Finally did a little housekeeping around the blog, so now there’s a fancy Publications page for you to peruse and actually some content (although not much) on the About page, among other belated improvements.  Be still, my heart.

It was cold enough that even in North Carolina, I was able to blow bubbles and watch them freeze.

New winter pastime!

The best part about Seascape did indeed turn out to be the sea monsters.  Great execution (excellent job, Southstream Productions!), but the play itself just wasn’t written quite as well as I would have liked.  It was still a very enjoyable evening, but after all of the hype, I was a little disappointed in Edward Albee.

This week saw the end of an era in that we finally finished the discipleship program.  I don’t know what I’ll do with myself on Wednesday nights; they’ve been booked for the last three years.  We spent a year getting together to learn Latin, another year getting together to read and discuss philosophy, and another year getting together for intense Bible study.

I think I’m going to get a mob together to see Ender’s Game at the cheap seats.  Anyone see it, and if so, what did you think of it?

My friend Sam just started her own translation and editing business, so check out her site!





Books: I’ve been working on The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison forever and am only halfway done; it certainly is not a book you can rush through.  I’m not even really sure how to talk about it, it’s so unusual.  Imagine that Shakespeare read a lot of Norse sagas as a boy and then attempted to write Lord of the Rings, and you might come close to Ouroboros.  The novel is wildly creative and is told almost entirely in Elizabethan-style prose–and the novel itself was published in 1922, when heroic fantasy was still a fledgling.  Eddison was quite the medieval and Renaissance poetry fanboy, and he plops entire (obscure) 15th- and 16th-century poems into his work.  No one else could hope to write in Eddison’s style: you’d have to ingest Jacobean literature all of your life, as he did, to even attempt it.  Both Tolkien and Lewis admired aspects of Eddison’s work–so much so that Lewis invited him to read at The Inklings.  Tolkien said that Eddison was “the greatest and most convincing writer of ‘invented worlds’ that I have read,” though he did express frustration with Eddison’s willy-nilly naming.  Eddison first began thinking up stories for Ouroboros as a boy, and apparently was reluctant to abandon some of the elements he constructed in childhood, meaning we end up with odd character names ranging from Brandoch Daha to Spitfire to Fax Fay Faz.  Eddison’s creativity and language are definitely his strong suits: plot and character, less so.  The story itself consists (at least so far) of a very long war between the Demons and with Witches (with appearances by the Pixies, Imps, and Ghouls), none of which bear the slightest resemblance to the connotations those words imply (they’re all more or less human), and all of this takes place on the planet Mercury.  But the book reads nothing like how that description sounds.  For example:

“What kill-joy have we here?” said Spitfire.  “The trumpet soundeth only for travellers from the outlands.  I feel it in my bones some rascal is come to Galing, one that bringeth ill hap in his pocket and a shadow athwart the sun on this our day of festival.”

Or another example:

Nor could one hope in one night’s space to behold such deeds of derring-do as were done that night by Lord Brandoch Daha, that played his sword lightly as one handleth a willow wand; yet death sat on the point thereof. In such wise that eleven stout sworders of Witchland were slain by him, and fifteen besides were sorely wounded. And at the last, Corinius, stung by Corund’s taunts as by a gadfly, and well night bursting for grief and shame at his ill speeding, leapt upon Lord Brandoch Daha as one reft of his wits, aiming at him a great two-handed blow that was apt enough to cleave him to the brisket.

One more:

She answered, “Do not defile mine ears with their excuses.  They have shamefully abused us; and the guilt of their black deed planteth them day by day more firmlier in my deeper-settled hate.  Art thou so deeply read in nature and her large philosophy, and am I yet to teach thee that deadliest hellebore or the vomit of a toad are qualified poison to the malice of a woman?”

I am puzzled and enthralled and occasionally amused, caught up in admiration in spite of the story’s many flaws.  This book is bizarre and beautiful, and I highly recommend, at the very least, giving it a try.