FF: More Fragmentary Than Usual

Fang-Glorious Persephone

This week I seem to be reading more short works, which is unusual for me.  It’s been satisfying, though.  Who ever thought a Father Brown story (“The Invisible Man”) would have distinctively steampunk elements?

The Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

And I really enjoy hearing about what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

The Great British Detective edited by Ron Goulart.  Chronological short story collection, one per author.  I thought I’d just read a few, but I found it surprisingly addictive.

In Progress:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I’ve been reading more than a few stories a day.  Moving up through Africa.  (The book is arranged roughly geographically, which is rather fascinating.)

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Having finished off the Roman Empire, Durant has swirled back to focus on other prominent civilizations of the time.  More on Islam.

Also:

Catching up on magazines…  I have a couple that came before Christmas I haven’t even looked at yet.  Sigh!

8 Responses to “FF: More Fragmentary Than Usual”

  1. the6thjm Says:

    I’m going to add Goulart’s anthology to my list. I did a quick search under his name and added a second title, “The Dime Detectives” which is a history rather than an anthology but I’m curious about that era of writers.

    MILD SPOILERS THIS WEEK

    Stil in progress:

    Witchmark, by C.L. Polk – love the worldbuilding and the plot is pretty good, too. Realized this is not a stand-alone because there are SO MANY plot points. Also, I keep getting distracted by the main romantic relationship, probably because it combines the tropes of “mentorship” and “beautiful supernatural being romance”, which is jarring to me. I’m halfway through the book.

    Revisiting:

    Santiago, by Mike Resnick, who passed away this week. I haven’t read that one in a long time and wanted to read it again.

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    I am currently reading Fortune’s Fool (Star-Crossed #3) by David Blixt. This book combines some real historical figures with some characters from Shakespeare’s Italy plays in a story with lots of intrigue. I just started this novel, but I enjoyed the first two in the series.

    I am also reading The Witchwood Crown (The Last Kind of Oster Ard #1) by Tad Williams. It is a fantasy that takes place in the same land where Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy took place. I really liked those, so I hope to enjoy this one, too. Another big book (733 pages), so I may be here a while.

  3. Louis Robinson Says:

    I finally finished Exposed: The Victorian Nude, which I’ve actually been working on for several years, on and off. And no, that’s not a oxymoron. The Victorians weren’t nearly as ‘Victorian’ as they’re made out to be, or as some of their contemporaries tried to make them. Her Majesty being the least Victorian of the lot – it’s said here that she and Albert used to give each other nudes as gifts.

    Anyway, this book is the catalogue raisonné for an exhibit mounted at the Tate Britain nearly 20 years ago, that I picked up on the cheap at The Word on the Street a few years ago. While there was some very nice sculpture included – and photography running from interesting to nigh-on creepy – the painting were mostly in the range from so-so to very tolerable. But then, the mid- and late-19th century was not precisely the high point of an artistic tradition that, to be brutal about it, has always been dependent on its high-quality imports and/or willingness to take lessons from elsewhere. The attempt to define the English Nude was part and parcel of a broader effort at cultural jingoism [if you’ll forgive the anachronism]; I think the following bit will give a clear idea of the warring attitudes:

    “Such pictures took the nude away from any connection with classical myth… interiors in which they were often shown were far from the elevated architecture of ancient Rome, and attracted great criticism. Many of these works were also painted in an avante-garde style, a British version of impressionism, that was greeted with revulsion by conservative critics and Royal Academicians, who saw it as alien and actually immoral in itself, and, worst of all, French”

    And then, of course, there was “A British Matron” striving mightily to put the kibosh on the whole enterprise.

    All in all, a highly entertaining look at the Culture Wars, phase 1. or more likely phase 101.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Very interesting. The “Victorians are/were Prudes” propaganda owed a lot to… Blanking on the name of the group, but they were called after a district and included a lot of writers and artists, who had a vested interest in seeming cooler than thou. I’ve often thought there were similarities between that dynamic and the Summer of Love, cooler than thou representation of the U.S. in the 1950’s. Ignore what was really there (Beats etc), because you want not have invented coolness.

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        Sounds like you’re thinking of the Bloomsbury Set. The Woolfs & Coy. [and they did keep some rather strange company, at that]

        In fairness to them, it must be said that many, many Victorians _were_ prudes. This was the era of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, after all, and in the US the WCTU were able to force the then-PotUS to remove a piece from the White House because it lacked clothing.

      • janelindskold Says:

        Yes. Bloomsbury set was who I was thinking of… But, a society is not prominent Action Groups. Those are often so vocal because they are actually a minority trying to change the majority.

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