The End of a Critical Era?

Or so they would have you believe.


“My father was Sydney, my mother was Verity…”

Free e-book of Paul Cornell’s (original) Human Nature here.

Posted in books, tv. 1 Comment »

This Review Made Me Cry

Annals of wrongitude, pt 652

Fans of Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh will know there’s a movie of it coming; they may not know (spoiler, I guess, though you’ll know it fairly soon after the movie starts anyhow) that the screenplay eliminates a major character entirely. Screenwriter Rawson Marshal Thurber says:

I suppose the most glaring change is the removal, whole cloth, of Arthur Lecomte from the story. In the novel, there’s this sort of a four-pointed love rhombus — for lack of a better term — between Art, Arthur, Phlox and Cleveland. I felt strongly that in order for the film to function properly, it needed a more efficient and more cinematic engine — in short, a love triangle. So I eliminated Arthur from the narrative and folded in important elements of his character into Cleveland’s and moved from there. I think the result really gives the story the momentum needed in the medium.

Review of the screenplay here: “Fair enough, but is it really Mysteries of Pittsburgh any longer?“. There’s also a protest site, you know. Just sayin’.

Posted in books, film. 3 Comments »

“Literary Darwinism”

New literary movement created by scientists; dodgy conclusions ensue:

To take one more example, feminist scholars have long maintained that European fairytales wantonly inflict psychic violence upon the vulnerable minds of children, especially girls, by promoting stereotypical gender roles. They maintain that images of swashbuckling heroes and beautiful young maidens yearning for dashing princes are not in any sense “natural”, but instead reflect and perpetuate the arbitrary gender arrangements of patriarchal Western culture.

To test this assertion, I convened a team of content analysts to gather quantitative data on the depiction of folk-tale characters from all around the world. What we found was that the feminist critique is both right and wrong.

European tales do portray men as more active and more physically courageous, while females are much less likely to be the main character and have far more emphasis placed on their beauty. But it also became clear that these stereotypes are not merely constructed to reinforce male hegemony in Western societies.

It’s a thin line between genius and really bad puns

From a review of Un Lun Dun:

The Propheseers are protected by a crack martial arts team of garbage bins with arms and legs — the binjas.

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putting words into someone else’s shelves

Some art projects are bad ideas, others involve re-arranging books to say things.

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