Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'books' category

Not appropriate for children

February 13, 2005 7:58 am

Inspired by a conversation yesterday morning, I went looking for trouble in a literary sort of way. By that I mean that I went to hunt down the origins of the sleeping beauty story. And holy *@(#$ ….yeah, take a look; you can be disturbed too.

I grew up on a book of fairly mild – though not Disnified – fairy tales as told by the brothers Grimm. So the story I remember is called Briar Rose and goes something like this. Evil fairies, asleep for a hundred years, giants and monsters and painful thorns in the hero’s way, all rewarded by kisses and true love.

Well, if you go back a couple versions further, you get this, courtesy of an Italian by the name of Giambattista Basile. And you thought the Germans told nasty stories?? Try rape and cannibalism on for size. The story has some painful holes in it, raising questions to which I really don’t want to know the answers, like (1) Why would you rape a woman who is apparently dead? or (2) If you did, why would you come BACK a year later…wouldn’t you assume she’d be rotting?? or (3) Why did the child have to suck the flax out of the princess’s finger before she wakes up – did giving birth not do it for her?

Like I said, I really don’t want to know.

On the subject of pleasant fairy tales, I’ve been looking for one that I remember from my Grimm book, but I cannot find any mention of it online. “Fletcher’s Bird” is a variation on the Bluebeard story (you remember…marries a woman, she fails him in some trivial way, he kills her, repeat pattern). Anyway, there’s a repeated line in the story to the effect of “I’ll be watching you from my little window!” – very stalker-esque, yes, but don’t worry, it’s aimed at Fletcher (the Bluebeard character), so he deserves what’s coming to him. And as I have a lovely third story window looking out over the parking lot, the line about “watching from my little window” often comes to mind. Must remember to pull that out when I go home next week. (Yes! Next week! Monday the 21st I’m outta here!!) I swear I’m not a stalker…I just like watching what goes on around me.

And now we shall allow Carmen and Tae to be trend setters.    😉
It took some editing, though. Apparently the author can’t tell the difference between your and you’re. Painful. So no, the semi-colon is not original either. Let me know if I missed anything.

Your element is Water: Understanding, intelligent, quiet and calm. You know who you are and no one can change that. Usually quiet but only because you’re listening, don’t let anyone think you haven’t got an opinion! You’re not quiet because you’re shy or sad, you’re usually quiet because you’re thinking. Your answers are well planned and helpful so people generally seek your advice. You’re the perfect balance between solitary and outgoing. But sometimes you need a little time to yourself to sort out your emotions and figure things out. You understand the phrase ‘sticks and stone’ and rarely let things get to you; what’s that important for you to have to get so upset over? You know what you want out of life but are simply taking your time and enjoying things. To you your life is fine as it is, you can always change things later if you aren’t happy.

.:-|What is your true element?|-:.
brought to you by Quizilla

Eh, reasonably close.

Jane Austen’s Bath

June 29, 2004 10:28 pm

The Big Question:

Bubbles or Not?

As I’m sure you can guess, there have been a lot of jokes to that effect around here recently, but the good news is that I’m done! With that one, anyway, but I have breathing room on everything else.

And that means that I have time to prepare this campaign! After all, Elf needs a title.    😉

Highly amused and somewhat disgusted

June 22, 2004 11:36 am

Which OS are You?

The really funny part is that if I change the answer to the last question, “Will the answers to these questions really help you determine my personality?” from “No, it’s entirely random” to “If I end up Windows ME, someone is going to be hurting,” I suddenly become Palm OS (“punctual, straightforward, and very useful, though your mother hoped for more from you”).

On other worthless topics of conversation, my respect for the FWB Public Library has taken a nose dive again. I was there yesterday after spending a long morning at the OWCC library (with which I was quite impressed), researching Jane Austen and the city of Bath. So there I stand at the card catalogue computer, going through the entries for “Jane Austen.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Jane Austen.

Whaat?? Call me picky, but the last time I read Jane Eyre, the author was Charlotte Brontë, NOT Jane Austen. Really people – just because novelist Austen and leading lady Eyre have the same first name does NOT imply authorship! What’s more frightening is the number of hits from otherwise reliable seeming sources you get if you put “Jane Eyre by Jane Austen” into Google. Now, I know if I were putting the information on a personal website, I would make sure I knew who wrote my favorite book! Wouldn’t you?? Gah. I expect better from a library.

I forget who I stole this from…

May 16, 2004 2:52 pm

…but I think it was someone’s AIM profile.  Poke me if I stole it from you.   Seriously, if you’ve read any of these, this is hilarious!

A Tale of Two Cities LITE(tm)
     by Charles Dickens
A lawyer who looks like a French nobleman is executed in his place.

The Metamorphosis LITE(tm)
     by Franz Kafka
A man turns into a bug and his family gets annoyed.

Lord of the Rings LITE(tm)
     by J.R.R. Tolkien
Some guys take a long vacation to throw a ring into a volcano.

Hamlet LITE(tm)
     by William Shakespeare
A college student on vacation with family problems, a screwy girl-friend and a mother who won’t act her age.

Take that, Cliff’s Notes!

Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows…

February 6, 2004 5:39 pm

Are NOT what I see at Furman….it’s been raining all day.

Registration for spring term was last week – it seemed awfully soon, but I realized that I’ll be going home for “spring” break in two and a half weeks!

I had wanted to get into astronomy and writing fiction, but there were only 4 or 5 spots left in each, even though I registered with the juniors. So I didn’t get into either. I did get 16 century English lit. and German lit. from 1750 to the present, both with professors I know and like – the former is my advisor. And then I have HES (health & exercise science, the required “P.E.” course), which I am NOT looking forward to. At all. At least it should balance the other two out – the German and English sound good but hard, and HES is reputed to be fairly easy.

On Monday, I had an interview for the foreign study trip to the UK that I hope to go on. This was me in a room with the three professors who are going this time, one each from English, theater, and history. I’ve heard lots of good things about the people from English and history – my roommate has a class with the latter this term. It was interesting, since I really had no idea what they were going to ask me. Of course they had to pull out “Why do you want to go on this trip?” After that it was lots of do I enjoy class discussions (well, there’s an obvious “right answer” to that one) and where would I want to go sightseeing in my free time (sorry, not up on my British landmarks, that’s why I want to go!), and what was my favorite historical period (I can’t pick one!). All a little odd, but okay. We also talked food allergies for a bit. I had written a long paragraph on the issue on my application – just what it is, how I’ve dealt with it in the past, and our ideas about how I would be able to handle it on this trip. They seemed understanding and basically confirmed what I had been planning.

Naturally, those plans involve a lot of peanut butter. What was funny was when one of the professors commented that I had specifically said tree nuts, so of course I launched into the classic “peanuts aren’t nuts” spiel. I had gotten as far as “well, peanuts are actually related to peas and beans…” when the theater prof chimes in “Because they’re legumes!” “Right!” I say, excited that someone else is aware of this fact. Apparently his family was in the peanut business at one point. It was quite amusing, though!

Have any of you read The Importance of Being Earnest or Mrs. Warren’s Profession? That’s what we’ve been reading in satire the last couple of days, and I really enjoyed both of them – though in very different ways. Earnest is just hilarious, and Mrs. Warren is very thought-provoking (for starters, her “profession” is that of a brothel madame and former prostitute). We’ve had some really good class discussion on these two. Much better than oh, say Jonathan Swift…