I was seized by a powerful urge the other night while in bed reading. Unable to shake this motivation, I had to get up, go to the book case in the picture below, and rummage around in near total darkness for my Penguin edition of Lovecraft's stories. I am not sure what motivated me to do this. I only managed to read two-three pages of the introduction before I fell asleep as I had already been reading for some time. But there I was, past my normal bed time (this was 10-something, after Sunday's The Walking Dead) with Liesel fast asleep, trying to quietly search with very little light for a book that I bought during Liesel and my first trip to Portland in 2009, shortly before we got married.
I have always found Lovecraft rather difficult. I have never really applied myself to reading Lovecraft. I know he's a great writer, a master of the early horror genre, a touchstone for many writers. Partly, this is what motivated my sleep-drugged addled brain to prompt me out of bed to retrieve one of my many Lovecraft books. The book has remained on the night stand, and I am committed to trying again to get through a Lovecraft story. The faulty here is clearly with me and not with Lovecraft.
SIDENOTE: A few days after this incident and after I wrote the previous two paragraphs (as originally this was to be Tuesday's T-shirt), I had a conversation in Fanfare with Josh Hall (who seemed completely unaware of this blog's existence), and he mentioned Lovecraft to me and echoed the same sentiment: he had not read Lovecraft either but is intimately acquainted with him because of his (Josh's) love for games (and stocking of Fanfare's games department). Anyway, weird synchronicity. Did I know when I got out of bed on Sunday that on Thursday someone would connect me with Lovecraft again in another way? Is this part of the Collective Unconscious?
I like introductions and little essays in books by learned people that will help me to better understand the author's context. The introduction by S.T. Joshi to the Penguin edition (2001) is short but helpful. There's suggested reading lists, voluminous notes, and a smart introduction. Joshi begins his introduction with an observation: "Nietzche said that all philosophy is veiled autobiography, and much the same could be said of literature." I do not agree with this, actually. I am very much in the post-modern mode that authorial intentionality is meaningless to the text. And yet, I am always fascinated by authors and like to learn as much about them as I can--not to inform their texts but simply so I understand each author better as independent of the text. Granted, the Nietzche quote has its validity. I would not claim that an author's life has no impact on his or her writing. That's ridiculous. But knowing an author's life is not a secret key to unlocking the meaning of text. In fact, not knowing anything about an author may actually be better.
I share about Lovecraft and this Nietzche paraphrase because I am engaged in a rather massive autobiography by blog. In some sense, though I have note well explored this theme, a charted course of my process of individuation. Though I would characterize my autobiography process as about my past, present, and future all concurrently in my text. Plenty of analysis and plenty more left to be analyzed. And quite a bit held back as a little too private. And sentence fragments. And yet, even though I prefer my fiction without factoring in the author's life or knowing her intentions, I think Nietzche was right that philosophy comes from the philosopher's experiences. When I write about my mottos and my Rules of Chris, they are deeply rooted in my own life experiences, often as reactions to events or other people's oppressive and invasive opinions.
All of this is part of The Blog Journey. Onward.
THE SCHOOL FOR "GIFTED" STUDENTS
Long before Harry Potter books, there was a Marvel comic book about a school for "gifted students," IE. mutants. I have always loved this idea of the "special school" for "special kids." This motif has been used many times in many stories and is not unique to comic books or the X-Men, even. Nor was J.K. Rowling the first to use the idea of a secret and special school in young adult novels, though she surely created the most popular version of the motif.
My shirt is a classic example of the kinds of products a company can turn out in an attempt to emulate what would have been worn by the students of the actual school. I love this kind of thing.
I chose to do a picture with my "to read" bookcase. That's school like, right?
I have been listening to Anonymous 4 almost non-stop this week. I am getting a little obsessive about it. Earlier today, I had some running on my iPod in the kitchen and some other stuff running on my computer in my office, so that no matter where I went, I could hear the comforting sounds of Anonymous 4.
Here's just one, short piece.
WEEKLY COMICS LIST
Originally, I had planned comic book round up of some recent things I have read in today's blog entry, but I am saving these for another day, perhaps (and likely) tomorrow.
Just a few remarks on the weekly list.
First off, notice the smaller back log, which is due to the fact that I have been catching up. For instance, Wonder Woman can be in the main list as I read the three issue that had back logged since last I wrote. The comic takes the last slot as I am still not impressed with it, but it's not backlogged. I was about to read Sheltered and Sex Criminals when I got this batch, so I suspect to be caught up on those by next month.
Fables rides higher than usual because I realize I am much more eager to read it, and if I put it too low, then it gets back logged, and I want to keep up on it as I love it. When last I ranked Fables, it came in at tenth in that week, which has some of the same releases as this week. A jump to fourth for Fables is very significant.
Clone also jumps up higher in the stack as I enjoy it immensely and the last issue left us hanging rather spectacularly.
Like a month ago, Afterlife with Archie takes the top slot. Since it has been OVER a month since the first issue, the week it came out last (1310.09), The Walking Dead claimed the top spot with Afterlife With Archie one slot down. Fantastic Four, which took the top spot a month ago (1310.16), is second, but may fall if the creative team that follows Fraction/Bagley does not match their promise.
COMICS FOR 1311.20
Afterlife With Archie #2
Fantastic Four #014
Young Avengers #012
Uncanny X-Men #014
Avengers AI #006
The Superior Spider-Man Annual #001
Birds of Prey #25
Cataclysm: Ultimates #001
Red Sonja #5
Indestructible Hulk #015
Secret Avengers # 011
Sex Criminals #3
NOTE: Somehow I missed ordering the Ellis book, not sure how that happened. Fanfare is running a massive clearance sale on books it had in stock, so I snagged this neat book on superheroes as I love that kind of stuff.
Avengers: Endless Wartime - by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone and Jason Keith
Superheroes! by Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor
COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR: 119 shirts remaining
- chris tower - 1311.22 - 19:38