: Still my friend's unpublished novel (which is awesome and also long, so apologies for the rather samey and uninformative Reading Wednesday posts). Up next
: My plans for this weekend include a charity fête which usually has a very good second-hand bookstall, so I shall see if I can
pick something solely for the cover
This being the case, my recently read
is just a handful of links I think deserve more attention, so:siderea springboarded off rmc28's Watership Down readthrough and has written some completely amazing WD meta. It's in three parts, but it's the third, on leadership and mythic archetypes, that really blew my mind. It's on the one hand a very detailed analysis of the first 11 chapters of the book, probably not much shorter in length than the text it's commenting on. But on the other it's talking about some much bigger issues, both to do with reading and narrative, and to do with the real world.
Couple of actual short stories, which I do sometimes get round to reading: Ted Chiang's The Great Silence, which honestly I found ever so slightly cutesie and self-conscious, but it's quality cutesie and self-conscious.
And Marcin Wichary's new translation of One hundred and thirty-seven seconds by Stanislaw Lem. It's somewhat less whimsical than the classic Lem stories. One of those where networked computers achieve sentience and ascend, but for one thing it's by Lem and for another it was written in 1976, when networked was mostly a SF thing.
I liked this essay against slow food from Jacobin: A plea for culinary modernism. I sometimes like Jacobin, even though it makes me grind my teeth a lot, because it's militant lefty stuff, but intelligent militanty lefty stuff. And this essay I think overstates the case it makes, but it does make a good point about how ahistorical it is to romanticize natural and hand-made food.
Finally, half of Twitter has been linking to this, so you might have seen it already, but I think it's quite important: Judith Butler against the TERFs. Butler's writing is somewhat impenetrable, as ever, but I think what she's saying is really really important, namely that claiming gender is a social construct is not the same as claiming that trans people don't exist. In spite being politely but viciously angry about people twisting her work, Butler is also humble enough to admit:
Gender Trouble was written about 24 years ago, and at that time I did not think well enough about trans issues.
I have spent a very long and tiring day running practical exams, so I'm kind of exhausted. If anyone's around and would like to chat in a not too energetic way, I'd enjoy some company.
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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Tuuuuune: The Orange Peels: So right
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