Tag Archives: literature

Read!

A slightly late happy Banned Books Week!

Celebrate by reading books that cause a stir and make people think. I will admit that I didn’t care for a lot of the banned聽classics. Guilt. Guilt. Though if anything that makes me want to keep them in schools all the more–if I had to suffer through them then they should too! 馃槈

It’s amazing what will get a book challenged or banned. (I mean, Judy Blume, really? I grew up on those…聽And Bridge to Terabithia, basically for a sad ending?)

Check out Y.A. Love for a Banned Books Week Giveaway. We know the classics, but there are also a lot of excellent modern young adult books getting challenged what seems like every week. There’s also more information on banned reading over there, so swing by for a visit.

And聽check out this treasury of crafts inspired by banned books and authors.

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Books Galore

I know a literary crowd! Dawn‘s book is due from Penguin Putnam next month, and now my friend Meg聽 just published her first book.

It’s been a long time since Meg and I have been able to do the ‘sit at the diner till the wee hours and edit each other’s work’ thing. I’ve pretty much given up on my writing, though I’ve still got worlds bouncing around in my head. (Yes, they sometimes collide with the craft projects always聽bouncing聽around in there.)聽She pulled through and decided to skip the fighting with publishers and print it herself. It’s called Cursing Fate, and is聽already available,聽so go take a look!聽Cursing Fate is a聽paranormal romance available as a traditional聽book or as an聽ebook.

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Digger

I’ve been too sick to come up with anything clever, but I had to mention Digger, a webcomic by Ursula Vernon. I’ve been addicted to this clever, inventive, cultured聽and utterly insane comic for years now. It’s finally ended and I feel suddenly bereft. If you’ve managed to miss it, start from the beginning here. I don’t think I can praise it highly enough. It’s been聽a joy to watch the artist’s development throughout the comic, and the fan comments underneath each comic can be nearly as entertaining as the strip.

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On stories, spelling, and 1001 nights…

“The Sultan Shakriar, convinced of the falsehood and inconstancy of all women, had sworn an oath to put to death each of his wives after the first night. However, the Sultana Sheherazade saved her life by arousing his interest in the tales that she told him during 1001 nights. Driven by his curiosity, the Sultan postponed her execution from day to day, and at last abandoned his sanguinary design. Sheherazade told many miraculous stories to the Sultan. For her tales she borrowed verses from the poets and words from folk-songs combining fairy-tales with adventures.” from Rimsky-Korsakov’s preface to his Sheherazade score.

My friend Jenny聽convinced me to enter a doll in the Eastern States Exposition this year. (After two years of trying and me wimping聽out.) I decided to enter one of my fairytale inspired dolls, and opted for Sheherazade.聽 She has (possibly too) many friends. It started with the blue one,聽entirely Disney鈥檚 fault, that blue=genie. Then came the mix of modern comic artists and Victorian illustrators, and I had to do a multicolored聽rush of them, and a Sheherazade聽to tell the tales. She ended up taking a red ribbon at the show, so once the holidays are a distant memory I鈥檝e got to start plotting how to get a blue one next year. (To at least color match聽Jenny’s many fiber ribbons. She even聽spun the red highlights in Sheheradade’s聽hair; how many dolls get custom highlights?!)

Color and shape-wise I was first influenced by the vibrancy of P. Craig Russell鈥檚聽 work in the story Ramadan. (This is a story in the amazing Neil Gaiman鈥檚聽 Sandman.) Then I saw the work by Mark Buckingham and Daniel Vozzo in the series Fables, not as striking as Russell鈥檚 but great movement and hints of detail. (Disclaimer: Yes, I鈥檓 a bit of a geek. These are both wonderful comics/graphic novels steeped in art, history, literature, philosophy, and the liberal arts in general and seasoned with complex story arcs and an off sense of humor.)

I like using the more brilliant colors of modern influences in my dolls, but really want to catch a hint of the delicacy of the Victorian/Edwardian illustrators.聽聽For example, the gentleness of the fabrics in Dulac鈥檚 Sheherazade.聽 I also want to figure out how to make her curled Turkish slippers.

I will guiltily admit that I鈥檝e only read the Burton translation of 1001 Nights and that only in pieces. I find a distressing number of the characters really annoying. Sinbad especially. He goes on an adventure, everyone dies but him, he marries and becomes wealthy, then gets bored and goes on an adventure and everyone dies…rinse and repeat. You’d think he’d learn…

I鈥檇 heard that a conductor I liked was going to be working with our local symphony, and聽how two of the pieces were interpretations of the 1001 Nights. So of course聽I had to go.聽They played Ravel鈥檚 song cycle based on three poems, and Rimsky-Korsakov鈥檚 suite , both called Sheherazade. I enjoyed them both, though I’ll confess that I’d like Ravel’s cycle better without the poems!

*note on spelling* Sheherazade and Scheherazade are two different anglicized varients of Shahrazad. It’s a Persian name that means ‘person of the city.’ I tend to use the one without the ‘c’ just because that’s what I’ve run across, like these two music pieces. Apparently with the ‘c’ is more common among certain translations, and is the one microsoft prefers.

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