Dang, busy day. First real chance to even breathe.
Got everything down to a dull roar, now… we should have the knack of things runnning more smoothly by monday or tuesday. Having Karen around makes it *much* easier than last time. I’d still be gnawing on the line printer if she wasn’t running blocking for me. On the project front, aside from my regualr job I still have the LOTR project, and maybe a little side-access/VBA stuff for Jen, now, too. A strong urge to do some free-flow thought writing, just to get some story ideas out and about.
I slept as a corpse last night, solid, moving very little. I didn’t recally my dreams upon waking, but had a great deal of difficulty breaking the torpor of laying there, lodged like I was dropped from a cliff into a quicksand pit of covers/sheets and such. Newt relocated a bit, sleeping on my neck to start, but I woke in practically the same position as when I started, but without the time-slip effect… the body was feeling slept in, not just paused.
A minor review of Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany
The temptation to be sarcastic and dismissive is great. I will try to resist.
This is the sort of book where it’s obvious that the author put in an enormous amount of meticulous thought; it renders criticisms like “I just didn’t get it,” or “This didn’t work for me,” rather specious. Obviously, there are people who get it. Obviously, there are people for whom it works. I could maybe talk about how the characterization of the book’s lead character seemed very inconsistent to me, or how I thought the way he undercut the magic-realism with sly “this is just a book” meta-narrative to be disappointing, or how I think – not totally sure, but I think – that I would disagree with much of Delany’s politics if he would ever just come right out and explain them. But enh.
The real sin of this book is that it’s really, really boring.
Stuff happens. Sometimes trivial stuff. Sometimes momentous stuff. After the momentous stuff, there’s generally more trivial stuff. And maybe, three or four hundred pages later, someone will look up and say hey, remember when that momentous stuff happened? And someone else will look up and say oh, yeah. That was weird.
He writes very well, although at times the prose waxes awfully purple. (“…the archness of it forced the architecture of a smile his lips fought,” instead of “…he tried not to smile.”) But what does he write about? Whatever. Anything. Everything. Life in Bellona. One day there’s two moons in the sky for no reason. The next day a leaf lands on the main character’s shoulder. With scrupulous obsessiveness, Delany gives a complete account of exactly which parts of his body it brushes against as it drifts its way down.
It’s an impressive book. It’s very long. I can’t reccomend it, despite all the claims of it being a SF classic. There you go.