October 29th, 2009

goblin's grimace

Urfaust. (95)

Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri & Dina Nayeri.

"I am friend of Faust"
A fair enough translation.
I like "not light lover."

To get out of high school, you had to write a research paper. Some 12 page bit on an assigned book, with all the pointless requirements that attend it, like notecards. Seriously, I never used notecards after I was required to use them for a grade. Okay, confession, I didn't do them when I was required to, either; I didn't do so well on that score. I just stayed home the day before the last day of school & wrote it. Hey, you do what you have to do. My book was Goethe's Faust & reading it I realized-- I hate Goethe's Faust. My solution was to make my thesis a cheap excuse to talk about Marlowe's Doctor Faustus as much as possible. Kit Marlowe is my jam. So, given that background, when I saw Jenny reading Another Faust, I figured "hey, might as well read it. Maybe I'll like it. Or maybe I'll hate it." Well, I don't know if I hate it, but it certainly was a failure, in the end sum.

First point first: this is the least diverse cast of a book? Ever? The beginning tries to make it seem as if it is the most diverse, but I don't know how to tell you this-- all white European people are the same. I mean, one upper class kid from Greece & two upper class kids from Italy & one lower class kid from England & one lower class kid from France...come on, what? They all relocated to New York immediately, & have their family histories erased, making their backgrounds moot, regardless. It isn't till about half way through the book, when some characters have had a chance to "fall" a little bit & others have had the chance to rebel a little that they start differentiating-- that, & when their mutant powers activate! Because in this case, selling your soul to the devil nets you superpowers like mind reading or time manipulation. Why not! I will say this-- certain bits of the book have some vivid imagery behind them-- the blue house/red house concept has some David Lynch influence lurking in the shadows, but wasn't played enough. Victoria's bug-room was well done. Vileroy's scarred iris was a nice piece of conceptualization. The "reveal" with Bice at the end was clever, but badly executed. Other than that though, I think the book fell flat. Relationships were wooden, for one thing. You don't notice that certain people are acting a certain way until the character's spell it out in expository dialogue. The plot was fairly tightly wound, with each character's actions falling into the next, in a sort of "master plan" scenario, but then that never came together. A let-down. Probably a hundred pages too long, too.
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goblinburger

What you talking 'bout "we", paleface?



Last night was a lot of fun! Jenny was a little bit fussy when I got home, but that faded when company showed up. Dinner (& then this morning's breakfast!) was pretty intense. Jenny took two acorn squashes, cut them in half, scooped out the seeds, then filled them with a mixture of quinoa, ground pork, apples, & onions, peppered it pretty heavily, & then baked it. Pretty darn successful. No Lilly this week again, so just down to the Gruesome Foursome, me & Jenny, David & Maggie. There wasn't a lot of television to watch, which I blamed on baseball...which may or may not be true. We kept the tv off for a while, just shooting the breeze-- David & Maggie brought flowers for Jenny & DnD miniatures for me! The yochlol is my favorite; that plus the couple of ochre jelly minis I have should make for a pretty horrifying encounter. Finally all our giggles were out, & it was time to tune into America's Next Top Model. I have very little I can even say about this episode besides-- blackface. Tyra dressed the girls up in blackface. The girls went to Hawai'i, which...I have a soft spot for. I went on that cruise on the Nimitz from Hawai'i to Seattle when I was 13, & really liked Hawai'i. Not to mention the mythology & culture of pre-contact Hawai'i are interesting, & still semi-extant! I like it, is all I'm saying. Tyra's logic for the blackface was that Hawai'i is a melting pot of ethnicities, which is true-- & for a minute I thought her mash-up idea was going to be fashion, just fashion. Then she started saying it was fashion "inspired" by these cultures...as they dragged out an "Indian Headress." Okay, I can...still stay with you. "Cowboys & Indians" are an interesting film & literature motif despite being largely fictional. Oh, oh, wait, you are putting the girls in blackface. Okay! Then Jay started shouting ridiculous things like "Botswanans hear music everywhere!" & one girl was supposed to be Malagasies! Who the hell knows anything about Madacascar's population? One of the two anonymous girls was kicked off-- whatever, they both bore me. Then, amidst beer & ice cream, we moved on to Modern Family, which Jenny likes & I don't hate. Though this episode had a nice "women should let men win, like good martyrs" moral, which, ugh.
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