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10 June 2006 @ 02:32 am
This blog has moved to http://www.pixiepalace.com/bookblog/ Hope to see you there! Thanks!
Current Mood: chipperchipper
03 June 2006 @ 02:10 am
I loved the funeral. "Sesame Street" was the perfect music to play. I wish that there was some way that Kate could help Teri, but she really needs too much help herself for that to be very likely. Both girls need serious help and I have no idea where or how they are going to get it. I'm worried about the characters in this book. I have no idea how this could possibly turn out well. I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Current Mood: sadsad
The essay on Hans Christian Andersen was interesting, but Lurie's reading of "The Little Mermaid" bothered me. She sees the Disney version with an unhappy ending when there is really much more there. The key part of the story that she (and numerous others) seems to have missed is that the little sea maid's real goal is not the love of a prince at all. In fact, the story never even says that she is in love with him. The real goal she has in mind when she trades in her voice and fins for legs and pain is an immortal soul (which mer-people don't have). She wants the prince's heart only because her only way of achieving a soul (as far as we know at this point in the story) is to be married to a human and thus become one. The story has little to do with love from the mermaid's standpoint. It could be argued that the story shows how cruel powerful people can be by having the prince keep the mermaid as a pretty pet, but deny her the one thing that she doesn't have (and he does have), the one thing that matters, a soul. The story isn't about acquiring temporary happiness on Earth (and all earthly happiness is necessarily temporary), but eternal happiness in Heaven. From a certain point of view (ostensibly the one every good Christian should have), giving up comfort and expression for pain and relative obscurity is a reasonable thing to do if your reward for doing so is a chance at eternal happiness in Heaven with God if before making the trade you had no such chance at all. I can't say the religious element of the story ever really spoke to me, but I can certainly see the logic and beauty in it. I can certainly admire it - such a bargain takes serious courage and dedication. I love the story for it's complexity and the very fact that it is not a love story like most princess tales are. There's a lot more going on and I greatly admire that. Love doesn't always have to be an end onto itself, sometimes it's merely a small piece of a much more precious whole. And I will always find inspiration in the mermaid for giving up everything not for the love of a man, but for herself. It's a very powerful and even feminist idea.
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
02 June 2006 @ 01:38 pm
I'm not sure what to make of Teri following Kate around at school all day (after insisting that they go in the first place). Obviously she's grieving, but where does wandering around after Kate at school fall in the stages of grief? Denial maybe? Probably not, it's too out of the ordinary for her. And what about Kate's grieving? And Mitch? How does one even begin to cope with something like that? The whole thing is completely heartbreaking. And Teri's life has already been more than difficult enough, this is horrible to contemplate. How could you ever deal with everything that she has dealt with and is dealing with? I can't even imagine how that would feel! And what happens next? Where do you go from there? Is there anywhere to go? There must be. People do survive things like this. How? How can anyone survive an experience like that? It's mind-boggling.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
I like the author of this book so far. She is amusing and interesting, tending to pull out slightly unusual examples rather than relying entirely on the obvious ones. I am curious to read the essays, particularly the Oz one, since I believe that I was at the Oz convention that she attended and am interested in what she has to say. Perhaps if this book is particularly good I will pick up her previous book on children's literature.
Current Mood: nerdynerdy
02 June 2006 @ 01:58 am
Why when something unimaginably horrible happens in a book do I always see it coming? It's bad enough to see the train crash, but it's worse when you know beforehand that it's going to crash. Somehow this is so much worse than the horrible things in most books. Mikey was so sweet. Too sweet, really. Damn, damn, damn! I need to read something fluffy and happy after this! Damn it!
Current Mood: sadsad
Spufford did a wonderful job of discussing the teenage fascination with genre fiction (and usually the worst as well as the best members of whatever category is favored), of which he focused on Science Fiction. He also discussed quite interestingly the academic fascination with metafiction that many college aged people go through and the ambivalent relationship many have with literary (as opposed to pictographic) porn.

I found this book both interesting and satisfying. I could completely identify with many aspects of what he said, but also found parts to be completely different from my experiences. I very much enjoyed the entire experience.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
02 June 2006 @ 01:49 am
At least Mikey seems to be helping Kate cope for the moment. He provides some much needed humor in the book and gives Kate something else to focus on. Betty, the crazy neighbor who believes that Jesus lives in her television set and talks to her is the other constant source of humor. I'm glad the humor is there because it breaks the dark misery of the rest of the book a bit.
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
The political and social discussions framed within this book are fascinating. I love how humorous it is too. I don't think I'm likely to ever read another scholarly work again where the "why can't Superman and Lois Lane have sex" joke is referenced. Spufford's childhood ideas about America are incredibly funny and vastly amusing. I just love how funny and entertaining this book is!
Current Mood: gigglygiggly
02 June 2006 @ 01:44 am
Teri is an odd character. She's rough and sharp, but also tender with her little brother and angry on behalf of her mom. She's interesting. In many ways she is very much like numerous other teen-lit secondary characters (I can't think of any main characters like her though), but she is definitely not a stereotype-made-flesh like most such characters are. It's especially hard to figure her out given that we only get to see her through Kate's very biased and preoccupied eyes. Hopefully we will get to know her better as the book continues, but I don't want to count on it.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful