Thursday, October 27, 2011


Researching my previous post led me to waste my entire morning and afternoon looking up various musically related things. One place I wound up at was the Bee Gee's "Odessa." This is a song I may have heard only once before today? I think my father played it for me as a teenager, or else I heard it sometime very late at night on the classic rock radio station (it would have had to have been sometime very late at night!). Not sure I've ever heard it since then, since this may be the first time I've thought of it since the creation of YouTube. Nonetheless, it obviously made a big enough impression on me that I thought to go look it up on YouTube today. And, man, it really is about as awesome a song as I remember it being. Exactly the kind of song I like. Really long and epic and with lots of different parts. What an excellent song! Glad I remembered it. How do you get from there to the disco stuff?

I Saw Her Again

Having recently finished a huge amount of work and now in a fallow period, I have been wasting immense quantities of time on (do not click on this link) the website of evil and dismay. As you do. On the page for (do not click on this link) "ThrowItIn" - accidents that end up being kept in an artwork because they turn out to be pretty cool, it mentioned "I Saw Her Again"(the part where they say "I saw her - I saw her again last night," was apparently a mistake originally). This reminded me that "I Saw Her Again" is a completely awesome song - an undeniable truth. But I also love "I Saw Her Again" because it is evil, which is not true of most pop songs and thus makes it stand out rather. I've already mentioned in the past how "Ziggy Stardust" is really creepy. David Bowie writes a song that he then sings, but it's not from his point of view, it's from the point of view of his putative band members, expressing their supposedly negative feelings towards the character represented by David Bowie himself.

But "I Saw Her Again" is kind of the opposite. As far as I understand, the story goes that John Phillips and Michelle Phillips were married, but then Michelle started having an affair with Denny Doherty. So John found out about it, got angry, and wrote the lyrics to "I Saw Her Again" for Denny to sing in order to punish him and Michelle. The lyrics, and it seems like everyone in the band knew this, were about the affair. And the lyrics are so. . . "now she thinks that I love her (yeah, yeah) / Because that's what I said / Though I never think of her." And supposedly they all knew that this was what John was writing for Denny to sing about Michelle. So uncomfortable! In this case, we have the lyricist writing in the supposed viewpoint of the singer to express feelings that the singer really shouldn't be expressing (and, of course, Michelle herself was one of the backup singers emphasizing all the points). Oh, yeah. And apparently Denny wrote the music, so he gets songwriting credit for the song, as well. I will never get over how amazing this is. I mean, in a bad way, but amazing.

I first heard this story on VH1's Behind the Music for the Mamas and the Papas. But afterwards I thought that I must have been misremembering, because the story was just too much like what would happen in a good book to be true. However, the internet corroborates the story, much to my pleasure. So I should put it up here just to commemorate how much I like it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Jenna Moran - See? You just ASSUME she's aerial! She could be THE SUN OF THE SEA

... augh writing that in capital letters is giving me Xenogears flashbacks
Yesterday 23:09

Really? Really? I never knew!

Deeply Satisfying

So, what's going on in my reading life is, ignoring the lengthy hiatus I took to play Final Fantasy II in sync with my brother and the lengthy hiatus I took to read plenty of YA novels and all of Sarah Rees Brennan's fanfiction, I'm reading in essentially random order through the books that a friend of mine who moved to a different continent allowed me to take. You may recall that these books included The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and Maurice. These were then followed by Wade Davis's The Serpent and the Rainbow and, now, Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. So that's five books. Much to my surprise and pleasure, three out of those five have included Byron mentions! Ironically, considering the subject matter, Maurice is one of the ones that doesn't; more logically, neither does The Serpent and the Rainbow. Oh, yay Byron! 60% of all novels should mention you!

I Randomly Abuse Gerard Manley Hopkins

You can download my new song. It is a good song to listen to while you walk somewhere, or while you are engaged in drudgery.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Amuses Me

Apparently Nina Barnes is a Zizek fan. This would probably amuse me more if it were Kevin Barnes, but it's still pretty good. I think that means that any Lacan references I find in of Montreal lyrics can be taken as deliberate, which, given my propensity for finding Lacan references, is probably convenient ;-)

Marking Poetry (Brought to You By My Propensity to Misplace Things and Then Find Them Again)

I. The light is dead! It's gone away!
It may return another day,
But, as for now, it's gone! It's gone!
I see no reason to go on.

II. The light is back! It's come to stay!
This is a day to run and play!
My heart, inspired, fills with hope -
I will not have to find a rope.

III. The world is a sea of endless light,
Awash in a silver flame,
And life is an island dimmed, a dot
Of misery and pain.

IV. The world is a sea of endless light,
Awash in a silver flame,
And life is a port where boats dock, rest,
And sail out from again.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I feel obligated to make the following comment: Probably the most AU thing about this is that Keats and Shelly are described as friends ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Hitherby Does to Me

I adore Satanic Panic in the Attic. It is an amazing album that I want to listen to whenever I feel happy, and sometimes when I'm not particularly happy, because it is just so full of happy, amazing songs. That having been said, there are a few songs on the album that I don't particularly care for, and among that number is "City Bird." I just find it kind of dull. Nonetheless, I have had it inexplicably stuck in my head for the past few weeks. I really can't understand it; I have no conscious reason for that particular song to be constantly stuck in my head.

Then yesterday there was this. And today, on one of those occasions when I have to stand around for an hour doing nothing, I was thinking about that, and had "City Bird" stuck in my head, and it suddenly occurred to me, Oh, "City Bird" is a song about a bodhisattva. It simultaneously makes so much sense and is so completely over-interpreting, but I just know I'm never going to unsee it now. From now on, I'm always going to just assume it's a song about a bodhisattva.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh, Thank God!

Honestly, this is a somewhat embarrassing thing for me to post about but. . . okay. . . cherries. I had this huge bias against cherries for years. I think part of it was because artificial cherry flavoring is so terrible (as opposed to artificial strawberry flavoring, which is amazing), and part of it was because of maraschino cherries. But eventually people convinced me to try real cherries, and of course they are wonderful. Nonetheless, I've remained somewhat bemused by the fact that cherries are wonderful. Somehow, I only learned today that cherries are actually closely related to all the other small round fruits. I feel like that explains everything. I think I've been subconsciously assuming they were closely related to blackberries and raspberries or something stupid like that for all these years. It makes so much more sense for them to be a small round fruit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Music Video Reviews

Given the fact that I spent my entire high school career procrastinating by watching music videos, it's weird how boring I find most of them now that I have the internet to procrastinate with. This is especially tragic when it's my current favorite band's videos that I'm being bored by. of Montreal has made a couple of really awesome videos - "Heimdelsgate Like a Promethean Curse" is fascinating, and I actually once spent an entire evening repeatedly playing "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" and sobbing - but most of their videos I watch only one time, can barely focus at all, and then never care to see again. So with their most recent video - "L'Age D'or". Just boring.

I don't know what it was about the music videos of my adolescence that made at least some of them far more interesting to me - but I guess I have some idea of what I like about certain videos. For example, I definitely know that I approve of videos with charismatic performers, just as I approve of live performances with charismatic performers. I know Kevin Barnes tries really hard to make an aesthetically interesting performance, but I'm not sure he really has that raw charisma. It's definitely something that's different from musical quality. But, whatever it is, it can really make a video. Let me list some examples:

-Save Ferris: "Come On Eileen" - I am far more likely to find male performers charismatic than female ones, but I think Monique Powell is really appealing in this video - I fell in love with their cover when I was a teenager just because she was so attractive in the video. It's hard to sum up what it is that makes her performance work so well for me, but I think her facial expression is a key part of it. She looks simultaneously so happy and kind of knowing. It's an intriguing combination that makes her much more interesting to watch than most singers. I'm able to stay focused and keep paying attention to the video because I want to see more of her expressions.

-Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Under the Bridge" - I don't even particularly like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, on the whole - occasionally I get curious about some of their other songs because I like the video for "Under the Bridge" so much, but none of them has ever worked for me the way this one does. But the reason for that is very clear in this case - in this video, Anthony Kiedis is an attractive man with long, straight hair and no shirt (well, at least for large portions of the video he has no shirt) who occasionally makes rather facetious-looking gestures. He spends the second half of the video running with no shirt on and his long, straight hair blowing in the wind (imagery that is so appealing to me that my best friend has actually recommended a movie to me purely on the basis of its including a scene with similar imagery). I really need say no more.

-David Bowie - "New Killer Star (live)" - Now, of course, as you may have noticed, I do in fact particularly like David Bowie. What's more, more or less everyone I know finds Bowie to be a particularly charismatic and attractive performer. It's therefore slightly embarrassing to me that I never find the younger Bowie particularly attractive, unlike everyone else and despite the way that I love his music. Somehow, though, I get over this problem with the older Bowie. Maybe it's because this 2003 Reality Tour was the only time I ever saw Bowie live myself. I usually really don't enjoy the kinds of concerts where you have to sit all that much (I feel like the point of live music is to get really into the music and dance around to it), but Bowie's concert was an exception. Just because he was that good a performer, that he was still inspiring even when he was tiny.

-Pulp - "His N Hers (live)" - When last I wanted to post this on my blog, I couldn't find it anywhere - now there are actually two versions up on youTube! This one, though cut short, is still worth watching, because, well, it's amazing, but the one I linked to first is the full song and is possibly the paradigmatic example of what artists who want to please me should be doing. The wasp bit! The way he ends the wasp bit! I have to be honest and admit that it's hard to pick apart how much it's true that what Jarvis Cocker does is perfect for my tastes from how much it simply is that Jarvis Cocker was the formative influence on my performance aesthetic, but man. I am not kidding when I say this is what all artists who want me to actually watch their videos should be doing! That little hand wave - "anyway, I'm getting away from the subject here." How do you even come up with such genius?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just a Note to Things in General

von Aschenbach: "You mustn't smile like that! One mustn't smile like that at anyone, do you hear?"

---Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dante Had Two Prussians in Her Brush

People online that I've seen have been wondering about the lyric from the new of Montreal song "Slave Translator": "Dante had two Prussians in her brush, quite a rush."

Yesterday, I wanted to take a nap, but, as you do, I also wanted to delay the nap. I also am quite bored of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and wanted to look at the next two books in my list so as to remind myself that this was not the only book. A friend of mine who left the country to go travel for months gave me all her books as she knew I'd give them a good home, so I've been reading my way through them, in more or less random order. So I pulled out The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Maurice, feeling that I was likely to delay my nap for quite a while looking through them.

Instead, on the very first page of The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, I found "Dante had two brushes in her press," was deeply amused, and felt pleased enough to just go take my nap. It's a little interesting that Kevin is referencing James Joyce again - he already started talking about Ulysses in "Vegan in Furs."

This is how you go about constructing a system. Truth is obviously irrelevant!

Three Things About _The Hunchback of Notre Dame_

1) My brother had read the chapter "One Shall Destroy the Other" in a class and described it to me, but despite this advance preview it turned out to be quite dull. That having been said, it was a huge relief to me to see Byron towards the end. I don't know why I find it so endlessly pleasing that Byron was such a celebrity in the 19th century. It's not even like I'm so into celebrity culture in the modern world - I would hardly claim to be uninterested in it, but still, there's plenty of people out there who are far more interested than I. But whenever I see some completely random reference to Byron in a seemingly unrelated text by an American or a French person, I find it deeply satisfying. Ah, Byron.

2) Relatedly, later on in the book, a character mentions a "text of Charlemagne, Stryga vel masca (Witch or vampire)." Interested as I am in the history of the Western vampire, this definitely got my attention. Was there actually a Latin word for "vampire"? Was Charlemagne actually writing about vampires? It's a little unclear, but I think I've reassured myself that this wasn't quite what was going on. It's hard to find material about this particular text that isn't directly related to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but this 1820 French text (the link goes to the Google translation) mentions it - Google translates "stryge" as vampire. However, looking on Wiktionary, while masca clearly means "witch," the meaning of stryge is less clear. It comes from the Vulgar Latin "striga," which does have "vampire" as one meaning, but seems to refer ambiguously to witches as well. The Romanian strigoi are clearly vampires, but it's alright because they are the old-fashioned disgusting Germanic type of vampire, not the sexy Byronic type. The Italian strega are of course witches, just like in the Tomie DePaola books. So even if Charlemagne was writing about vampires, I think it's okay and does not dethrone Byron, and he may have just been writing about witches and ghosts anyway.

3) This passage:

"The archdeacon heard him not. 'Oh! fool!' continued he, without taking his eyes off the window. 'And even couldst thou have broken through that formidable web, with thy frail wings, thoughtest thou to have attained the light? Alas! that glass beyond - that transparent obstacle - that wall of crystal harder than brass, which separates all philosophy from the truth - how couldst thou have passed beyond it? Oh! vanity of science! how many sages have come fluttering from afar, to dash their heads against it! How many systems come buzzing to rush pell-mell against this eternal window!'"

At first glance, it looks interesting, because it's talking about people trying to achieve transcendence and inevitably failing. But I think the focal point is in the wrong place for me to empathize. The issue here is that ultimate truth is unattainable. Which, okay, it's true, but is that really so much of a concern for anyone? The scientists I know personally are pragmatists who believe in the scientific method and are happy to admit that all of their theories are models of reality which always can be further refined - while of course their goal is to find more accurate models, I think they appreciate the fact that all they're doing is modelling reality because the gap between model and reality means that there will always be more science to do. As for me, a friend (a musician) recently asked me what truth meant in my discipline, and I pointed out that, while other students of literature would obviously disagree, for me, truth was simply not the significant issue. Literature and literary studies are not trying to find what's true - we're trying to construct our own system, obviously fed by the truth of this world but not beholden to it - and, in fact, surely the attraction for those of us who are attracted to this mode of thought is the fact that it's not beholden to truth. The problem with our system is not that it's untrue - in fact, that's the benefit of the system. The problem with the system is that it's unstable, tends to regress to the abyss. Ultimately, Dom Claude's concern seems to be a medieval one - it's always a bit surprising to me when people today obsess too much about the unattainability of truth, since I tend to feel that we have solutions for that that pretty much work for us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Now That I'm Not Manic Anymore

Okay, I think this has already been kind of stated outright, and I don't know quite why this appeals to me so much, but where I'm really hoping the Hitherby canon is going, with even more explicitness than there is now, is that Melanie joined the monster's organization and accepted her birthright as a monster and is all monstrous purely with the intent of saving her best friend partially, Liril, from her horrible fate, even though she has to do it obliquely and subtly, and even though other than this one act of rebellion she must genuinely be a monster, and that she doesn't see what's wrong with it, and that she in fact refuses redemption and experiences her awful foretold fate, and that's the story.

I really have no idea why this is the kind of story I like. And it kind of is a bit too close to Max and Sid, maybe? But still, I am happier and happier that this is really where we seem to be going! She sacrifices herself, not physically but morally, for friendship! She sacrifices her morality for friendship! Please may it be so!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Black Magic" by Jarvis Cocker

I woke up in the morning
and all the bells were ringing
My eyes could see the glory

Could hear the song they're singing
You only get to see the light
just one time in your life
Oh, black magic
that blows your mind away
and takes you somewhere that you wanna stay
You only get to stay one day
Oh, that cold black magic

Is there anything more wretched
than to just have caught one sight?
The eyes that saw the glory have been
have been blinded by the light

And it's the true believers that crash and burn
But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna learn
Black magic
that blows your mind away
and takes you somewhere that you wanna stay
Oh, you only get to stay one day
Oh, that cold black magic

We can't escape; we're born to die
But I'm gonna give it a real good try
because nothing comes close and nothing can compare
to black magic

Yeah yeah yeah

Black magic
Yeah yeah yeah

"Black Rook in Rainy Weather" by Sylvia Plath

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain-
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Lean incandescent

Out of kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then --
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical
Yet politic, ignorant

Of whatever angel any choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur.
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance
Miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel,

For that rare, random descent.

"Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats through unseen among us,-visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,-
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,-
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,-
Like memory of music fled,-
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
Spirit of Beauty, that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form,-where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
Ask why the sunlight not for ever
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Cast on the daylight of this earth
Such gloom,-why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given-
Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells-whose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
From all we hear and all we see,
Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone-like mist oe'er the mountains driven,
Or music by the night-wind sent
Through strings of some still instrument,
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,
Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart
And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
Thou messgenger of sympathies,
That wax and wane in lovers' eyes-
Thou-that to human thought art nourishment,
Like darkness to a dying flame!
Depart not as thy shadow came,
Depart not-lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed;
I was not heard-I saw them not-
When musing deeply on the lot
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
All vital things that wake to bring
News of birds and blossoming,-
Sudden, thy shadow fell on me;
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers
To thee and thine-have I not kept the vow?
With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers
Of studious zeal or love's delight
Outwatched with me the envious night-
They know that never joy illumed my brow
Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
This world from its dark slavery,
That thou-O awful Loveliness,
Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.

The day becomes more solemn and serene
When noon is past-there is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Thus let thy power, which like the truth
Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply
Its calm-to one who worships thee,
And every form containing thee,
Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Only One Coin

“Because beauty, Phaedo, is the only thing that is divine and visible at the same time, and so it is the way of the artist to the soul.But do you believe, my dear Phaedo, that the one who reaches the intellectual through the senses can ever achieve wisdom and human dignity?Or do you believe (and I am leaving this to you) that it is a lovely but dangerous road that leads nowhere?Because you have to realize that we artists cannot take the path of beauty without Eros joining us and becoming our leader; we may be heroes in our own way, but we are still like women, because passion is what elevates us, and our desire is love—that is our lust and our disgrace.Do you see that poets can be neither sage nor dignified?That we always stray, adventurer in our emotions?The appearance of mastery in our style is a lie and foolishness, our fame a falsehood, the trust the public places in us is highly ridiculous, education of the young through art something that should be forbidden.Because how can someone be a good teacher when he has an inborn drive towards the abyss?We may deny it and gain dignity, but it still attracts us.We do not like final knowledge, because knowledge, Phaedo, has no dignity or severity:it knows, understands, forgives, without attitude; it is sympathetic to the abyss, itis the abyss.Therefore we deny it and instead seek beauty, simplicity, greatness and severity, of objectivity and form.But form and objectivity, Phaedo, lead the noble one to intoxication and desire, to horrible emotional transgressions rejected by his beautiful severity, lead to the abyss.Us poets, I say, it leads there, for we are unable to elevate ourselves, instead we can only transgress.And now I am leaving you, Phaedo; stay here until you no longer see me, then leave also.”

---Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (translation found online)

I am really not sure what to think of the fact that I fell in love with this at fifteen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Universe Loathes Me, and It Is Destroying Me Always

No, seriously, I am not even kidding. This is just not fair. This is really the product of active malevolence. There isn't any other explanation. There is something out there that just wants me to die. It's not okay. There is a vast and intricate design out there, and its objective is an end to Grace.

Except of course I should note that my choice of pseudonym is also not particularly helping right now, hello!?!?!!?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Really Depressed Schizophrenia

Also, this is the best thing ever. I saw that it was Jarvis Cocker interviewing David Bowie and was like, this is going to be the best thing ever! And then it turned out to be all about cigarettes and I was like, meh. But then I read it and it turned out to be the best thing ever after all! Probably because when you get Jarvis and Bowie together in a room, they are going to be talking about the Jarvis and Bowie things. Even cigarettes cannot stop them!

I should have faith in my boys.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Whenever I think that something is a Shelley reference, I am right. It is a Shelley reference. I can prove it.

That's just a fundamental truth of the universe.

Do I Have Time for This? No, I Do Not Have Time for This!

One beneficial side effect of my current utter, complete, mind-blowing, devastating obsession with "Station to Station" (Devastating? Part of the problem with being obsessed with a song about the experience of cocaine addiction is that the obsession kind of recapitulates the experience of cocaine addiction) is that I have discovered that this is finally available online. I have been looking for that forever because it is, very predictably, probably up there on my list with Byron as one of the best things that has ever happened in the real reality. It's kind of hilarious to watch, really, because. . . well, first of all, Jagger sounds like me while I'm teaching ("Are you going to be quiet and listen to me now? This is really important, so you really should be quiet!" That is totally what I'd say if I were to suddenly start reading from Adonais in class.), but, secondly, he says something like, "I'm sure this reflects the way we're all feeling about Brian," and I'm like, "No, most people do not react to celebrity death with Neoplatonism, do they? I mean, the mere existence of Adonais certainly suggests that some people do, but. . . that's not the normal response, is it?"

If you are wondering about the connection with "Station to Station," can I just point you to this poem? It's by Aleister Crowley! And it's called "In the Woods with Shelley!" Lines totally include the phrases: "Spurning the stain of all grief here" and "Loose but your soul - shall its wings find the white way so appalling!"


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Explain the Resonance to Me!

DWJ's story "The Girl Who Loved the Sun" and Connie Willis's story "Daisy in the Sun" are two good, similar works. It is unsurprising that I like both of them, given that they both deal with themes of questioning conventional narratives of female sexuality and girls who rebel against these narratives. It helps that both of them, in different ways, have bittersweet endings that simultaneously affirm the girls' desires and express the problems with rebellion; I find that it makes them more interesting than pure wish-fulfillment fantasies.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the only person who finds this an interesting theme, so it's not surprising to me to see two authors, in particular two female authors, working on the same topic. What confuses me is, why did both authors happen to pick, as their vehicle for discussing the topic, girls who rebel against ordinary heterosexual relationships by falling in love with the sun instead? Why is this the choice - boys or the sun? Where does the sun come from? It seems terribly coincidental that two stories both dealing with the same themes would pick the same exact symbol for alternative narratives, but I can't for the life of me think of what resonance made both authors choose the sun! Can anyone explain this to me?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Real Place

You know, 2011 is a quarter over, and I have posted a grand total of one post on this blog this year that is not about Hitherby. Yeah.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New _Hitherby_ Canon: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Benefits: A world with new Hitherby canon is a very different place from a world without it. I keep on thinking of "Your Song," of all things - how wonderful life is now it's in the world. Everything seems exciting and shiny and new; there's a fundamental source of rightness in the universe that lies deep below everything. When things go wrong, you don't have to worry quite so much because you know that beauty and truth and love are still in the process of trickling into reality - you know that something is going to be amazing.

Costs: How do you think about anything else? Hitherby has this awkward Homeward Bounders effect for me - it tends to look like the Real Place, even though I know perfectly well that it isn't. Luckily it's been only one time in my life that I had the really serious problem with Hitherby and spent a night feeling like I was going to fade out of the world, but it's still very hard to pay attention to the world when there is Hitherby calling to me - even when Hitherby is the child of the world and the arm of the world and the eye of the world, a part of the world itself, not something different and separate and alien. Even despite that, it tends to sever me.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Jenna

"A grape is a purple fruit that is not particularly responsible for the pervasive universal characteristic of suffering. Anybody attempting to blame this characteristic on the grapes has not completely thought through their theodicy."

---"What’s Purple and Incarnated in Human Form to Save Us All From Suffering? (III/VII)"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aaaah! Aaaaaaah! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG I am too excited for life!

The newest Hitherby canon entry's title is a reference to one of my favorite legends EVER in the history of the UNIVERSE!


New Hitherby canon is too much the best thing ever that it is kind of scary.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Dude, what?

Relatedly, Hitherby needs a better Melanie tag. Although I do find the phrase, "Cunning Melanie, beloved of the gods," extremely memorable.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Depressing _Hexwood_ Thought of the Day!

Mordion is the same age that I am now.

I mean, okay, sure, I'm not particularly old, but, damn. That is a terribly long time to be Mordion :(.