Recommends: Literary First Sentences

As part of an experimental "Ana should link out to the larger internet from time to time", I'd like to do a weekly Sunday reblog of something that caught my eye over the week and/or the occasional self-promotion. (This also saves ya'll from random OMG MUST REBLOG NOW impulses when they grip me.)

Self-promotions will be limited in number and marked as such; Recommends will be reblogs and the like. Readers are not just encouraged to post recommendations and self-promotions, they are highly encouraged to do so. Don't be shy -- tell us what you've been writing / reading this week!

We'll see how well this works out, seeing that it's caught between the tension of "can't write the posts in advance so Real Life can interfere" and "what if I miss something awesome and I hurt feelings". (I follow all the blogs on the Blog Bounce, but I get out-of-date frequently.)


So in the spirit of blog bouncing and reblogging and sharing, have you seen this:

Kit Whitfield on Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit

I love Kit's one-sentence deconstructions. They combine all the awesomeness of a deconstruction with the freedom to move to a new book the next week. They're in-depth and thought-provoking, and each and every one of them makes me want to dash off and read (or re-read, as the case may be) the book in question. So they're actually horrible for my To-Read list, but in a lovely, lovely way. *grins*


Recommends threads are Open Threads where I highly encourage promotion and self-promotion and cross-linking. What have you read or written this week? Please share!


chris the cynic said...

(This also saves ya'll from random OMG MUST REBLOG NOW impulses when they grip me.)

I don't know, that impulse worked out really well for me last time you had it. I'm not sure why I'd want to be saved from that.


I already asked this at the Slacktiverse, but since there's an open thread I'll ask here too. I've been pondering the possibility of maybe doing a thing where I go through something I like at slow speed and talk about it. I wouldn't call it a deconstruction because it really wouldn't be trying to break things down and I'd probably be perfectly happy to skate over the negative things while just looking at the things that I liked.

It might end up being nothing more than a drawn out summary, I don't really know.

I have no idea if that would interest anyone. (It seems to me that it might just end up being the written equivalent of an annoying person who goes on forever about their pert fandom.) So I'm wondering if anyone would be interested.

I've been thinking about an anime called .hack//Sign, which I figure would go at a rate of one post per episode for a series of 25 posts (and possibly two more since there are bonus episodes, but I'm not sure about those.) And also somewhat considering a game called Deus Ex, I'm not completely sure on how one would break that up though.

Does doing that with either of those seem interesting to anyone?

Ana Mardoll said...

I would read both those, especially the Deus Ex one because I've heard people rave about the game story, but since it requires skill to play, I'm perpetually in the dark. (This is also my problem with Silent Hill.)

And I'll probably still have OMG MUST REBLOG NOW impulses, but I had like 5 this week that I had to stifle, so... *grins*

chris the cynic said...

especially the Deus Ex one because I've heard people rave about the game story, but since it requires skill to play, I'm perpetually in the dark.

I cheat. I find it works well. Also saving a lot helps. Anything multiplayer I am permanently doomed at, but a single player game with cheat codes is an invitation to new and exciting stories.


I have questions, you seem like a good person to ask.

I was thinking about going through .hack//Sign one episode at a time without re-watching through the entire series first, but that makes me wonder if I'll end up misrepresenting something that's yet to come because I misremembered it.

Which brings me to the question of how much of the future to put into something in the first place. Everything has spoilers, some more than others, and sometimes you don't realize what's going on in the beginning until you get to the end, but does making reference to that ahead of time spoil things for the readers.

If someone is a spy do I spoil things by saying, "This guy is a spy," which allows me to talk about how the way he's acting fits in with him being a spy, or do I wait until you learn he's a spy in the story and thus have to censor everything I say up to that point? I'm not sure. I'm guessing that I lean towards just using everything I know in commentary and letting stuff come out or not come out as it will.

Anyway, I was wondering your opinions, would it be better to go through the whole thing first to refresh memory, or take it one thing at a time the way I was thinking of doing it, and how would spoily bits best be handled?

Ana Mardoll said...

That's a good question. I think there's value both ways. I tend to favor the re-watch, then blog; but you know Mark Reads does things on a "come to it cold" (or nearly cold) basis. I think the length of the series matters, too -- it wasn't hard to watch and THEN blog Claymore, but if I ever did DragonBall Z, I wouldn't watch everything once through because that's 100+ episodes.

I'm pretty much in favor of spoilers from the get-go. I've been spoiling up the Claymore threads and best I can tell it hasn't driven anyone away. (Not sure, to be honest. Speak up, ya'll!) I think if you go for a "spoiler-free" approach, you may have to do clean-up/recap threads after it comes out that Bob is a spy that re-evaluates what we thought we knew. But I like spoilers.

Rainicorn said...

Well, if shameless self-promotion really is encouraged...

I wrote The Gospel of the Living Dead: Having read a book of that title, which offers a theological reading of the George Romero zombie movies, I respond by considering my own reading of the idea of death and resurrection.

Also [Content Warning: death, emotional distress, use of the term/concept "normal"] Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome: On the morbid thoughts that plague me.

(I've been feeling very uninspired this month, so maybe a bit of self-promotion will motivate me to write more.)

Rev said...

Well, if no one minds my delurking temporarily and focusing more on books than the net...

I'm actually seeking a recommendation? See, I've been reading the book 'I, Elizabeth' by Rosalind Miles, which I enjoy, and checked amazon to see if there was anything else of hers I would enjoy. I came across a book of hers called 'Who Cooked the Last Supper'. I really like the idea of it- a book about women's role in general history that we ll know about it, and not necessarily just one or two figure heads or accepted 'historical women' but some of the review have made me weary. I was wondering if anyone could give it a yay or nay, or if anyone had any similar recommendations? This seems like as good a place as any to ask.

chris the cynic said...

I have not started either one, but I wrote two introductory things for the Deus Ex one.

The first was intended to be a general introduction to the topic but ended up spiraling off into arguing against a distressingly common misconception, then switched over how references found in Deus Ex should be handled and the tendency to interpret things in light of what you already believe thus making to fail to notice the lack of evidence for the theories you hold, and finally came back to the misconception or the close. It can be found here.

The second was about Deus Ex's backstory and largely stayed on topic. (Though somehow I failed to mention that one world currency had become a reality by the time of the game.) It is here.

Dav said...

Chris, I may not be the best person to weigh in because I find your writing awesome no matter what the topic, but I would like both of those. Especially since I got kind of hung up in WTF with .hack back in the day.

chris the cynic said...

So it won't just be Ana reading. Yay! Now I'll have as many readers as I'll have things.

Definitely won't have anything on .hack before Friday, possibly not till later. Deus Ex is different for a couple of reasons. One is that I basically know it by heart so I don't think I really need a refresher on it, thus there's a much shorter time sink before diving in, second I'm not tied to a specific length (where as with .hack if I'm going to do something I need to time to watch, think about, and write about an entire episode) so I might have stuff to add on that sooner.

Carolynn said...

I go through links like nobody’s business, so from December to the New Year I sat on enough links to make a linkspam long overdue post. I also shared two passages on colonialism and literature, one of them by Susan Meyer criticising Jane Eyre, and the other by Chinua Achebe. My own thoughts on literature can be found in a reflection on an essay by deepad, Ineffable! Ineffable. as well as a personal piece on postcolonial Anglophony.

If you’d like to comment on any Dreamwidth entries, I know a lot of folks around here have accounts. For those who don’t, account creation is free, or you can sign in with OpenID.

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