Category: Literature

Dec 24 2018

2018 Reading Roundup

I’ve now read 100 books in 2018. I won’t stop between now and the end of the year, but this seemed like a good point to pause and take stock. Here’s a list of my top 10 SFF, fabulist, or otherwise wackadoodle books from the last year, presented in the order that I read them …

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Dec 24 2018

Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller

The first thing to note about Don Karlos is that I noped right out of it somewhere in the middle of the second act. My disbelief had wavered early on when Don Karlos, the crown prince of Spain, unburdens his soul to his childhood friend the Marquis of Posa. Karlos (Carl in English) says he …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/24/don-karlos-by-friedrich-schiller/

Dec 07 2018

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Not every fantasy features swords and sorcery, though most of them involve a mythical creature of one sort or another. Amor Towles names his in the title: A Gentleman in Moscow. In midsummer 1922, following a brief trial, Count Alexander Rostov is not ordered immediately shot as a class enemy. It seems that senior Bolsheviks …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/07/a-gentleman-in-moscow-by-amor-towles/

Nov 29 2018

Maria Stuart by Friedrich Schiller

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent queen?” is something that Elizabeth I of England does not ever quite say in Schiller’s five-act verse drama, Maria Stuart, but the sentiment lurks behind practically everything that she does say. The play begins with Mary, Queen of Scots, under house arrest in Fotheringhay, the place that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/11/29/maria-stuart-by-friedrich-schiller/

Oct 15 2018

The City & The City by China Miéville

Don’t read the second sentence of this post. Don’t read the sentence that comes before this one. In this world, we do not acknowledge italics. Italics are the only text there is. If you see something written in another way, avert your eyes, unsee and unread before it is too late. We have some leniency …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/the-city-the-city-by-china-mieville/

Oct 15 2018

Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin

Here is Ursula K. Le Guin on life in pre-Roe America: My friends at NARAL asked me to tell you what it was like before Roe vs. Wade. They asked me to tell you what it was like to be twenty and pregnant in 1950 and when you tell your boyfriend you’re pregnant, he tells …

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Oct 14 2018

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It often happens that the very best books are hardest to write about. I discovered TNC’s blog fairly early in his tenure at The Atlantic, and I made sure to keep coming back. Time zones — I lived in the South Caucasus at the time, even further from US schedules — meant that I missed much of …

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Sep 04 2018

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Since June 1 of this year, and through October 28, the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford have been displaying an extraordinary selection of items from their Tolkien collection. The original map of the Lonely Mountain, complete with pointing hand and runic inscription. Watercolors by Tolkien of Hobbiton, of Bilbo’s conversation with Smaug, of the Eagles, of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/04/tolkien-maker-of-middle-earth/

Sep 02 2018

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Okay, jeez, this book means well but honestly, it’s like someone took a distillation of current events from the last ten or fifteen years and fictionalized it to make it easily understandable for and palatable to the average white woman. Here is modern feminism (with a bit of background on the movement in America) and, …

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Jul 16 2018

Die Jungfrau von Orleans by Friedrich Schiller

At the opening of The Maid of Orleans, as Schiller’s five-act verse tragedy is known in English, France is divided among three parties: English troops who have taken Paris and the north in pressing their king’s dynastic claim to the French throne, southern lands held by the Valois king Charles VII, and Burgundy in the …

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