I read some books this last year (I did!) and I will shortly tell you about them. But, due to my long absence which I am not even going to get into, would you be so kind as to tell me Important Things that may have happened to you while I was away? There apparently is an entry cut-off date for backlogs. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, disposal of incriminating evidence, that sort of thing; I will be discreet, I promise.She says to the internet.
If I remember correctly, I promised you some quotes about a 16th century Venetian cartographer last time? Here follows what I managed to squeeze into Twitter, and some of what I was saving for a proper blog entry.
Venice! This lagoon of soupy canals, cats' pee, and pageants.
That is undoubtedly the most accurate description of Venice that ever was. I remember at some point I had been collecting non-romanticized descriptions of Venice and now I think I can stop. We have found the pinnacle of tourism write-ups from Fra Mauro, the only possible thing that is missing is a description of the size of Venetian rats. I should put it on a poster. On a less smelly note:
"Through the use of words and vague coastlines, the two of us had attempted to give form to something not of this world."( Collapse )
"This is the world I have chosen to describe: an old earth populated by strange wonders and mysterious creatures."
"I ask myself whether this is how the world changes, how it realizes itself anew—not as a shifting planet in the heavens, but as a conjunction of thought in space."
"Such a map would include how people experience their country, and how they exact from it a measure of well-being."
"They have journeyed to Venice, to this monastery, from so many distant places in order to share with me the purest of all deceptions—that of their own willingness to be entranced."
- Fra Mauro (trans. James Cowan), A Mapmaker's Dream
And now, onwards, to books!( Collapse )( Collapse )
Reading-material-wise, I have definitely skewed to the philosophical and the meditative, filled out with comfort reads. This was the year that I stopped going to the library because I associated it too strongly with the misery of jury duty (the book list reflects this point, starkly). The same for Italo Calvino's Numbers in the Dark
(I am most of the way through it & I may have to resign myself to never finishing it because I cannot stress how traumatic jury duty really was). This was the year that I discovered Angela Carter properly (and you wonder why you don't hear about her when you were younger, and then you remember her unflinching explorations of dark, hidden things and then you realize why). This was the year that I read a truly awful
book just for the ability to mock it in realtime on Twitter (All The Tropes! Every Last One Of Them!) This was the year that I did a rare bookshelf purge for roadrunnertwice
(may he have joy of them, or lolz at least).
This was the year when I concussed myself on my nightstand as I was rolling over at 6:00 am, and my nightstand is a Victorian steamer trunk with iron corner caps. Unforgiving iron corner caps. The upshot is that my room needs to be rearranged so that I can retain my fine motor skills, which means that 2013 will be The Year of MOAR BOOKSHELVES and LESS BOOK ZIGGURATS. Hurrah.
So. How are you? Did you read things? Will you tell me what they are?This entry was originally posted at http://chronographia.dreamwidth.org/92795.html and has comments. Please comment there using OpenID.