Zur Ideologie des Todes in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur. Harry Potter be zaubert die Welt, wie sie ist. Zur Ideologie der Romanreihe J.
For a Free E-mail subscription to this newsletter: I took a walk today, the first sunny day over 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a long time, and I was mulling over this newsletter a little, and suddenly thought, out of the blue, "What a pleasure books have been to me!
There is nothing for me like the pleasure of going into the world of a novel-- it lasts a long time, compared to, say, a movie, but I think, for me at least, what's most pleasurable is the way it plugs directly into my imagination.
I do a lot of the work of creating the reading experience: I hear the voices, I imagine the faces, and that work makes the book much more mine than other media.
And when I reread something I first read decades ago, it is like a new experience, but with extra depth. I'm not going to say much this month about some genre books I enjoyed a lot-- except to recommend them: The latter books have a wonderfully precise evoction of urban California during the height of the AIDS crisis.
I also will say relatively little about most of the highly reviewed and popular books I liked: He says he writes word by word painstakingly slowly, and I believe it, because it is quite perfect, line by line.
It's a kind of elegy for a dangerous and violent yet still somehow magical childhood. Gilead had been on my mental list for a while, and I found it strong, slow, and moving.
Indeed, it took a while for me to settle in to it, but I ended up teary-eyed. About the only thing James Wood missed in his excellent review in The New York Times is that the book is not really the story of one rather limited but kindly pastor— John Ames —bur rather the story of a town, Gilead, which has several other John Ameses— including the pastor's wild prophetic grandfather who rode with John Brown.
I was also interested to find Gilead on a list of novels that are supposed to be both good literature and Christian friendly.
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis, has apparently been a best seller, although I only recently heard of it. It is sometimes classified as a book for adults, sometimes for children, perhaps because it's so small.
The writer is a Gwich'in Athabascan Indian, born in She hasn't published a lot. I looked for an image of her via Google, and one picture I found was of her a few years back speaking about one of her brothers who was homeless and burned to death.
I don't know her present world or her cultural past, but Two Old Women is wonderful. It is in the form of a legend told by a mother to a daughter. It tells of two elder-women left behind by their nomadic band to die during a time of extremely tight resources.
They are not simply victims-- indeed, it turns out they have been demanding and lazy. They also have rich memories of their own lives and also of how to do things. They do extremely well on their own for a whole year, accumulating large stores of dried fish and meat, rabbit fur gloves and homemade coats.
They are contacted again by their band, who are still starving, and there is guilt and distrust on all sides, and then a slow, painstaking reconciliation. Everyone learns respect, and the two old women learn not to expect always to be taken care of-- that they need to share their efforts and knowledge.
This is a really interesting happy ending of a group experience rather than an individual one. As long as Two Old Women is short, is a book about two old men: Larry McMurty's Lonesome Dove.
I was raised on cowboy movies and cowboy TV shows, and while I have criticisms of Lonesome Dove, I mostly just ate it up. The men characters are fighter-killer-drinker-whore-ers who are entertaining and amusing and incredibly hard- headed and often destructive and self-destructive. They set off almost casually on a cattle drive to claim ranch land in Montana.
This is at period at the end of the Comanche wars the period detailed in the book about Quanah Parker book I reviewed recently. There's plenty of human evil— rape and death by gun, arrow, and hanging— as well as violent weather and wonderfully fierce animals: There are also lots of passages of crude humor, the sort of laughing at ugliness that men living in rough conditions seem to use to keep themselves sane.
The book is thoroughly successful at what it sets out to do, in spite of my annoyance when my favorite characters start getting killed off in ways that sometimes feel manipulative spoilers ensue:From friends, from students in my classes, from these newsletters, from other books and publications-- I discover books to read.
My latest are an old American novel Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson, a novel called Hyde by Daniel Levine (spun off the old Stevenson novella "The Strange History of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"), plus a book . All the latest news, reviews, pictures and video on culture, the arts and entertainment.
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