Sunday, April 25, 2010

a truth universally acknowedged, redux

As I mentioned earlier, I'm lately in the thrall of some seriously epic flintlock fantasy, and I'd be remiss in failing to recognize two precursors to the current infatuation: Fable II (teleport behind a bandit and shoot him with a blunderbuss? Yes, please!), and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (because giving Elizabeth Bennet a rapier just seems like a good idea). However, this brings me to the subject of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which, in full disclosure, I have not yet read. I've no general disinclination toward either Sense and Sensibility or sea monsters, but the concept is essentially sub-optimal, because if any Jane Austen novel seriously wants for some terror from the deep, it's Persuasion, in which the hero and several supporting characters are active naval officers, and a large chunk of the action takes place at the shore. The novel practically begs for a leviathan to rise up out the ocean and devour Louisa Musgrove where she stands, the vapid twit.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a truth universally acknowledged

I'm currently knee-deep in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (imagine if Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brian had a love child that turned out to be a dragon...actually don't imagine that, because on second thought it's kind of gross...), and I think that "deeply mortifying" might be one of my favorite phrases in the regency lexicon. It's more than embarrassment--it's embarrassment that makes you wish you were dead, mort, kaput, and it wells from deep inside, suffusing your very being with a shame that cries out for its own merciful destruction. As a professed fan of shame-based norm enforcement, I find the sentiment delicious.