Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for August 9, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

You can follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.

Reading

Finished

mistressoftheart Mistress of the Art of Death #1 by Ariana Franklin
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)

An intriguing (though short lived) series about a 12th century female forensic doctor who is removed from her beloved Salerno, Italy to Cambridge, UK to help catch a child killer. The dead speak to her and they have a lot to say.

The plot was well developed and the characters were fully realised. Franklin does well in keeping with the time and place (12th century England) though she sometimes cheats with patrois and language, by having a character comment they could not understand what was being said between two other characters speaking the local tongue. Well, maybe cheating is not the right word but it is a clever device to get a better feel for the period.

The mystery itself was difficult enough to suss out who the killer(s) were, which is why this book endears itself to me and shows the author was skillful enough to drop hints but not so obvious as you figure out the entire thing in the first 50 pages but keeps you turning until the end.

Highly recommended.

bear Bear by Marian Engel
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)

A month or so ago, someone posted on Imgur screenshot of the cover of Bear along with photos of the racier bits and titled it, “What the actual fuck, Canada?”. Since the crux of the story concerned a Canadian librarian who goes into the woods to find herself, I knew I had to read it.

And so did everyone else.

Random House Canada recently wrote a blog piece that discussed not only the new spike in sales of the book based on the Imgur posting but also Bear was much more than a woman getting it on with a grizzly. It is a deep exploration of a woman wondering how she got to where she was at, a sexual awakening of sorts, and a wake-up call to take charge of her own life.

It should be said Bear was written while Engel was going through her own divorce, and while I kept pointing out to people the sex scenes in Bear were not projections, metaphors, or similes, there is an undercurrent of exploration of those things that parallel the dissolution of Engel’s own marriage. The Random House piece also points out that Bear digs deep past the stereotypes of CanLit, a world that is typically imagined as rural romantics and pastoral cleverness, by really giving you the true worth of nature.

I was recently asked to compile a list of top 10s of various media that I thought made the difference to humanity, not just because I loved it or it was good, but it changed something inside. Bear is definitely on that list now — it’s brave, and weirdly wonderful; written like a prose poem rather than a story. It challenges us and by doing so, it enlightens us by giving us back our own humanity.

Watching

  • The Leftovers
    Good premise, bad timing. As we’re already watching a show that is depressing and slow paced (Rectify), having two shows in the same week was just too much. We felt Rectify was better developed and written, so au revoir The Leftovers, sorry it didn’t work out.
  • Halt and Catch Fire
    A strange little show built on the premise of what the heyday of the early ’80s computer wars were like — and it worked. Lee Pace and his eyebrows kept us guessing each week if he was going to have an American Pyscho moment, which hasn’t happened. YET, and all the drama that occurred surrounding him and his world. Word on the street is that it is unknown if this is going to be renewed for season two, but I hope it does.

Weekly watching: The Bridge, Project Runway, The Almighty Johnsons, True BloodRectify, A Place To Call Home, Last Week Tonight with John OliverCosmos: A SpaceTime OdysseyElementary

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for June 21, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

You can follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.

Reading

I finished a few graphic novels this week, the short story Beyond Lies The Wub by Phillip K. Dick, and dug more into Steam Rising by Pratchett. I’m behind on reviews, so those will be coming up in the next week.

Watching

Lots of shows ending recently or that we’ve caught up on. You know what starts tomorrow? The last season of True Blood! If they end the season like they did the books, I am going to be HELLA PISSED.

  • Game of Thrones
    One can simply not write about Game of Thrones finale without planning on spending days on deep analysis for every scene. So instead, I’ll leave you with this:
    dragonroar
    Until next year!
  • Silicon Valley
    Despite my earlier reluctance at this show, it’s grown quickly to be a fav as it’s started to get its feet. TheHusband would rate this as the second best show on TV right now, after Game of Thrones. Plus, while it’s written by Mike Judge, it has all the ambiance of Party Down. And of course, Gilfoye has quickly become the favorite character, with Dinesh not too far behind. AND THEN the finale had the best dick jokes to top all dick jokes.
  • Veep
    Selena is now president, Amy is running the show, Dan is more or less stable, Jonah is still Jonah, and one day I hope Gary will find himself.
  • Doctor Blake Mysteries
    I was borderline loving this show but it’s now fading into a deep like. The finale at the end of S1 (Doctor Blake heads to China to see his long lost daughter) was tidily summed up in the season opener and left alone. The lady doctor who is now helping Doctor Blake in the morgue is only ever seen — in the morgue! And the big reveal at the end of S2, which we all know was coming, left me feeling like this show is getting kind of flat. Instead of structuring big, compelling characters as it started in S1, it’s now becoming freak of the week.
  • I Never Knew That About Britain
    Eight short episodes exploring the variety of different things that either were started, famed, created, or otherwise in Britain. It’s puffed up on the history rather than getting in depth, and we’re looking at maybe 3-4 items per 22 minute episode, and the setting is fast paced. But overall it was entertaining and informative.
  • Halt and Catch Fire
    This show has been on for a month and I cannot believe I forgot to add it. But yes, new AMC show on the beginnings of the PC wars in the early ’80s, complete with girl hacker totes styled on Angelina Jolie’s character in Hackers. Lee Pace plays a fast talking, possibly borderline genius and his Patrick Bateman potential serial killer lifestyle who thinks he can potentially (possibly? maybe!) change the world. One side story I hope that will be developed is Donna Clark’s, Gordon’s wife, struggle as a woman coder in early ’80s Texas. Watching her face and body movements as she was cuckhold by her boss, I was hissing, “Yesssss — exactly that!” at the TV screen. Also the big contrast between Donna and Cameron, the AMC’s version of Acid Burn, would be interesting if they play it out. One woman flipping off the patriarchy, the other attempting to live with it.
  • Rectify
    S2 started this week — and I promptly fell asleep because I was so tired. Here is a recap I gave last year, and hopefully after rewatching it this week, I will have be more coherent in my description.

Weekly watching: A Place To Call Home, Mr. Sloane, Fargo, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Louie, Penny Dreadful, Cosmos: A SpaceTime OdysseyElementary

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012