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Dracula, Poe, mild neuroses.

Books 17 & 18: Dracula and a bit of Poe.

Finished reading Dracula this morning. As I mentioned before, I’ve enjoyed the reread more than I did reading it when I was young and actually interested in the vampire genre. And amid such kerfuffle about what kids should be reading in school, I wonder if it matters whether young people should be reading “classics.” Much of classical literature is wrapped in its historical (and maturity?) context. Much of that context is lacking in high school because the kids haven’t been taught the history and “social studies” needed to appreciate what’s going on within those books. It’s not necessarily a failing on the part of the schools, it’s due to there not being enough time to cover all the stuff that has been deemed important. It seems to me that if curricula were interwoven between subjects it would make things more interesting for all involved. But until then, maybe we should get kids reading first.

(Then again, I am reminded about a recent anecdote about a presumably native US citizen that didn’t know how many stars and stripes the US flag has or why there is that number. There are bigger problems with the educational/parenting system.)

Since I was behind on the chronological reading of Dracula, I jumped ship and started following Infinite Summer: Dracula‘s posts. Some good posts. Thanks, Nate, for pointing it out to me.

As perfect October accompaniment, Tor.com bloggist S.J. Chambers is writing a series of posts called Living Poe Girl, looking at “Berenice”, “Morella”, “Legia” and “Eleonra” within the context of Poe’s history. (I also added “The Oval Portrait” and the excellent “Philosophy of Composition” to bring me up to speed.)

Posts, thus far:
Part I: Objects of Desire
Part II: An Alchemical Marriage
Part III: Metaphysical Motherhood

My initial impression: It’s interesting that most of these women are very intelligent and very focused in their intellectual pursuits. Very masculine in that respect. In part, this might be due to an inability of Poe’s part to portray a female mind. It is rather telling though that the male narrators and POV characters of these stories fear the intellect of these women. This could be a reflection of the age of suffrage, or maybe Poe’s personal view on the unnaturalness of those characteristics in women.

Whatever the case, I’m counting Living Poe Girl and the extra Dracula-related reading toward my yearly (and let’s face it, not reachable) 30-book goal.

On a related note:
Vampire killing kits from the 19th Century

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Since it has some bearing on my NaNo project (Yeah, ironic, I know!):
Nanotech IS distinguishable from magic

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My “ups” are inevitably balanced with my “downs.”

My banana bread came out very well.

In SF/LH-land, we won a very tight game against Tuesday night’s 0-5 Midnight Passion. We were again missing a couple guys and, most distressingly, two of our girls. This time, it was Kelly and me savage. Distressing because neither girl emailed me before the game, and during and after the game, I heard a rumor that the one wasn’t interested in playing anymore. This happens all the time, especially with women playing ultimate frisbee, but I can’t help wondering if there was something I could have done (or not done) to keep said girl from becoming uninterested.

My other current neurosis: I feel like I’m totally defacing the book when people ask me to sign it. Bad penmanship. Possible spelling mishaps. Getting names wrong. Gah. It reminds me of an online personality test I recently took that stated that I don’t really embody the stereotypical Sagittarius astrological sign, aside from the negative aspects of being scattered, blundering, and tactless. If only had the Sagittarius lack of neuroticism as well, and therefore a lack of obsessive hindsight.

Yesterday, we set a record high of 102 degrees.