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Oh, I can’t resist!

I thought I had very few of these, but then I actually looked at the relevant folders. Oops! Mostly from long-abandoned fandoms, though. These are among the resuscitate-able, perhaps.


1.

A bear lay in a clearing. It was quite a large bear, but ragged, even flea-bitten. It lay there for a long while, too exhausted to flick away the fly that landed on its nose.

Time passed. From the pines surrounding the clearing, a wolf emerged.

The bear held its breath. It reflected that if anyone could tell the difference between a real bear and a false bear, it would be a wolf. The bear felt woefully ill-equipped: no sword, no pistols, even its hands were sadly bound up in bear skin. It decided it would go out gallantly regardless, though it hated to think of Stephen finding its mangled corpse.


2.

Abdul often reflected that Thomas Nightingale was exactly what one would expect from someone who had come of age at an English public school in the previous century; an expert and athletic lover, but emotionally restrained to the point of constipation the rest of the time. Abdul didn’t mind; he wasn’t much for overt displays of affection himself. On rare occasions, however, Thomas would give way to what Abdul’s father, with perfect proletarian contempt, would have called the sticky sentimentality of the upper classes. Abdul was probably the only person who ever saw these episodes, and, of course, he could never muster his father’s disapproval; they always went straight to his heart. Thomas appeared to be experiencing one of them now.


3.

“Let’s go dancing,” Freddie said one evening as they sat dissecting the day in the BBC canteen.

“You dance?” Bel raised her eyebrows.

“Course I do.”

And he did. The local girls had seen to that before he'd even smoked his first cigarette, laughing and crashing around crowded front rooms, radio blasting. He’d been half a head shorter than the smallest of them, so he’d always been facing cleavage when he grasped them 'round the waist. Not that he minded.



What I’m Reading

The Angel of Losses, by Stephanie Feldman. Jewish-themed magical realism, I think. I’ve only read a bit of it so far, but it’s something I’m in the mood for.

What I’ve Just Finished

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art, by Carl Hoffman. [from my Goodreads review] Extremely interesting and enjoyable. Kind of like what Serial would be if it were about cannibal tribes in New Guinea--which is to say, very interested in how hard it is to recover the truth about the past, especially across intercultural taboos against sharing secrets. It's the story of the investigator as much as the investigation, which usually drives me crazy, but I bought into it here and was very engaged by Hoffman's own story. Hoffman also raises some interesting questions about the export of primitive art as a form of extraction of resources.

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters (audiobook). I got to the end of my binge-listening of Hardcore History’s WW1 podcasts, “Blueprint for Armageddon,” and so had no choice but to finish listening to this. [from my Goodreads review]: I wanted to like this so much more than I did. It's beautifully written (and gorgeously read by Juliet Stevenson in the audiobook), but I often felt more irked than entranced by it. I loved the historical details of the setting, and the way the characters were dealing with the aftermath of the war (and especially how those issues came back at the very end), but I think narratives about obsessive love just aren't my cup of tea. I loved The Little Stranger, and so was anxious to read this one; I should have remembered that The Little Stranger is the only Waters book I've ever managed more than a few pages of. I think part of Waters’ talent is for revising genre pieces. The Little Stranger is kind of a revision of The Turn of the Screw; The Paying Guests seems (in part) a revision of something like Dorothy Sayer’s Unnatural Death, but where the lesbians aren’t homicidal ice queens. A good idea, but still, the former worked better for me than the latter.

What I’m Reading Next

Oh goodness knows! I’m going to stop even including this question!


There are so many good movies around, but all I’ve managed to see is Paddington, which at least was totally adorable. Ben Whishaw’s vocal performance as the bear himself is ridiculously sweet, and the movie’s vision of London is a treat.

How ‘bout y’all?

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