I had intended to go to Columbia, MO to visit Barbara, but ended up creeping straight home. The computer on the Subaru has been acting up for ages, and the local service guys said it wouldn’t be a problem until it was, and now it is. I have, shall we say, mixed feelings about this. I’ll need to get it fixed, of course, but it shouldn’t be very expensive; and I know all the other things that have not recently been repaired which will probably need it in the next year: this was a Wisconsin car, which means the exhaust is rusted and will bee to be replaced at some point. The windshield is cracked.
Some of you will have opinions about this, but I don’t want ’em. 🙂
Anyway, I returned in time for more thunderstorms, and more bright, warm, windy days. I have two favorite sorts of weather: hot, dry, and windy — classic Kansas in July, in fact — and cold, occasionally bright, and snowy — your classic Minnesota January. Snowstorms and thunderstorms come in third and fourth.
It’s two and a half weeks before I am out of this house, and into a dorm for a month, and then, at last, into a new house, if all goes well. Three weeks until workshop starts!
More reading of books books books:
- Ngaio Marsh: Artists in Crime, Death in a White Tie, Overture to Death, and Death at the Bar. Almost always a pleasure. Characters in dialogue use racist language. I’ve done a lot of thinking about whether there are ways to identify to what degree an author’s racism is personal and/or cultural — i.e., living in racist times (as we do now), and unaware of their assumptions. I wonder if a useful tool is to notice how they reveal that racism. For instance, Lovecraft lingers endlessly on his racist descriptions, foregrounding his biases, whereas Marsh tends use racist terms in dialogue and characters’ direct thoughts, but she doesn’t use them in the narrative voice, and she doesn’t linger, even when it is in dialogue. Her plots don’t hinge on the vileness/shiftiness/untrustworthiness/evil of a group, whereas his do.
- Will Eisner: The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. A fascinating exposé of the Elders of Zion hoax, told through a graphic novel, in Eisner’s brilliant, distinctive style.
- Leonard Merrick: Mr Bazalgette’s Agent, from the British Library Crime Classics lost. An 1888 novel with a plucky female detective! And in fact, she is not the first female detective — there were short stories as early as 1864 — but this was the first novel. Just started it — I’ll let you know whether it is good.
Chicken salad for lunch! Yum….