I debated about writing a review of this film. After all, the internet is literally full to bursting with thoughts, speculation, reviews, and box office analysis. But, since this is my own little corner of the internet, I thought I'd share my thoughts (I'll largely eschew rehashing the plot, both the avoid spoilers and also … Continue reading Film Review: “Star Wars Episodes VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)
I recently had the pleasure of reading Verlyn Flieger's scholarly book Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World. Well-written and thoroughly-argued, the book is a stellar example of sound literary scholarship and is necessary reading for anyone looking for a more nuanced understanding of Tolkien's work and fantastic philosophy. In essence, Fliger argues that, for Tolkien, … Continue reading Book Review: Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World
Having departed the peace and serenity of Elrond and Rivendell, we now make our way through the various realms that lie between Imladris and Gondor. At last, the Fellowship makes its way to the fabled Dwarven kingdom of Moria. What stands out most to me about these chapters is the sense of ever-present danger that … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings: “The Ring Goes South”
Last week, I discussed illustrations, or “drawings,” of printed media from Thomas Fella’s commonplace book with the aim of thinking more broadly about the relation between printed media, visual culture, and memory in Renaissance England. This week, I’d like to explore these ideas further by turning to the work of another English Renaissance calligrapher, Esther Inglis:
The second of five children, Inglis was born in London around 1570 to French Huguenot refugees Nicolas Langlois and Marie Presot. Inglis was taught calligraphy by her mother – a “skilled scribe,” according to scholar Elspeth Yeo. Inglis, like Fella, was also influenced by John de Beauchesne’s popular book on handwriting, A Booke Containing Divers Sortes of Hands (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2 Example of “Italique Hande” from A booke containing divers sortes…
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The short answer to the question leading this post is...yes. The long, and more complete, answer, requires quite a bit of explanation. In order to do so, I've decided to address each half of the descriptor (queer feminist) separately, while offering some concluding remarks that bring them together. As a queer man, I am always … Continue reading Can a Queer Feminist Enjoy Tolkien?
Now, at long last, we come to one of my favourite chapters in the novel. Now we at last learn what has kept Gandalf away for so long, as well as the long and tragic history of the Ring. Certainly, Saruman is one of the chapter's most compelling characters, for he reveals the extent of … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings:” “The Council of Elrond”
Given that it's Tolkien Appreciation Month, I've been reading pretty widely, not just revisiting The Lord of the Rings, but also wading into the waters of Tolkien biography and secondary scholarship. First up is the new book The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. As its title suggests, The Fellowship charts … Continue reading Book Review: “The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams” (Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski)
As a fledgling scholar working in classical Hollywood, I was very excited when I heard about Trumbo, the biopic about the famed member of the Hollywood Ten. This group of screenwriters and directed would go down in history as a mostly principled group of men who refused to cave in to the anti-Communist paranoia that swept the … Continue reading Film Review: “Trumbo” (2015)
Having escaped from the menace of the Black Riders, at least for a time, we can now pause to take our breath, reflect and enjoy, along with the characters, the peculiar and particular joys of the Last Homely House. Memory runs deep in the Homely House, and it is a fixture of temporal and spatial … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings:” “Many Meetings”
Warning: Spoilers for the film follow. Some might consider it a bit premature to declare Todd Haynes' film Carol a queer classic, but if the reviews are anything to go by, this new film will surely earn a place alongside the director's finest work as part of the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s. And as I … Continue reading Queer Classics: “Carol” (2015)