Dear friends, it has been too long. My apologies.
I have been reading a fantastic book, Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton (a Welsh writer. She would steal my heart.), which Jane Yolen calls “Pride and Prejudice with dragons,” but I have been told by both Professor Attebery and Ellen Kushner is actually closer to Anthony Trollope, whose books I think I must now find. I finished Tooth and Claw this morning and I give it my full approval, as I’ve been telling anyone who will listen. It will be living in my room, so those of you who live nearby I might let borrow it, so long as it returns to me; otherwise I will be sad.
Other things I have been doing…. Since I talked to you last, I’ve studied A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (a classic and I’m very interested to read Earthsea Revisioned), The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (not nearly so dreadful as I expected; I actually came to rather like it), The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle (I’ve already recommended this book to my Hollins friends because I was horribly excited just by the description on the back. Friends in Brookfield, this is a hilarious read and intelligent and very in-tune to the child.), The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Little House on the Prairie and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich, written in response to Little House. Plus, I’ve turned in my first paper! A comparison between Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Walden Media’s film adaptation. True test of a good book: I am not sick of typing those words. Through this paper I came to realize that Walden Media’s adaptation is truly a call to fight–in the War on Terror as much as “the Christian fight”. 😦 Not what I was really hoping for, Walden Media. Tomorrow I will begin work on more papers.
Now, some exciting news: Come August 1 I will be one of the newest copyeditors of Wizardinglife.com! We’ve all been getting to know one another via Skype and facebook and we were all on Skype one night and chatting and sharing Harry Potter youtube videos. I’m really excited about working with Harry Potter fans and doing what I’ve been wanting to do! Squee!
Ah, yes, and I wanted to one bit of house-cleaning: ChLA.
I went to one panel called “Drawing on that Old Magic: Writing and Illustrating Fantasy.” The illustrations by Charles Vess were beautiful. Amie Rose Rotruck talked about writing in other peoples’ worlds–and getting paid for it. Ellen and Delia talked about their works as well.
Then–then came one of the best presentations all conference! Within “Gothic Influence and Cultural Anxieties in Fiction” was a brilliant, hilarious powerpoint that made good use of the fandom and devianART that’s actually best expressed in analogy:
Tom Riddle : Voldemort :: Dr. Frankenstein : the monster.
The analogy works brilliantly: fighting death, stretching the boundaries of knowledge without any thought to the benefits to mankind that could result, plus the differences Lisa Andres, Hollins alum, was able to explain based on a shift in cultural anxieties.
Also in that talk were ways in which Tom Sawyer expresses Gothic and a talk on an intriguing book, Trouble by Gary Schmidt.
The next conference starts Saturday.