Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ten Wise Ways & Smashing Vegetarians

From Rosaleen Love's story "Two Recipes for Magic Beans," from the anthology of Australian speculative fiction Dreaming Down Under:

"Jinny knew she could handle dragons on account of her knowledge of the Ten Wise Ways, through truth to tell she'd not yet been put to a proper test, not with a full grown dragon. She watched gloomily as the baby dragon lalloped its snivelling way, half flying, half jumping, across the river flat. It was on occasions like this Jinny had to agree with Grandfather that genetic engineering, particularly in the hands of medieval theme park entrepreneurs, was wrong. Especially when the dragons went feral and took off over the electrified barbed wire on top of the battlements."

Same anthology, from Jane Routley's "To Avalon:"

"No one could know Meg for five seconds without her vegetarianism smashing its way into their consciousness. Gina's first experience of her had been pretty typical. At the house warming party Gina and Gary had thrown at their shared flat in Palmers Green, Meg had shown up drunk as the proverbial skunk and told Gina she wouldn't shake hands "because I don't shake hands with cannibals." She had then proceeded to persecute a blind workmate of Gina's all evening about the slavery of his guide dog (a cheerful Labrador with the habits of a vacuum cleaner who was only too delighted to be taken anywhere food was) and to stub out her cigarettes in the pepperoni pizza as a protest."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lillian Hellman and The Feel of Candor

From Anthony Arthur's "Literary Feuds: A Century of Celebrated Quarrels from Mark Twain to Tom Wolfe," re evidence that Lillian Hellman plagarized or invented parts of her autobiography:

"...some defenders have taken a different tack, one that relies on Orwellian doublespeak masquerading as sophisticated literary criticism. Marsha Norman simply denies that the truth matters, as she said in the New York Times (August 27, 1984): 'I am not interested in the degree to which Hellman told the literal truth. The literal truth is, for writers, only half the story.' ... Truth is impossible to determine, then: it requires, along with the words real and fictional, ironic quotation marks around it and complicated parenthetical modification by the adjectives selective and representational. Hellman was praised because she conveys "the feel of candor." If ordinary readers are taken in by "'the feel of candor" and disappointed to learn that "Julia" is not really Lillian Hellman's own story, it's because they don't know how to read sensitively. They lack the proper literary training."