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Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Have you read his "Amerika"? I really loved it and, although incomplete (or is it?), it is perhaps my favorite or second favorite of his longer works; "The Castle" is also a masterpiece!
But my first favorite Kafka work is "A Hunger Artist." I've read three different translations and no matter how they change a phrase here or there, I feel the intention of the story comes through very clearly. Perhaps Walter Benjamin is right and a work becomes more itself in translation...Even so, Kafka is the only reason I wish I could read German.
It's hard to believe he's gone. I grew up with TNG, but I loved OS reruns, especially Spock's banter with McCoy and Kirk. It wouldn't have been Star Trek without Spock to balance out Kirk's emotional displays. I remember practicing the Shekinah sign in the mirror so many times until I could get the "Vulcan Salute" just right. I even read Nimoy's book, "I am not Spock," which I bought at a library sale. I wrote a short essay about it and Nimoy's relationship to the Stanislavsky Method for my acting class in college.
Hi all. I finally got around to reading the Braga comic. [my life has been too busy to hunt all over town for one comic] I really liked it, especially Tess Fowler's take on orcs. Very tribal-punk. I hope she gets to do more guest artistry on the series, or at least that her orcs are the style going forward. I think we need another Braga issue, too.
I'm looking forward to what Round 2 with her brother is going to be like!
Also, in the spirit of the thread: I am now reading a dual-language edition of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quijote/Don Quixote. It's been great because I don't need to use a bilingual dictionary for the words I don't know. Also, I discovered that there really is no equivalent to "hallar" in English. There are other words that are more equivalent to English, but not that one. It's a very useful word. Cervantes uses it a lot.
Since the monsters don't get much direct sun exposure, they need darkness-enabled features. I'd like to see something involving spores, or those bioluminescent bacteria, like angler-fish have. Something different than your standard "it has darkvision" response. Not everything should be able to see in the dark. I also like the monsters that have tremor-sense, echolocation, or other work-arounds for the darkness condition. It just feels more organic to me. So I hope we get some monsters with those alternative qualities.
The whole Roc Upchurch arrest is making me feel uneasy about the series going forward. Will Wiebe having a new illustrator change the content? Is it temporary or will Upchurch return to illustrating it at some point down the road? It also makes me super sad that a series that is so positive/entertaining about women kicking @ss has a corollary in real-life violence that is as far as one can get from "entertaining."
I was wondering what other readers on here thought about the issue, or if y'all don't want to touch it with a 10 ft. pole.
Samnell, I don't know if you are still reading Civil War stuff, but I thought of you while reading this news item about abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy: Lovejoy's will found.
Oh, and I'm reading stuff. Serpent's Skull AP, to be exact. I liked the fiction by Robin Laws. It has a "Magnificent Seven" vibe, though the plot is very different from that movie.
I gave in and read The Spellsong War, the second book in L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s "Spellsong Cycle." As the GoodReads reviewers said, it was pretty much par with the first book in the series. Lots of politics. The only thing I liked less than the first book was that the ending felt rushed. I get the feeling that I'm probably going to complete the series, if it isn't too long. At least not Wheel of Time long.
Now I'm reading Ken Follett's Hornet Flight. Mr. Follett spoke at my school yesterday and I got my copy autographed. I don't normally read WWII thrillers, but this one has been entertaining so far. I've also heard good things about his The Eye of the Needle. I like this one because it involves airplanes. :)
I don't know if this has already been addressed (thread too long, didn't read) but on page 6, column 2, "Fire," the Wild Talents: 1--Burning Infusion, Fire Sculptor.
Where is Fire Sculptor? I couldn't find it in the Infusion section, which starts on page 7, while I did find Burning Infusion there (which apparently costs 1 Burn).
[edit: I found it, on page 10...silly me, I expected the entries to be alphabetical!]
Hi. I'm looking for a regular Pathfinder group in west LA. I tried looking on Warhorn.net, but Warhorn's website has changed since I last visited it and most of the stuff listed on there seems to be PFS specific or tournament/convention based. I'm cool with PFS, but was wondering if there are any Adventure Paths going on that I could join.
Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.
Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.
The only difficulty with that approach is that if you start with Brod and (in English) Edwin Muir, you are getting in the former a very specific agenda, and in the latter a very incomplete view since, at that point, most of Kafka's oeuvre hadn't been posthumously published yet. Not that you can't do it, just that some of the conclusions that are drawn are off the mark if Kafka's works are taken as a whole.
I agree with the Neil Gaiman article, although his evidence is much weaker, being drawn from Pratchett's life, than the evidence in Pratchett's books.
How can anyone read Pratchett's Night Watch and not think he has a lot of darkness in his soul? Yes, he is sending up torturers and secret police, but...he's sending up torturers and secret police!
I recently re-read his Monstrous Regiment. The part where Tonker says, "Yes, they were very good at seeming," about the Poor Girls Working House is just like a punch to the gut.
Anyone who calls Pratchett a "jolly old elf" is clearly not thinking about Terry Pratchett's elves.
1. Congratulations! I'm a huge fan of Kafka. My favorite of his is "A Hunger Artist," and my second favorite is "Amerika." My third favorite is "A Country Doctor" for the longer short stories, pre-Aphorisms, but it is currently in a tie with "In the Penal Colony." "The Castle" and "The Trial" are better written than "Amerika" but I like his earlier epic better precisely because it is incomplete (or more incomplete than "The Castle") and because it is a wonderful European POV of what America means to an urbanized Prague Jew of the 1920s, and can be read as a criticism of both Americanism and urbanization while also seeing these forces as inexorable.
2. Please don't stop with just reading Kafka! You do yourself a disservice if you fail to read the Kafka criticism of the last 50 years! A lot of what has been written is contradictory, but each critic has added to my understanding, and what with Kafka's last papers finally being prepared for the public after protracted custody disputes, now is a good time to revisit it.
3. Kafkatrapper is not actually more accurate (see my previous post above). BUT if you want to argue it is, and do a different reading of "The Trial" than I have, be my guest. But once you read the truly brilliant criticism, such as by Albert Camus, people who throw around such a facile term as "Kafkaesque" will make you resentful when you read its overbroad and generalized misapplication. At least, it makes me resentful.
<shakes head, mumbles> people don't know what they're saying
1. Claims of "concern for [fill in the blank] culture" make me think of the claims made against heavy metal in the '80s, and all the moral panics preceding it, including D&D. It just reads as ironic.
2. The invocation of Kafka left me very disappointed in the article as written. I was hoping for Kafka criticism. This is not it. I've read The Trial and I've read a lot of Kafka criticism. This was a shallow use of a story with many more dimensions to it that those he pointed out. An alternate reading (arrived at by several authors in the Ronald Gray anthology Franz Kafa: A Collection of Critical Essays): Kafka's K was guilty. There is no escape from guilt. The fact it can be invoked to make us do/think/feel things is not some flaw but the sum of its function, which Kafka was brilliant at describing. Does it make you feel bad? Then it is doing its job. Some external referent isn't necessary. The author seems to think this is bad for society. He is wrong. Kafka would tell him it is society, and, more than that, it is K.
I had a bad experience at a convention with a smelly, large, very hairy man playing cross-gender at my table and doing it VERY badly, in the vaudevillian "man dresses up in coconuts and wig...makes pouty face...so-called hilarity ensues" way. He went through all the stereotypes about how "women" act: slutty, cares only about the gold/lootz, afraid to be a front-line fighter, dumb, etc.
The racial equivalent would be a white man wearing black-face to a convention to portray a "black" character and saying, "Where da white women at?" and "I sho' love watermelon, yessir" right in front of a group of black players.
As a cisgender woman that guy made me VERY uncomfortable. I suspect he would make cross-gender women uncomfortable too. Hell, I think he'd have made Norman Bates uncomfortable!
If you, dear reader, are going to play cross-gender, I recommend you do not do that. Divest of your stereotypes. Or, if you must use them, mediate them with positive qualities and develop a well-rounded character before you sit down at the table. If my first ever gaming experience had been with that man at the table, I would have walked away and never looked back, and later on, if I had kids, I'd be very reluctant to let any of my children play role-playing games for fear of them becoming like him.
This is true of photography and filmmaking too, back in the 1880s-90s. When I studied film history in school, the reason given for the fall-off in female-produced content was a) "professionalization" and b) money (although those 2 points aren't really separate). Once Wall Street saw that [movies/comics/videogames] was making serious money instead of being just a fringe interest, they folded it into Madison Avenue's existing business model for selling stuff (i.e. Lowest Common Denominator selling) and co-opted it, making it harder for competing groups (e.g. women, minorities) to profit in an area that the Establishment suddenly wanted to compete in; when the Big Money shoved aside the Little Money, we saw a lot fewer women and minorities get the jobs and a lot less content directed at such low-dollar groups.
Simon Legrande wrote:
What if "Women are just naturally less interested in hard science" is actually true? Have there been studies by anyone to prove that women are just as interested in hard sciences as men are?
They've done studies of sex-segregated vs. mixed-sex classrooms that have shown that among student achievers in mixed-sex classes, the girls get lower grades in STEM classes than the girls in single-sex STEM classes. In other words, girls show greater aptitude and interest in STEM when in a society of females than they do in mixed company. Now whether or not the girls are more or less "interested" in science as a class than boys as a class really hasn't been compared (at least not in the studies I've read). Compulsory schooling means that kids have to take classes no matter what their interest level. However, better grades does imply that the girls are academically engaged with STEM subjects. The conclusion is that environment makes a big difference in interest/achievement. SO NO, women are not "naturally" less interested in STEM; social/environmental factors influence interest levels. There is nothing "natural" about it.
Female achievement in STEM workforce (in terms of jobs and measurements of achievement) is a whole different kettle of fish which I won't get into here. Schools provide sort-of-ideal controls for social experiment because of standardized curricula and natural division by age group and ability. Workforce studies are a lot more difficult to carry out and draw conclusions from. I'd assume video-game studies are even more complicated to control, although if the focus-group R&D money of several game companies was pooled and went to such an experiment it might provide fascinating results.
I also finished L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s The Soprano Sorceress. It wasn't as dull as it was made out to be, but it was not as interesting or exciting as it ought to have been, judging by the title/cover. It's one of those books that just didn't live up to its potential but wasn't frustrating/boring enough for me to not finish reading it.
Things that specifically got on my nerves:
Modesitt, Jr. has some late-'90s views of feminism that make Anna, the protagonist, a bit of a Mary Sue, in that other characters/obstacles are sometimes set up as straw-men so a feminist Aesop can be delivered (dang, I TV Trope too much!). It's not something that bothers me so much as I feel it doesn't do justice to a topic that deserves a more nuanced portrayal, even in fantasy novels. I could say, "At least it isn't misogynistic drivel," but as a reader I still hoped for a higher standard than "After School Special."
The large cast didn't help round out the world as much as it ought to have. The villains were an ensemble; the BBEG didn't get enough face-time or active moments in the story (except for very early on), which made the plot feel less urgent and disconnected. I don't like it when villains just cackle evilly and scry on people most of the time and then the Mary Sue comes in and wipes them out before we get a chance to really know them.
Finally, one of the characters, Daffyd, who dies in the end with no real payoff, is one of the few Modesitt actually spent a lot of time building up with an interesting background and motivations. I thought his relationship with Anna was actually worth exploring more than it was and I was frustrated that his death didn't lend anything to the story.
I may read the next book in the series, but more likely I won't.
I'm reading Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost. It's slow going. I can't read it before/after I eat because it's about Oxford vivisectionists in the 1660s. Each time I try to describe to my sister what's happening now in the story, she gives me this look that says WTF? Why did you tell me that?
I read Lord of Light first and I didn't find it experimental or hard to grasp at all. But I read/watch a lot of sci-fi, so maybe I'm used to the sort of world-building where not everything gets explained and tied up in a pretty bow at the end.
I picked up The Soprano Sorceress by L.E. Modesitt Jr. from the .50c pile at the library sale. It isn't bad, but it ain't good either.