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Wednesday for a reading. More meme. Combined with Poetry Monday, this makes more than half my posting these days memeage. Ah, well.


Child of Light (光之子) by Tang Jia San Shao in a semi-official translation, a fantasy (magic academy flavor) in a genre roughly equivalent to a Japanese light novel, with all the benefits (quick brainless read) and annoyances (annoying "hero" getting worse over time) this implies. Got four volumes in but I won't be continuing any time soon, if ever, because I started ...

In progress:

... I Shall Seal the Heavens (我欲封天) by Ergen, also in semi-official translation. This one is a much more congenial xianxia, a genre blending wuxia with Taoism, Buddhism, and Chinese mythology -- what happens when Chinese fantasy writers use their rich (read: old) local traditions for worldbuilding. Lots of spiritual cultivators getting their qi on as they strive to become immortals. This book in particular is praised for its literary gravitas, a quality that carries over in this translation -- and much preferable over the bluster-based humor of so much Chinese popular fiction. That said, at around chapter 125, I seem to have wandered into an extended tournament arc (?!). At least it's a race against an obstacle course instead of a battle tourney. This one will take a while: there's over 1200 chapters available in English -- Alexandre Dumas, eat your heart out.

The Truth-Teller's Tale by Sharon Shinn, reread of a YA fantasy -- or in theory, I'm still in progress on this: I was halfway through when I mislaid the volume. (It's around here somewhere, I know it, lose my head next.)

Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel & Adventure ed. Carroll and Maclean, an original publication from Dover Books (they do that sometimes). Some nice discoveries here, as well as some interesting choices. It's a cheap volume, too, well worth tracking down if you need poetry browsing of a long evening (or middle of the night).

And speaking of poetry browsing, for those with smartphones, a recommendation: the Poetry Foundation's Poetry app is excellent for thematic browsing as well as searching for old favorites. There's a generous selection of modern as well as classic poems, the former slanted somewhat towards those appearing in Poetry magazine (I'm guessing because rights were easier). Accessing bios requires a connection, but not browsing itself.


Subject quote from "Scythe Song," Andrew Lang.

Originally posted at http://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/626015.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)
Your subject line really grabbed me, and so I was happy you linked to the source down below. I went to it, and I read it out loud to myself because somehow it demanded that, and wow. Wow. I really, really like it. Thank you.

Meanwhile--your reading looks fun!
Feb. 2nd, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)
Lang is a thoroughly minor Victorian poet, in the "minor" sense of only occasionally hitting it out of the park (instead of the consistent batting of a major). This is one of those hits.
Feb. 1st, 2017 07:00 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, re "I shall Seal the Heavens." Every since Nirvana in Fire I want the same tremendous experience. Still the best TV I've ever watched.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 02:43 am (UTC)
A different kind of experience, I suspect. I suspect something more like The Legend of the Condor Heroes would be closer to scratching that itch.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 09:17 am (UTC)
I'm watching Nirvana in Fire for the second time - and loving it even more this time round... I can't thank you enough for the recommendation.

It breaks my heart that no-one here could ever make a series like this - complexity and restraint are anathema to British television producers. We can't even make a decent adaptation of Trollope... (Julian Fellowes should be horse-whipped for his recent crimes against Doctor Thorne).

Feb. 2nd, 2017 01:01 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid to watch it. Fellowes has no sense of historical context.

Over on this side of the Atlantic, we can't seem to do any better. A third watching of Nirvana in Fire discloses even more subtleties, and in contrast to the news to today, a painful contrast to what is best and worst in the human spirit.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )