики, так видимо, и всякими опасениями, понятно. Было много любопытного, но хотелось все-таки больше о политике и меньше о тряпках.

- Zadie Smith's White Teeth. Nice! And with some insider stuff about immigrants etc., not the usual defensive blah. And it seems to be not just your one-layered story, although I'm too lazy to go into the whole teeth imagery and hidden structures, if there are any. I wonder how mini-series turned out. Oh, and whether "hysterical realism" is really a serious concept nowadays.
Stuff to remember:
Alsana's division of all people into "normal" ones and those ready for catastrophes anytime. (Where would Russians fit?)
Her lesbian niece whom she loves, but calls Niece of Shame :D
"...he hasn't got a disorder, he's just a Muslim. There are one billion of them. They can't all have ADD."

- Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers.
OK. Not every nursing mom would enjoy reading this. :D
On the other hand: long, slow and sometimes even boring. Plus: a huge chunk of the 20th c. in a nutshell, homosexual perspective - and sober depictions of both queer and racial issues, well-structured narrative (parallelisms and such), a flamboyant main character, nice wicked twists of the plot, especially in the end, tricky "where is Evil" question etc. etc. The Malayan part (witch vs. priest) was just great: Gothic, romantic, colonial, and still somehow beyond any platitudes.
Stuff to remember:
"Everyone has a right to be born. No one has a right to live"
- that's what Catholic pro-life issues are all about

"In a high school in Malaya I saw a very interesting adaptation of Othello. There was only one white boy in the school, so they turned him into a jealous Irish police officer called O'Tallow. Ee Ah Goh was Chinese."

And of course the best first sentence ever:
"It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."
oblomskaya: (Default)
Now then, according to current criticisms (cf. G. Spivak), Jane Eyre is basically about imperialism. An English girl gets her social freedoms at the expense of a Third World girl who has to be burnt in a sacrificial fire, a la Indian sati (save for the still alive husband, but men are as usual the luckiest in the game).

I always tended to relocate all those Jamaica, Madeira, India vs. Britain on the level of pure expression, i.e. to regard them as imagery. Far-off lands = better contrasts. Bertha M. could've as well be from Ireland and turn into a raving maniac anyway, why not, it just wouldn't sound so interesting. "A wind fresh from Devonshire (or wherever) blew over to Dublin..." - nah, too close, better be "from Europe over the ocean". Besides, England is just too small. To get rid of a character, i.e. to send him as far as possible out of the book, you have to send him to some colony.

To check this out, I'm wondering: What if Jane Eyre were taking place in let's say Russia? Jane Eyre-ova )

beat it

Oct. 18th, 2007 08:32 am
oblomskaya: (Default)
Louis Menand's "Drive, He Wrote" in the New Yorker: kind of opened my eyes re beatniks and Kerouac in particular. I thought the guys were all about pure male-bonding, but it was homoerotic all along, sure thing, real life without any subtext.

An excerpt re "On the Road":
Read more... )

And somehow this kind of relationships and character types reminds me more of slash, than of actual gay culture. Not of slash in its more rigid romance form, but of the fluent "intimatopia", mixed with feelings, "not-quite-gayness" and so on.
oblomskaya: (omg)
Stumbled across Jane Eyre with Dame Darcy's illustrations. Gosh. Horror. Madness. But yeah, some little girls will certainly be enticed. Still, ыыыыыы...
like this )
oblomskaya: (Default)
His deepest thoughts:
Read more... )
oblomskaya: (Default)
*after the seminar about Children's Literature*

1. Children's Literature theory is in such a horrid condition, one has to wonder why nobody is writing PhDs on it. :D
Well, in my opinion, there is only good and bad literature; the rest (children's, popular...) is prejudice and/or sociological and not literary concepts. (When I hear "Adult Literature" vs. CL I think of pornography). And both GL & BL are worth studying, provided one found anything theorizable in them.

2. Look what they've done to "Peter Rabbit"! Now, that's what happens when CL texts are not as respected as 'normal' literature, because, oh yeah, "they have to be educational and non-frightening in the first place".

outrage )
oblomskaya: (Default)
RPF as a perfectly accepted mainstream form of literature: see John Lahr's The Impersonator in The New Yorker (unfortunately unavailable online, as far as I know) - about Peter Morgan who wrote The Queen, plus plays about Nixon and Blair et al.
Cf. how nicely mainstream descriptions match subculture:
"What interests him is narratives in which real public figures are thrown into unlikely relationships"
"(Morgan:) I could't begin to write unless I could see heartbreak or human connection."
"unlikely pairings"
"collages of fact and fiction"
etc.
What differs it from RPF is 1. the degree of subversion (cf. RPS) 2. authorial intention.
oblomskaya: (omg)
Teaching a class of little German kids English opposites:
Me: Black!
They: White!
Me: Good!
They: Bad!
Me: Warm!
They: Cold!
Me: Sad!
They: Happy!
Me: Serious!
They: Black!!!

***

- Mom, what are Harry Potter's plurals?
- ??
- Well, like in the end of each book there is a plural, like what are you supposed to do...
- Can it be that you mean 'moral'?
- Yeah, like: 'Don't meet men with two heads'.

/ and Q

Mar. 1st, 2007 06:12 pm
oblomskaya: (fry)
"What slash does is de-queer the material by pushing it into a non-normative form. (Don't get on my ass about using "non-normative"; I'm not making a judgement. I'm being quantitative.)"
http://www.dementia.org/~jacquez/writing/essays/queer.html

- aha. That's because slash makes the situation unambigous (i.e. being ambiguos = being weird = being queer). Interesting. Does queer go without ambigous?

ranting

Feb. 28th, 2007 03:56 pm
oblomskaya: (ss_brody)
Looking through my "friends' entries" I stumbled across this post in a fanart community:

"I finally decided to post two drawing to this wonderful community." + lj-cut.

Fine, I go there, but under the cut there are only the descriptions of 2 pictures and a link: "To my LJ".

Fine, I go to her LJ. Only to find the same descriptions there, plus 2 previews, plus 2 links to some photobucket or whatever.

Well, I gave up. I mean, who knows what awaits me there, maybe another cut. Or link. Or what not. Reminds me of that infamous Russian link with "click here for the ultimate joke about blondes".

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