I have now made it through The Fires of Heaven. Boy howdy, this book manages to cram a lot in. While it is a fairly brisk read, there were a few points where I was left skimming in an effort to make it through. This is also the book where the narrative strands start to decisively diverge. … Continue reading Reading The Wheel of Time: “The Fires of Heaven” (Book 5)
The Dashturi Xaryasha was a patient man, but as he gazed through the pleated screen at the queen giving birth, he saw the delicate strands of his plans, laid with as much care as the finest spider silk, threatening to unravel about him. He ground his teeth in fury. Already the gathered princes, particularly Khambujya, … Continue reading Short Fiction: “The Midwife”–Part 3
I have now finished The Shadow Rising, the fourth book of The Wheel of Time. This is the book where the real intricacies of the plot begin to take shape. Unlike the first 3 books, which are rather short (by epic fantasy standards), Shadow really expands the scope far beyond what we've seen before. One really does wonder if … Continue reading Reading The Wheel of Time: “The Shadow Rising” (Book 4)
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Recently, my coursework on Hollywood Melodrama engaged me with reading portions of Helen Hanson’s book, Hollywood Heroines: Women in Film Noir and the Female Gothic Film. This text represents an amazing work of scholarship, connecting well-researched critical feminist histories, studies in the formation of literary and filmic genres, and close-readings of the narrative representations of heroines in Classic Hollywood films.
Hanson’s history of gothic fiction, which makes up the majority of her second chapter, related several functions of the gothic mode:
- “In its ability to express, evoke and produce fear and anxiety, the gothic mode figures the underside to the rational, the stable, and the moral” (34).
- “In Gothic fiction certain stock features provide the principle embodiments and evocations of cultural anxieties” (34).
- “The narratives of gothic literary fictions and films commonly deploy suspicions and suspense about past events. . . In its moves…
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So, we've come to the third episode of The Shannara Chronicles. The last episode saw all of our characters in states of peril, and this episode moves the pieces in some interesting directions as each of them has to cope with an increasingly hostile and unstable world. Wil, having been seriously injured by an thoroughly-evil Bandon, is … Continue reading TV Review: “The Shannara Chronicles”–Graymark” (S2, Ep. 3)
Now that he has acknowledged that he is the Dragon Reborn, Rand must make his way to Tear and claim Callandor, one of the most powerful sa'angreal that were created during the Age of Legends. Meanwhile, Nynaeve and Elayne must seek out the Black Ajah, and Perrin, Egwene, and Mat have to accept their role in Rand's destiny. I'm … Continue reading Reading The Wheel of Time: “The Dragon Reborn” (Book 3)
Having escaped from the dark spirits sent to murder him, Wil attempts to save his uncle Flick from the imminent danger he faces, while Alannon leads King Ander to the kingdom of Leah to seek the aid of its queen. The Crimson continue their quest to destroy those who wield magic, and Mareth wants to … Continue reading TV Review: “The Shannara Chronicles”–“Wraith” (S2, Ep. 2)
More brilliant thoughts from my very dear friend and colleague Hillarie. This dragon is goin’ places, folks, mark my words.
[7-10 minute read]
Take an adventure with me through my affective and critical experiences with a few texts I encountered during my first year and a half of my Ph.D. program:
I am sitting in the theatre in the last showing of the night for Star Wars: Rogue One. I have just come from my house where I have been drinking a bit of wine with friends. I am happily relaxed after a rather arduous first semester of Ph.D. study. It’s December, Christmas is coming on quickly, and as an early present, I get another Star Wars film.
Thirty minutes into the film, the protagonist, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), navigates through city streets on a desert planet, searching for her childhood mentor. Her companion, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), becomes increasingly agitated, and when Jyn questions him, he says the city “is about to blow.” Moments later, a…
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The palace was imposing, and not for the first time Siska marveled at what humanity could achieve. The sheer scale of it dwarfed anything that anyone had been able to accomplish since the time of the Old Ones, and everyone knew that they had been a mix of gods and men. Confronted with the vastness … Continue reading Short Fiction: “The Midwife”: Part 2
Well, I've now finished The Great Hunt for the umpteenth time, and I find that I enjoy it more each time I read it. While the first book set out the terms of the quest, now things get a bit messier as the full enormity of the task before Rand becomes enmeshed in a far greater set … Continue reading Reading The Wheel of Time: “The Great Hunt” (Book 2)