I liked it—a lot. I will definitely pick up Dreadnought and probably Clementine when it comes out in pb.
However, I can’t say that I see it as Priest does as a kind of steampunk magnum opus [
manifesto]. I didn’t really see it as all that ‘steampunkish’ really. Just because people fly about in dirigibles during the Victorian era doesn’t make it steampunk.
The Steampunk magnum opuses, again, to me, are two of the first and best steampunk novels: Gibson and Sterling’s The Difference Engine and Stephenson’s The Diamond Age.
We saw our local symphony perform last night.
We are really lucky here—before he lost all his money through bad dealings by his son, a local car dealer magnate donated a huge sum of money to build a concert hall that bears his name. The acoustics are incredible.
In the Bach piece, the one bassoonist on stage was clearly having the time of his life—I can’t imagine he gets to shine all that often.
I used to think that academics were the stupidest people alive for trying to enter the Ivory Tower—well, we are unless we’re independently wealthy and don’t care where we live or we’re atmospherically brilliant (even Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick slaved away for YEARS before she found a tenure-track job where she basically created Queer Studies, but I digress)—but classical musicians must have an even harder, more-cutthroat existence.
But at least they get to do their thing in front of people, and no one says, ‘Oh, you teach literature? I was always terrible at grammar.’ Like I give two hoots. But thanks for reducing the years I’ve dedicated to learning everything I can about American, British, Irish, Canadian, etc literatures of the Post-American Civil War era to spelling and punctuation. I did do a year on the comma splice alone. I have a dissertation chapter on the semi-colon.
All that aside: Great night. Support your local music scene, I guess I’m saying.
Some may recall when I couldn’t read. Not like illiterate, but unable to enjoy a book or anything requiring sustained concentration. Those days are clearly behind me. Booosh.
Yesterday I finished The Pale King and Atwood’s In Other World’s. Today, I ran through most of Gibson’s new book of essays (Atwood’s is better), and now I’ve started The Night Circus which is so up my alley.
The former must be the perfect cure for the latter. Yeesh this is tough sledding.
Finished, as it were, with Ratner ‘s Star and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Got as much as I could from each. Now: Cormac McCarthy whose prose cuts to the marrow.
If you don’t like McCarthy we can’t be friends.
He’s just the greatest American prose writer since Faulkner. Pynchon is amazing, especially in V., Gravity’s Rainbow and Mason & Dixon; David Foster Wallace was a master, but didn’t pare his work down enough at times (imvho); Neal Stephenson makes literature out of Captain Crunch and pop-up ads.
But it’s McCarthy who tears away the extraneous and makes the leanest, rawest prose poetic and moving.
I’m going to finish all the other books on my nightstand asap and then just read all the McCarthy books left in his oeuvre. Maybe I can get a paper out of this man’s work; maybe it’s too powerful for me to touch without burning myself.
Hope it’s more accessible than Against the Day and more interesting than Inherent Vice.
I am going to finish my virtual stack of papers for this week today.
Which means no Saturday or Sunday grading.
I could watch all the footbaw.
But I’ll probably just watch the Auburn/LSU murderdeathball in Death Valley and the Pats and the Bucs on Sunday.
I really want to pick up Pynchon’s latest, but a) I have no monies, and b) what’s the point? I can’t read for pleasure anymore.
But today I will power through these last essays.