Monthly Archives: January 2012

Death, Reversed?

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have some serious issues with the trope of killing off major characters just to bring them back because it’s convenient.  It feels like a cheat, like a cheap way to get a rise out of the reader without actually having to deal with the consequences.  I’m finishing up rereading The Obsidian Trilogy, and towards the end, Lackey and Mallory seem to rely heavily on this crutch.  They dangle death in front of their main characers from time to time throughout the series, but it isn’t till the second half of When Darkness Falls(the third and final book) that they get a bit excessive with it.  First, Jermayan and Ancalandar sacrifice themselves to bring the army across the mountains, using all their magic (which should, by all accounts, kill them) to reunite the army.  Everybody thinks they are dead, until they come flying across the mountains, alive but with no additional magic to aid the army.  Fine.  What would be the point of calling The Starry Hunt if they weren’t going to do things like bring your dragon and Elven Knight back from the brink of death to continue aiding your army.  At least they lost their magic, essentially crippling them.  Until Idalia is killed, which someone recharges Ancalandar’s magic just in time for them to aid the Light’s victory over the Demons.  Cheap, but not as cheap as Idalia’s death itself.

From the end of The Outstretched Shadow (the first book of the series), the reader has been waiting for the Wild Magic to claim Idalia, as it promised to do.  It doesn’t come to fruition until the very end of When Darkness Falls, but it comes about in such a satisfying way—yes, it’s terrible that one of the main, and best beloved characters, must die, but she sacrifices herself for the good of the world, and with enough drama to befit the end of a trilogy.  Her death even allows Jermayan and Ancalandar to be useful to the army again, which, as I said, is sort of cheap, but I’ll allow it.  Then.  OH, THEN.  THEY BRING HER BACK.  AS AN ELVEN BABY.  AND EVERYONE RECOGNIZES HER.  AND ASSUMES THIS BABY WILL LOVE JERMAYAN AND THEY WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER IN PERFECT ELVEN BLISS ONCE SHE TURNS EIGHTEEN.  I’m not exaggerating even a little when I tell you that the last scene in this book actually makes me disgusted with the series as a whole, and is the reason why every time I read it I swear it will be the last time.  I can’t even express how cheap I find this ending.  Why would you even bother killing off a main character—in such an emotional way, no less—just to bring her back fifty or so pages later unless you blatantly want to manipulate the emotions of your reader?  It’s such a cheap trick.   I throw a flag.  Unnecessary sentimentality, fifty page penalty.

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Beach Longing

Nights like tonight make me regret moving away from the beach.  I want to lay on the damp sand, breathing in the foggy air, tasting the salt on my tongue until I’m not entirely sure if I’m breathing the air or the ocean.  I feel like the land around me is too big, and I can’t center myself without knowing where it ends.  I can’t get my balance; every time I think I’m getting myself together and moving in the right direction I fuck something else up and get knocked off balance.  Every day I tell myself that things will get better if I just spend more time on myself and with my imaginary friends between the covers of my books.  It never quite does.  Annnnd now I have to go back to work to fix something I fucked up.  Wish I could hear the surf.

 

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James Potter, Magical Man of Mystery

As a reader, we don’t learn much about James Potter, and what we do learn seems to be contradictory.  Most of Rowling’s characters have crazy detailed back stories (which is part of the reason I love the series so much), and it’s odd that James doesn’t get the same treatment.  While we see Lily as a young child, playing with Snape, and then trace her through Hogwarts and eventually dying for Harry, we only meet up with James at Hogwarts.  When we do met him, when Harry invades Snape’s Penseive, he’s described as well cared for and well loved looking, in direct contrast to Snape’s slovenly and neglected appearance (and, yes, I could look up the direct quotes, and no, I’m not going to right now.  Next time I read the books I’ll add them in).  But when James and Lily are killed, Harry is brought to the Dursely’s, because they are Harry’s only living relatives.  No mention is given to James’s family. It obviously isn’t impossible that James was an only child, and that his parents died between the scene in the Pensieve and James and Liliy’s deaths; either natural causes or the madness of Voldemort could be an explanation for their disappearance.  But it’s never explained fully, which is unusual for Rowling, and therefore I must jump on it with the intensity of a rabid dog for a small child.  The second (and second-and-half?) part of the mystery of James Potter is his invisibility cloak, and by extension, the small fortune he is able to leave to Harry.  When theinvisibility cloak is first introducted, both the reader and Harry are new to the world of magic and accept its existence as one more new development.  It isn’t until later, in th e7th books, that Ron feels the need to mention that this is the only cloak of its kind that he’s ever seen.  It isn’t a cloak that has a spell of invisibility on it that will eventually fade and die, it is a cloak that has invisibility woven into it as inextricably as the fabric itself.  The only such cloak the wizarding world knows of is simply a myth, the gift of Death to the youngest Perevell brother to help him escape Death’s notice for a time.  The cloak would naturally give the wearer plenty of opportunites to gain wealth, and pass it, along with the cloak, down through the generations.  Rowling conveniently forgets to tell us where James Potter is actually from—we know Lily is from Spinner’s End, with Snape, and that they lived in Godric’s Hollow once they were married, but little to nothing about James’ early life.  Only one conclusion can be drawn from the fragmented information we have been given.  James is from Godric’s Hollow, like Harry, Dumbledore, and Godric Griffydor himself.  He is the direct descendant of the youngest Perevell brother, the only one to successfully avoid Death long enough to marry and have children and grandchildren.  It explains where James got the Invisibility Cloak—which Dumbledore passes on to Harry with the knowledge that it belonged to James, but with no explanation of how James came about it—and it goes far in explaining how Harry was able to inherit a small fortune once he entered the wizarding world.  It also strongly suggests that Harry and Voldemort are actually related, albeit distantly, since the ring Morvolo brags about being in his family for generations upon untold generations actually seems to contain the Resurrection Stone given to the second Perevell brother.  Iiinnnttteeerrreeessstttiiinnnggg, no?

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Monday Night Poetry

A Marriage

The first retainer

he gave to her

was a golden

wedding ring.

 

The second–late at night

he woke up,

leaned over on an elbow,

and kissed her.

 

The third and the last–

he died with

and gave up loving

and lived with her.

–Robert Creeley

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My New Obsession

How much do you want to live here?

In case you didn’t get it from the title of my blog, I’m obsessed with libraries and bookshelves.  Honestly, when I consider my future life and home, 90% of my fantasies center on my imaginary future library (the other 10% is focused on my imaginary future backyard, which opens onto the beach).  I currently live in an apartment which isn’t super small, but I do share it with a roommate.  Naturally, my books are jammed on to a bookshelf I’ve owned since childhood and shoved into a trunk my godmother gave me when I graduated high school, with the excess piled up on my nightstand or on the floor.  As much as I love my roommate, there are times when I imagine him moving out and me turning his room into a library.  Just huge shelves full of books, with huge pillows and a big cozy chair for me to curl up in. Not that I think about it all the time or anything.  That being said, just imagine how excited I was when my friend sent me a webside named BOOKSHELF PORN on facebook.  It’s my new obsession.  Tons of paces I’d love to just live in, like above (bright!  airy!  light!  chandeliers! floor to ceiling bookshelves! why don’t I already live there?), and tons of things I secretly think I could buy and sneak into my place  without anyone knowing, like the chair below (sooo comfy looking).  I could honestly spend hours on this site, mentally planning my future house (in Maui).  It makes me want to get cooler bookcases for my current apartment, just so I’m prepared for the future.  Seriously.  Just try getting off this website in less than a quarter of an hour.  I dare you.I feel like I could spend days on end in this chair

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Drinking Game!

Wanna get drunk fast while reading?  Here’s my new favorite drinking game:

1) Choose a Kerouac novel (Dharma Bums or On The Road are always good choices, but any will do, really)

2) Keep up with the protagonist’s wine drinking.

3) Keep reading as long as humanly possible

The end. ❤

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Monday Night Poetry

Double dose to make up for the holiday vacation…enjoy

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After Thoughts

When he kissed my nipple

          I felt elbow bone thrill–

When lips touched my belly

          Tickle ran up to my ear

When he took my cock head to tongue

          a tremor shrunk sphincter, joy

                    shuddered my reins

I breathed deep sighing ahhh!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Mirror looking, combing

         grey glistening beard

Were I found sharp eyed

         attractive to the young?

Bad magic or something–

Foolish magic most likely

–Allen Ginsberg

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Jabberwocky

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

          Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

          And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

          The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beward the Jubjub bird, and shun

          The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

          Long time the manxome foe he sought–

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

          And stood awhile in thought.

And as uffish thought he stood,

          The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

          And burbled as it came!

One, two!  One, two!  And through and through

          The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

          He went galumphing back.

“And has thou slain the Jabberwock?

       Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!”

          He chortled in his job.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

          Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mmimsy were the borogoves,

          And the mome raths outgrabe.

–Lewis Carroll

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