Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Not of Facts, Perhaps, But of Feelings

While Edmund implores Fanny to justify her rejection of the suitable offer of marriage from Henry Crawford of which he knows only the facts, the irony is that Edmund is basically asking Fanny to explain love and the workings of the heart, to which he has been a recent victim. Love is never about facts or how someone works on paper, it's all about the irrationality of our feelings. We just know. While Edmund speaks "Not of Facts, Perhaps, But of Feelings" it could just as easily be Fanny's reason as to why she rejected Henry. This scene is perhaps one of the most emotional for Fanny. She has spent days lost in a fug of her own thoughts and when Edmund approaches her it is at once exactly what she needs, yet from exactly the wrong quarter. How can she fully argue her case without showing Edmund that her heart belongs to him and can never belong to Henry. Of all the people she can confide in and they are talking at cross purposes! The irony of this scene is underscored by the irony of this piece ending up my favorite in the entire series. I say ironic because for a short while it actually had a new home in the trash. I was working with bulky oil pastels on a textured sepia paper and it wasn't turning out anything like I imagined. This piece was clumsy and frustrating and therefore I threw it in the trash. But thankfully, a sentiment issued by all in my class including my teacher, I took it out of the trash I just decided to throw everything at it. I used gesso to obscure what I didn't like, then I went in and actually used varnish on the oil pastels, pulling the color away from the forms and bleeding it into the background. After I was done my emotional frustration merged with Fanny's and I think this piece perfectly captures not just the characters frustrations but the fact that their minds are obscured to each other. They might walk side by side but they are so far apart.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tuesday Tomorrow

Indigo by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, et al.
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Investigative reporter Nora Hesper spends her nights cloaked in shadows. As Indigo, she’s become an urban myth, a brutal vigilante who can forge darkness into weapons and travel across the city by slipping from one patch of shadow to another. Her primary focus both as Nora and as Indigo has become a murderous criminal cult called the Children of Phonos. Children are being murdered in New York, and Nora is determined to make it stop, even if that means Indigo must eliminate every member. But in the aftermath of a bloody battle, a dying cultist makes claims that cause Indigo to question her own origin and memories.

Nora’s parents were killed when she was nineteen years old. She took the life insurance money and went off to explore the world, leading to her becoming a student of meditation and strange magic in a mountaintop monastery in Nepal…a history that many would realize sounds suspiciously like the origins of several comic book characters. As Nora starts to pick apart her memory, it begins to unravel. Her parents are dead, but the rest is a series of lies. Where did she get the power inside her?

In a brilliant collaboration by New York Times and critically acclaimed coauthors Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James Moore, and Mark Morris join forces to bring you a crime-solving novel like you’ve never read before."

Seriously, just LOOK at that list of authors! It would be must read if it was a combination of just a few of them, but all!?! Hells yes. 

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Published by: Tor.com
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 112 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings readers a spine-tingling Native American horror novella.

Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost."

Seriously, chills running up and down my spine! 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
Published by: Saga Press
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
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The official patter:
"Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes."

Always willing to take a risk on a Jekyll and Hyde retelling. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Contemplating the Dismal Rain in a Very Desponding State of Mind

I find it fitting that in a piece that has Fanny as the focus the title, "Contemplating the Dismal Rain in a Very Desponding State of Mind," is derived from a thought of Miss Crawford's. Why is it fitting? Because Fanny is forever trying to not attract notice, trying to erase herself, hence even her bonnet is actually blending into the wall, as is her reticule into her dress. It's only natural that if she was forced to be center stage she'd contrive of some way for it to be pushed on others, hence Miss Crawford getting the naming rights. I find that this scene perfectly captures who Fanny is, she is someone who thinks of herself so little that she would go out into the bad weather for her aunt without an umbrella and then, when offered a kindness by Dr. Grant, try her utmost to reject it as an imposition. She is a sad and relatable character to all the introverts who have more kindness than sense. As for the medium for this piece, I wanted to try something radically different and therefore I chose a paper for the ground that felt much more modern to me. All my medium decisions were based from that background which feels like a swirling body of water and emotion. I then did a light gesso wash over the entire image area and did the work of the figures in marker and pen. What's very intriguing to me is that by taking this looser approach I ended up creating a piece that looks like my mom drew it. In particular her book covers for the We Were Children Then book series that she did. I never thought our styles anywhere near similar, but led by different medium choices than I would normally make, genetics won out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Playing the Tourist: Portsmouth

One of the reasons Mansfield Park might be one of Austen's most maligned or I should say misunderstood books is that it comes closest to actually having political commentary. All her books deal with the minutiae of life and relationships and are practically devoid of timely commentary and many fans believe that this lack of grounding in a specific era has led her books to be timeless. Seriously, just look to Clueless and you'll see what I mean. But Mansfield Park openly references slavery, war, and, in the TV Movie adaptation with Billie Piper, has a logical reference to Admiral Nelson. In fact, when Fanny returns "home" to Portsmouth we are shown a very bleaker world than Austen has ever shown before, especially when contrasted with the life Fanny was living at Mansfield Park. But while Fanny comes to realize that the home she remembered is no longer home Portsmouth is very important and dare I say a must see location for the Janeite because it was home to the navy! Ah, the British Navy. Not only integral to two of Austen's books, but lets face it, the reason why Britain had an Empire. It's from Portsmouth that Admiral Nelson sailed to victory and death at the Battle of Trafalgar. You can actually tour the HMS Victory, seen above leaving Portsmouth, where Nelson's blood still stains the boards. 

This island city was during Austen's life the most fortified city in the world and, much like Bath, has many of the buildings and fortifications that where around when Austen was alive. You can still walk the ramparts, though a dashing Henry Crawford is sadly not supplied. Also the ramparts are more popular now as a resting spot for beach goers than as the last line of defense should the French come calling. A wonderful holiday respite that I have a feeling Austen might not approve of. I mean, look at the indecorous state of those tourists! But getting back to Regency England and the Navy, you really need to revel in the Navy, throw in some Horatio Hornblower DVDs and actually watch the documentaries (yes, there are documentaries, not just Ioan) to get not just the importance of the Navy but to realize that a fair chunk of Portsmouth is a period in English history preserved from when they ruled the waves. You can take in the docks, look at where they built the ships, but more importantly, you must stop at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which has the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the HMS Victory, and so much more! Austen, who wrote timeless novels might find it odd to see this city almost trapped in aspic, but at least for those wanting to see her world it's perfectly preserved.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Tuesday Tomorrow

Believe Me by Eddie Izzard
Published by: Blue Rider Press
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.

Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proved himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen and raised in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, he lost his mother at the age of six—a devastating event that affected the rest of his life. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a comedy double act. When his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man escape act, and thus a solo career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy— lines such as “Cake or Death?” “Death Star Canteen,” and “Do You Have a Flag?” have the status of great rock lyrics. As a self-proclaimed “action transvestite,” Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels, and has become as famous for his “total clothing” rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End theaters, to Wembley Arena, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl.

Izzard is arguably one of today’s top comedians. At the time of publication, he is still performing his Force Majeure show—so far in more than forty countries worldwide and in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzard’s Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far."

Eddie, oh how I love you. No matter how many times I've seen you live it's still never enough! Also "arguably"!?! HE IS!

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Published by: Tor.com
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 192 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Seanan McGuire returns to her popular Wayward Children series with Down Among the Sticks and Bones―a truly standalone story suitable for adult and young adult readers of urban fantasy, and the follow-up to the Alex Award-winning, Hugo and Nebula finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway.

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter―polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter―adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices."

I'm game for this.

Cormorant Run by Lilith Saintcrow
Published by: Orbit
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Aliens meets Under the Dome in this new post-apocalyptic novel from New York Times bestseller Lilith Saintcrow.

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What's known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift... and come back, bearing priceless technology that's almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe -- the best Rifter of her generation -- dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

But Svin, of course, has other plans...

How far would you go and what would you risk to win the ultimate prize?"

I like Aliens and Under the Dome. Sold!

Friday, June 9, 2017

TV Movie Review - Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park
Based on the book by Jane Austen
Release Date: March 18th, 2007
Starring: Douglas Hodge, Jemma Redgrave, Maggie O'Neill, Julia Joyce, Zachary Elliott-Hatton, Greg Sheffield, Tara Berwin, Lucy Hurst, Billie Piper, James D'Arcy, Blake Ritson, Michelle Ryan, Rory Kinnear, Catherine Steadman, Joseph Morgan, Hayley Atwell, Joseph Beattie, and Dexter Fletcher
Rating: ★★★
To Buy

Fanny Price has been sent away from home to live with wealthy relatives because her mother can no longer afford to keep her. She is scared and intimidated and only her cousin Edmund takes the time to make her feel safe and loved. As she grows up that love becomes stronger which is fortunate as it's about to be tested. Her uncle leaves to attend business in Antigua and the young people take over the house. Fanny's cousin Tom has had his fun spoiled and decides to mount a play at Mansfield Park. His sisters, Maria and Julia will obviously perform, as will Maria's fiance Mr. Rushworth. The party is greater increased by two new neighbors, the siblings Henry and Mary Crawford. Yet Edmund and Fanny will not perform. It's not seemly for a variety of reasons but especially given that the play is rather risque. Though Edmund's growing attraction for Mary makes him foolish and he eventually agrees to perform under duress. Julia soon bows out on seeing that her engaged sister is flirting with Henry. And Fanny is roped into the production to replace Julia which is brought to a crashing halt by the return of her uncle. With Sir Thomas Bertram returned the hope is life will return to normal at Mansfield Park, but little do they know that isn't the case. The arrival of the Crawfords has changed everything. When Maria still goes through with her marriage to Mr. Rushworth Henry Crawford sets his sights on Fanny. He wants to make a little hole in her heart. Yet her heart is protected at least from Henry because it already belongs to Edmund, but the pain she feels on seeing Edmund fall for Mary is excruciating. Will Fanny lose the love of her life or will tragedy lead to a happy ending?

While this adaptation is a hectic haphazard headlong rush at translating Mansfield Park for the small screen the number one thing in it's favor is that it is nothing like the horror show that was the 1999 Frances O'Connor version. I still shudder thinking of that adaptation. In this version instead of augmenting Fanny with her creator, Jane Austen, the production went in a different direction and decided that instead of letting Fanny stand on her own they'd fix all supposed defects by making her more of a Lizzy Bennet and less of a Fanny Price. But the thing is I love Fanny for being Fanny and I love Lizzy for being Lizzy. They are characters that are both loved for being themselves. The Fanny embodied by Billie Piper feels like she's spent a little too much time around The Doctor. All she does is run. Everywhere. Fanny is playing shuttle cocks with Edmund. Fanny is playing hide and seek at Maria's wedding with some unknown child. Fanny is chasing Pug through the halls of Mansfield Park, which I'm sure her Aunt Bertram wouldn't approve of. All the while she's laughing and giggling. This isn't right. Fanny is a slight sickly girl who is retiring. She can't physically take much exercise except by horse. When I first saw this adaptation I would have said it was because Billie Piper perhaps had a more limited acting range, but seriously, have you seen Penny Dreadful? Because this is all on the writer and director and not on Billie. Plus by having Mary use Fanny's horse it doesn't have the betrayal and weight that it has in the book. Fanny was just put-out, it wasn't like her horse was her only form of exercise and this slight was the first sign of Edmund's infatuation with Mary which would pain Fanny so deeply. 

But enough can not be said for the relief I feel in how this adaptation purposefully stepped away from the 1999 adaptation. This can be clearly seen when Henry and Edmund try to discuss the atrocities happening in Antigua and Edmund's mother just waves away any discussion of slavery with an oblivious line about the heat in the West Indies. To those not familiar with the earlier adaptation, which reveled in horrors and viewers had to endure Harold Pinter as Sir Thomas Betram raping his slaves, this line of Aunt Bertram might be a throwaway, but to those who know, it's a time to take a great sigh of relief. This is going to be Austen, not some social commentary on race, but social commentary on a confined society in a country house. And while I feel that of all Austen's novels Mansfield Park is the most confined to location and characters this adaptation takes it further. This is television, this is low budget, this is a small cast. They really weren't taking any risks with this adaptation. And while yes, I do think things could have been done differently, you can see why they did it this way. Mansfield Park is a tricky book to adapt and going for a smaller more intimate scale, while in keeping with the book, also made for an Austen adaptation that someone who didn't love the book could enjoy. The costumes might have felt a little dated and the fact that they never left the property might be perplexing to those who expect their period dramas to have multiple locations and lush sets, but I say so what? Smaller definitely worked better than bigger. Yes, it wasn't perfect, but Andrew Davies has yet to adapt Mansfield Park...

Yet I can not give this adaptation two thumbs up because of my love of Austen's book. The problem here is that while it still feels like Austen, which the 1999 version didn't achieve, there is still a diminishment of the story. It has been made smaller, lesser than. As I've previously stated, Fanny wasn't Fanny, but the greater truth is that none of the characters feel right. They are all slightly wrong. It's like when I tried to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the author had the gall to not use Austen's own words, which thankfully the movie adaptation rectified. Therefore having the lines be not quite Austen's here made me feel the same bafflement when I tried to read that atrociously written parody. As Andrew Davies has said, Austen is perfect, just cut and paste. Take liberties when Austen purposefully steps back. She never goes into great details about the proposals or the happily ever afters, so here you can have free reign, and in fact in those moments of this adaptation, that's when I felt it. That deep pain in my veins that this is true love, that these emotions on screen have triggered a physical response in me. Have taken me away to a place where tears of happiness aren't far behind. While in other parts I actually found myself cheering when an actual line from the book remained intact. And let's face it, while all Austen's lines are memorable, Mansfield Park has a large share of them. So why weren't more used? Also why was Fanny in the play? There is NO way she would have been in the play. IF you have to change things to make it work in the time and format allotted why can't you at least keep the little details intact, like the theatre curtains being green not red? Because the more little things you change the more acceptable you think it to change the words of one of the greatest authors who ever lived.    

I'm not naive, I know that a lot of the culling, a lot of the diminishment of character is for the speed of the storytelling because even as a lover of Mansfield Park I can say that it's languid pace is almost stultifying, therefore it makes a good read to calm down before bed. But the downside to this dovetailing is that there is a diminishment of character in an attempt to make them better suited to the allotted time. In particular with regard to Edmund. Blake Ritson's lines have been almost completely excised because no one wants a preachy hero and Edmund really is full of himself. This means that all Blake is left with is languid gazes and pained expressions with a really horrid haircut. Mansfield Park is the first thing I remember seeing Blake in and I instantly formed an entirely erroneous opinion of him as an actor. I basically had him down as a pretty boy with no acting chops. This is so far from the truth that I urge you to seek out his other work to see his range. He's just so amazingly talented and here he's just wasted. I think he excels in bad boy roles personally, but if you're interested in sticking with Austen adaptations watch his Mr. Elton in the 2009 adaptation of Emma, which almost makes you completely forget the genius of Alan Cumming in the 1996 version. Dueling Mr. Es! My personal favorite though is his portrayal of the Duke of Kent in the reboot of Upstairs Downstairs, even if the conflicted baddie Riario in Da Vinci's Demons is melodramatic fun at it's most camp. But Blake isn't alone in this category of wonderful actors underutilized, this could be said for much of this perfectly cast adaptation. This also shows that a perfect cast can not cure defects in directing and adapting. 

But oddly enough the thing that annoyed me the most was Mr. Rushworth. If you don't know I kind of hate Rory Kinnear. This is a problematic hatred because he's literally in everything. Every once in awhile he surprises me into liking him, Penny Dreadful, The Imitation Game were good roles for him, but then along comes Women in Love and Vexed and I hate him all over again. So you'd think my hatred of Rory Kinnear would be why I was annoyed with Mr. Rushworth, yet oddly it's not. What annoys me about Mr. Rushworth is the changing of his timeline with the family. Because the changing of the timeline would have inevitably changed the outcome of events. It's freaking butterfly chaos theory time people and this wasn't taken into consideration at all in this adaptation. In the book Mrs. Norris makes the connection between Mr. Rushworth and Maria while Sir Thomas is in Antigua. It's a feather in her hat and all that. Here when Sir Thomas announces he must leave for Antigua Mr. Rushworth is already of the family party and is instructed to hold the wedding til his return from his amazingly fast and I think actually geographically impossible trip to Antigua in the time allotted. Um no. That's about it. No. Let's look at the reasons for all this "no" coming from me. The whole point of Rushworth is to show the detrimental interference of Mrs. Norris but also to show Sir Thomas's lack of fatherly concern because he quickly realized the defects in Rushworth and KNEW it wasn't going to work for Maria and even implored her to change her mind if she so wanted. But if Sir Thomas had been there since the couple did get coupled he would have stopped it before it had ever started. Then Maria would have met Henry Crawford in time and they could have gotten married and then that would have been the end of that. People sometimes just don't think that what might be one little change for expediency actual has ramifications that destroy the plot going forward. I think Austen knew what she was doing and should never be second guessed.    

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Review - Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: 1814
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

Fanny Price is a burden to her poor and ever expanding family. Her two maternal aunts decide to help their disadvantageously married sister by taking Fanny in at Mansfield Park, separating the young girl from the only family she has ever known and her beloved brother William. She is to be raised with her four cousins, Tom, Edmund, Maria, and Julia. Given all the advantages they have but never once allowed by her aunt, Mrs. Norris, to ever think herself their equal. If it wasn't for the kindness of her cousin Edmund to that undersized ten year old Fanny would have despaired. Instead she has grown up knowing her place and hopelessly in love with Edmund. But it is the eldest, Tom, who is causing trouble. He has racked up debts that require his father to sell the living of the local parsonage that was to be Edmund's and the Grants move in. This wouldn't have been a catastrophic event except for what happened next. Fanny's uncle, Sir Thomas Bertam, was called away to Antigua, taking Tom with him. The power vacuum at Mansfield Park was filled by Mrs. Norris. She sees this time as coming into her own, she finds a dunderhead of a fiance for Maria, and encourages an intimacy with the parsonage, an intimacy which is far more interesting to the inhabitants of Mansfield Park when Mrs. Grant's two siblings, Henry and Mary Crawford arrive. Mrs. Norris hopes to marry Henry to Julia and Mary, well Mary initially thinks only of Tom, until she begins to see what Fanny sees in Edmund. But the trouble caused with Henry and his ever roving eye, going from Julia to Maria to Fanny will change Mansfield Park forever.

When I first read Mansfield Park I took a bizarre pride in being one of the few to actually love it more than Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I thought anyone who didn't view it as Austen's best work was deluded and therefore not worth my time. I have often felt myself against the Austen mainstream. Bucking treads and going my own way and listening to my heart and not to academic discourse. Because if there's one thing I can be certain of it's that Jane Austen herself would despise many of the people who populate the higher ranks of her so-called "societies." So for years I held firmly to my beliefs of the superiority of my tastes without giving thought to how much change is inflicted by time and circumstance. When I first re-read Mansfield Park I felt like I had been slapped. It was a rude awakening to not find the book I loved at eighteen. But since then I've realized that each re-reading of Austen leads to a fluctuation in my rankings and this time wasn't any different. I was again back to embracing Fanny and adoring Mansfield Park. What I realized is that why I connected to Mansfield Park as a teenager and why I reconnected to it now was because both times in my life I was facing similar issues. I was going through a time where I felt slighted, imposed upon, where I was nothing more than a tool to be of use to other people. I was part of their life but I didn't have one of my own. My identity was subsumed into theirs, nothing more than a dogsbody. Just like Mrs. Norris treats poor Fanny. Oh Fanny, how I feel your pain all over again. The rest of your readers labeling you as dull don't get what it's like to live your life. I do and I am united with you, the constant, put-upon servant. I hope I'm just as lucky in my happily ever after.

While I was reconnecting to Fanny and her small world that is perfectly contained and intimate, I, as well as Austen, was ruminating on how the wider world works in general but also the world's influence on small family groupings. In particular the idea of selling off your child and how that child fits into a new family dynamic. While yes, I will grudgingly admit that with Antigua there is an underscoring of slavery, the real slavery Austen was interested in here is adoption. And while she might have been telling the story about Fanny's adoption into her cousins' family, I think it was actually a thinly veiled reference to her own life. Jane's brother Edward was "presented" to his wealthy relatives Thomas and Catherine Knight, the same relatives who gave Jane's father the living at Steventon, when he was twelve and Jane was five. Edward became their legal heir and left Jane's family unit. How might this have effected young Jane? Could she have written Mansfield Park as a way to handle this trauma in her life? I personally think she did. Because while everything turned out alright for Fanny as it did for her brother Edward, one might say that the first half of Mansfield Park is her real feelings and the second half is her hopes and dreams. In the beginning Mansfield Park is really a scathing indictment of what it is to live under the roof of relatives who view you as lesser than. Again and again Fanny is pushed aside and put-upon. And that doesn't even cover the emotional underpinnings of being separated from her beloved brother William. There is alienation and longing just seeping off these pages. Part of me thinks it's a little cruel of Jane to write a book that her family couldn't help but see as reflecting their own lives, but then in the end she flips it. The life Fanny left wasn't worth living. This is where I think Jane goes a little fanciful. She wishes so much for this happily ever after to be the case that the turn around is more a fairy tale than realism. But I hope she realized that her brother, in the end, like Fanny had a good long life.

This then leads into the complication of a nature versus nurture scenario. Fanny comes out the best of all the young females raised in the Bertram household. She is well behaved, loved, and gets the man of her dreams. Whereas Julie elopes and Maria, well Maria leaves he wealthy husband for Henry Crawford who then tires of her so she must leave him and live the rest of her life in seclusion. If we can assume they all had the same base nature we see that the cossetting of Maria by Mrs. Norris and her constant grinding of Fanny under her boot-heel had the exact opposite effect. Tom was likewise going to the bad but his severe illness reformed him. Therefore Mansfield Park is showing us again and again that it's the nurturing that matters. That hardship and strife make for a better person. Look even to Fanny's own siblings, those that are overly loved, like her youngest sister, are beyond hope, but Susan, the sister who is ignored and put-upon, she is worthy and therefore comes and joins the inhabitants of Mansfield Park. But while it is shown in all the cousins it is magnified and expanded upon with the Crawfords. Henry and Mary were raised by an uncle with very lax values. After his wife, their aunt died he brought his mistress under his roof, therefore exposing Henry and Mary to this want of propriety. Again and again they are shown to lack a moral compass. They say things that are painful for Fanny to hear. In fact, their complete want to sympathy even leads Mary to hope that Tom dies so that Edmund, whom she loves as best she can, will be a man worthy of her. What I find interesting is that Austen tries to make you forget for awhile that the Crawfords are undesirables due to their nurturing. They are "reformed" and viewed as eligible spouses. But in the end their character will out. As Edmund laments, if Mary had just been raised differently, her kind nature could have overcome all. Poor Edmund, but lucky Fanny.

That is lucky Fanny if you really like Edmund. In fact while most people refer to this romantic duo as sticks-in-the-mud I think that they are being unfairly lumped together, most likely because mud is sticky. The truth is the problem doesn't lie with Fanny, it lies with Edmund. He's just wallowing in the mud. Oh Edmund, I want to like you, but Fanny formed an early attachment to you from some small kindnesses and now we're stuck with you as our hero. The fact is Edmund is more than a little too preachy for my tastes. In the beginning he's always pointing things out to Fanny about how she should feel, how she should think about a situation. He forms her sense and her sensibility and then what does he do? He throws it all out the window when it comes to himself. He points out all the flaws that Mary's character contains and then promptly falls in love and she's an angel. Hence the drop back to reality at the end really amuses me. But the truth is if he had just practiced what he preached that scenario would never have happened. Fanny is stalwart. She sees the flaws, and, oh dear, the pain she feels as Edmund is always making excuses and backpedaling. Fanny can never fully like Mary, not just because she is her romantic rival, but because she is a flawed individual that isn't worthy of Edmund. What is interesting is that Austen never redeems the Crawfords. She toys with us that she might, but in the end, they are literally the white trash of the time with the loosest morals around. And while, as a writer, it would be fun to play a preacher against a loose woman, as a reader being one with the character who is on the outside looking in, it's just painful. And Edmund causing such pain to Fanny? Makes you dislike him all the more. He's such a hypocrite!

But as much as Edmund annoys me I can overlook many of his flaws when comparing him to Henry Crawford. Because Henry Crawford is a far more troublesome character. It's not that he's basically an idiot, it's that we're expected to believe that he has reformed. That he actually "fell" for Fanny. I don't for a second believe this. I think it was a game to him to start with, which he clearly admits, but I don't think if ever became real. I don't think he ever loved Fanny. I think he loved the idea of falling for Fanny and fooled himself into believing it was the truth. He loved the concept not the actuality. He loved the challenge of capturing the heart of the only woman he'd ever met who didn't fall for him. Austen seems to say that Fanny would have been at risk if her heart hadn't already been taken by another. I call BS! With Fanny's morals she could never have fallen for Henry's insincere flatteries. And the thing is I just don't know how to handle this turn-around. Did Austen actually want us to believe it? Like how she tried in vain to redeem Willoughby at the last minute in Sense and Sensibility? At least with Willoughby it makes a kind of sense, because the connection between him and Marianne was something that was real, was palpable to the reader. Here it's just hollow gestures. And then, when he runs of with Maria at the end? We're supposed to believe that he just couldn't help himself? I'm sorry, but if he actually did love Fanny then he would NEVER have done such a thing. And to have Mary blaming Fanny for Henry's wayward behaviour? Yes, I know it's meant to put the final nail in the coffin of Mary and Edmund, but still... of all that happens in books that I am able to believe as true, from magic to dragons, I can not nor will I ever believe Henry Crawford's turn-around.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island--dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island's leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentless topic of island conversation and the inescapable soundtrack of the season.

It is also the summer Leslie Day Marshall--only daughter of Avalon's most prominent family--returns with her husband, a botanist, and their children to live in "The Castle," the island's grandest estate. Leslie's husband Jules is African-American, and their children bi-racial, and islanders from both sides of the tracks form fast and dangerous opinions about the new arrivals.

Maddie Pencott LaRosa straddles those tracks: a teen queen with roots in the tony precincts of East Avalon and the crowded working class corner of West Avalon, home to Grudder Aviation factory, the island's bread-and-butter and birthplace of generations of bombers and war machines. Maddie falls in love with Brooks, Leslie's and Jules' son, and that love feels as urgent to Maddie as the questions about the new and deadly cancers showing up across the island. Could Grudder Aviation, the pride of the island--and its patriarch, the Colonel--be to blame?

As the gypsy moths burst from cocoons in flocks that seem to eclipse the sun, Maddie's and Brooks' passion for each other grows and she begins planning a life for them off Avalon Island.

Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch and her husband, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, each seeking his or her own refuge, escape and revenge, The Gypsy Moth Summer is about love, gaps in understanding, and the struggle to connect: within families; among friends; between neighbors and entire generations."

This sounds like the PERFECT summer read, doesn't it?

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Haunting and atmospheric, The End of Temperance Dare is another thrilling page-turner from the author reviewers are calling the Queen of the Northern Gothic.

When Eleanor Harper becomes the director of a renowned artists’ retreat, she knows nothing of Cliffside Manor’s dark past as a tuberculosis sanatorium, a “waiting room for death.” After years of covering murder and violence as a crime reporter, Eleanor hopes that being around artists and writers in this new job will be a peaceful retreat for her as much as for them.

But from her first fog-filled moments on the manor’s grounds, Eleanor is seized by a sense of impending doom and realizes there’s more to the institution than its reputation of being a haven for creativity. After the arrival of the new fellows―including the intriguing, handsome photographer Richard Banks―she begins to suspect that her predecessor chose the group with a dangerous purpose in mind. As the chilling mysteries of Cliffside Manor unravel and the eerie sins of the past are exposed, Eleanor must fight to save the fellows—and herself—from sinister forces."

GOTHIC! GOTHIC! GOTHIC!

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective."

Oh, how I love Anthony Horowitz, but have been so conflicted of late with some of his "tie-in" books, so I'm happy to see him doing a good old fashioned whodunnit! 

Miraculous Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 358 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the ‘golden age of murder’ between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham.

This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century."

Speaking of kings and queens of whodunnits...

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast―like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end."

Anyone else as addicted to The Arrangement and Catfish as I am and thinking YAS when reading this description? OK, only me? 

Twist: Creative Ideas to Revinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 224 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Martha Collison amazed the judges and viewers alike as the youngest ever contestant in the 2014 series of The Great British Bake Off.

Martha shone with her Showstopper skills and extraordinary 'Technical Challenge' knowledge. Here in her first book, she offers a brilliant new approach to baking – a way to master baking, while adding 'twists' to recipes to make contemporary bakes that everyone will love.

With clever illustrations and know-how throughout, alongside beautiful photography, Martha demonstrates how to take basic recipes and alter them into something new. Whether it’s a cake, a biscuit or even a pastry recipe, she shows how to alter the method, the balance of ingredients or the mixture of flavours to ensure exciting, magical bakes every time. Transform her Never-Fail Vanilla Cupcakes into Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes, for example, or Caramel Macchiatos. Try Pink Grapefruit Drizzle Cake, instead of the usual Lemon, and then mix it up with Gin & Tonic flavours. Or take Macarons to a whole new level and try Peach Bellini Macarons or even a Macaron Shell Ice-Cream.

Fresh, innovative and genuinely exciting, Twist looks set to make adventurous bakers of us all."

I'm just saying if this book isn't about 95% Macarons, well, it's not Martha's then.

Friday, June 2, 2017

200 Years of Pride and Prejudice

My friend Jess and I years ago started referring to each other by our Austen handles, aka Misses Jessica and Eliza. In the spring of 2013 I texted Miss Jessica wondering what she would like for her birthday and she had an idea. It just so happened that 2013 was the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. As you now know over a month into my Bicentenary Ball I am not one to let a two hundred year celebration slip by! Miss Jessica's suggestion was that instead of doing run-of-the-mill birthday presents we do a crafting exchange where we each make Jane Austen themed gifts for each other. Being both crafty and artistic and at that moment taking an introductory letterpress course, I was all in. I was ready to make a piece dedicated to "Two Hundred years of Darcy and Dancing!"

Madison College has a wonderful selection of wood type and when pursuing the drawers I found these stunningly large "P's" and was only sad for about half a second that there wasn't three of them, Miss Jessica being one of the co-creators of P, P and P, which is the Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth miniseries watched while eating Pizza. But in all honesty P and P works better. Because this was a quick one-off and not class work, where I was actually doing only two prints, one for me and one for her, I did this during open lab time. I didn't even do a full lockup, I just used some magnets and the showcard press, which is basically a proofing press. Funnily enough I had to do this twice, because I'm not the best at spotting typos when they're backwards. There might have been two "S's" at the end of "Misses" because I was going crazy that day apparently. So, on my second attempt I think I nailed it.
  I originally went for too strident a color, a kind of spring green, and went all out metallic gold the second time around, because if gold doesn't say big two hundredth birthday celebration, I don't know what does! For those who do letterpress you might notice that there is actually more texture to the print than just from the wood type. I shall now impart a trick my teacher Beth showed me which I absolutely adore. What I did is I first printed the piece on a heavily textured paper. You pull the paper off and instead of re-inking you print again on a crisp clean sheet of perfectly flat paper. The impression of the textured paper remains in the ink on the wood type and transfers onto the new paper. I use this technique a lot because it just adds something extra, also ironically the textured paper is some of the paper I've used for my Jane Austen series I've been talking about. So this was the first non-illustrative piece I did in tribute to Jane. This was also the first piece for the gift exchange between me and Miss Jessica. Don't worry, there's more to come on that front!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This is Not to be Bourne

One of the best scenes in Pride and Prejudice is Lady Catherine de Bourgh's smack down of Lizzy that doesn't quite go to plan. She had intended for Lizzy to meekly agree to all her demands with regards to her nephew, therefore it is quite a shock when Lizzy doesn't play ball. Yes, Darcy's declaration of love might be the most loved, and the opening line the most quoted, but to me, NOTHING beats this scene. What Lady Catherine says flows off Lizzy like water off a duck's back and this makes her incensed, crying out "This is Not to be Bourne!" Lady Catherine can not believe her words are insignificant to Lizzy, yet they are, which lead to how I handled the treatment of this piece. I used the same paper stock as I did for my first piece in this series, "Every Savage Can Dance." Yet I reversed the treatment of the figures. In "Every Savage Can Dance" I used pencil over a ground of gesso. This lead to the figures popping out of the background and having definition with the line work on top. Here I didn't want the figures to pop. I wanted them kind of ghosted, to show that Lady Catherine's words will not impact Lizzy's decisions one bit. Therefore I laid down the pencil first and laid the gesso over it, obscuring the lines. Lady Catherine might think she has impact, but she has left no impression at all. While I admit that this piece might not be the most dramatic that I made in this series, I do think that it went exactly to plan with getting the meaning across. So shall I call it a success?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tuesday Tomorrow

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
Published by: Cemetery Dance Publications
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 180 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!"

A little Stephen King novella for you!

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
Published by: Subterranean
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 128 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone—999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher—a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death, and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge what they see as a wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him."

Followed by a John Scalzi novella, with the typical bad cover art of Subterranean Press.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds meets Nimona in this novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. Features illustrations by the author throughout. Perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, this is the second novel by the acclaimed author of Made You Up.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl."

OK, yes, I did first go, oooooh, the title! But the description sounds cool as well...

Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries and Lore edited by Paul Guran
Published by: Prime Books
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. Both inspire writers of speculative fiction to pen wonderful tales woven around them.

This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of librarians-mysterious curators, heroic bibliognosts, arcane archivists, catalogers of very special collections-and libraries-repositories of arcane wisdom, storehouses of signals from other galaxies, bastions of culture, the last outposts of civilization in a post-apocalyptic world . . . grand adventures and small sagas of the magical places we call libraries and the wizards who staff them!"

Even IF this collection didn't have all the authors it did, seriously, it's about libraries, I'm in. 

Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse by Nancy Atherton
Published by: Viking
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 240 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Nancy Atherton's twenty-second cozy mystery in the beloved, nationally bestselling Aunt Dimity series.

It's early April in the small English village of Finch. Lori Shepherd's husband and sons are spending Easter break camping, and Lori is perfectly happy to be left at home with Bess, spared a week of roughing it with a curious toddler. The two attend a village events committee meeting and Lori is astonished when the elderly, soft-spoken widow Mrs. Annabelle Craven stands to make an announcement: she's decided to hold a quilting bee in the old schoolhouse.

At the quilting bee, Lori ends up seated beside Mrs. Craven, delighted at the opportunity to learn more about her neighbor's life in the village of Old Cowerton. But dear, sweet Mrs. Craven's stories reveal a startling secret about her first husband's death.

With Aunt Dimity's advice, Lori sets out to learn the truth about what the residents of Old Cowerton refer to as the "widow's curse"--and the deeper she digs, the more horrifying the tale becomes, until she discovers the most astounding revelation of all."

Aunt Dimity, the female and dead Inspector Barnaby of Midsomer Murders. 

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
Published by: Penguin Books
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Format: Paperback, 160 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"What does it mean to be male in the 21st Century? Award-winning artist Grayson Perry explores what masculinity is: from sex to power, from fashion to career prospects, and what it could become—with illustrations throughout.

In this witty and necessary new book, artist Grayson Perry trains his keen eye on the world of men to ask, what sort of man would make the world a better place? What would happen if we rethought the macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different ideal? In the current atmosphere of bullying, intolerance and misogyny, demonstrated in the recent Trump versus Clinton presidential campaign, The Descent of Man is a timely and essential addition to current conversations around gender.

Apart from gaining vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships—and that’s happiness, right? Grayson Perry admits he’s not immune from the stereotypes himself—yet his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness, and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, updating masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups."

I'll admit I didn't know who Grayson Perry was until recently. Then I watched him on Graham Norton, and damn, so intelligent and witty. So yes, I'm picking up this book!

Friday, May 26, 2017

It is Enough to Know They are Discovered

"It is Enough to Know They are Discovered" captures that moment when Lizzy and Jane finally learn that Lydia and Wickham have been found in London and, for that moment, "it is enough to know." Whatever else happens in the uncertain future must be tempered by the fact their location is no longer unknown in that vast and teaming metropolis. The original illustration by the brothers Brock includes Mr. Bennet as well, but I felt like he didn't fit. He added a domineering presence, at least in the illustration, and I thought that this was far more of an intimate moment between two sisters regarding their concern for their youngest sibling. Which is why I decided to render the image in watercolor. This is a medium that girls of the Regency period would have been familiar with, and though the Bennet sisters don't have any pretensions or inclinations in the direction of non-musical talents, they would be familiar with it nonetheless. As for the paper choice, I used paper that had flowers in it. The reason for this is twofold, one of the things that stuck me about Pride and Prejudice is the amount of time spent out of doors. Lizzy always has a healthy glow of exercise and exertion about her. But more importantly, they read this letter out in the little copse near there house. Most likely it's to keep away from the prying eyes of Mrs. Bennet, but I still feel that this intimate moment needs to be in the context of the vastness of nature.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Every Savage Can Dance

When I was working towards my BS in art at the UW-Madison I had an assignment to do a series of pieces, all the same size, that were interconnected. At the time I was heavily playing tabletop card games like Steve Jackson's Munchkin, so I envisioned the project as a set of playing cards that explained my personality. There was "A Vicious Feline of Extreme Loyalty" at plus three points that cancelled out my "Inability to Figure Out Your ID," existential angst being a college prerequisite. There was a good fairy balanced by a bad fairy, and physical traits like back problems and corrective vision. But it was my "Jane Austen/Darcy Obsession" at minus one point that captured my imagination. Is it any surprise? I was admittedly an addict. But I viewed it as a gentle and genteel addiction, hence it only encumbering me to a factor of minus one. Yet in creating this piece inspiration stuck and I had this need to continue on, to re-interpret famous Jane Austen illustrations in new mediums that captured the emotion behind the image. Jane Austen had sparked my sensibilities to create and create I must!

As to where this all started? When I was little we had a select few volumes of Jane Austen's work from the first color edition. As to why we didn't have the complete set, that would be down to my grandmother and her sister dividing all the family books based on their sensibilities. I loved the illustrations, despite their pastel hues leaning heavily on pink. The illustrations were done by the brothers Brock. They were technically brilliant, but sometimes the precision was at the expense of the emotion. C.E. Brock actually illustrated all Austen's novels again and again, I think in an attempt to find more fluidity and emotion in the work, but leading it to also be very similar in style to his contemporary, Hugh Thomson. And yet they never captured to me the precise fluctuating meaning of the scenes, finding the underlying truth that needs to be spoken. Therefore I decided to continue to re-imagine the drawings of the brothers Brock, infusing book illustrations typical of the turn of the last century with added layers of meaning and emotion that the novels have given me, and it all started here with my "addiction" newly retitled "Every Savage Can Dance."

This piece depicts the scene wherein Sir Lucas is trying to tempt Darcy to dance with Elizabeth by claiming the merits of dancing as being a part of civilized society, yet as Darcy points out, every uncivilized one as well. Though Elizabeth is still hurt from his snubbing her at their first meeting and therefore refuses his hand, never knowing that he has since developed a tendre for her. I used a gilt patterned paper to indicate that Regency opulence we all envision, but as for how I reinterpreted the drawing? I removed Sir Lucas and took Darcy and Elizabeth away from their surroundings. They are set apart and alone, much like the cheesy dance scene between Elizabeth and Darcy in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that had the right idea but the wrong execution.The cool colors of their forms, just gesso and pencil, indicate that while this might be the greatest love story ever told and they stand apart, they are not yet together. I hope this captures a bit of what this scene means to you and that you will enjoy this trip down memory lane this summer as I explore what led me to create this series and how they reflect my love of Austen and how her brilliance has inspired me to create.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday Tomorrow

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic."

New Michael Crichton!!! Muppet arm flail!!!

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.

As a forensic psychiatrist at New York’s leading institution of its kind, Dr. Lily Dominick has evaluated the mental states of some of the country’s most dangerous psychotics. But the strangely compelling client she interviewed today—a man with no name, accused of the most twisted crime—struck her as somehow different from the others, despite the two impossible claims he made.

First, that he is more than two hundred years old and personally inspired Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker in creating the three novels of the nineteenth century that define the monstrous in the modern imagination. Second, that he’s Lily’s father. To discover the truth—behind her client, her mother’s death, herself—Dr. Dominick must embark on a journey that will threaten her career, her sanity, and ultimately her life.

Fusing the page-turning tension of a first-rate thriller with a provocative take on where thrillers come from, The Only Child will keep you up until its last unforgettable revelation."

For some reason I really like reimaginings of Dr. Jekyll... like A LOT. 

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 720 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, the sequel to the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight. Lord of Shadows is a Shadowhunters novel.

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late."

Yes, I know, I hate this series... but it's like a car wreck... I just can't look away...

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband—a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan's hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia's most privileged families and their rich people problems."

Crazy Rich Asians has been not picked in our book club hat so many times I am trying to jump start it now with the ARC request. As of the moment I'm typing this I still haven't started, but I will!

Jessica Jones: Uncaged! by Brian Michael Bendis
Published by: Marvel
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Paperback, 136 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"After a decade, Jessica Jones is back in her own solo series! A lot has changed in the Marvel Universe and there are many secrets hiding in the shadows - secrets only a special woman like Jessica Jones can hope to uncover. Alias Investigations is open for business, and of all the many mysteries to discover, her new case may be the most dangerous one! This blistering new series is filled with haunting revelations from Jessica's past, and answers to some of the biggest questions about the new Marvel NOW! universe! From Jessica Jones' original creators comes an all-new chapter in the world-famous private eye's ongoing adventures!"

Here's the thing... the Jessica Jones series, awesome, the comics... not so much. So with most people knowing the show and not the comics, I'm guessing this isn't going to be that well liked... Also why does Jessica look EXACTLY like Gina Bellman from Coupling? 

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie
Published by: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The eagerly anticipated sixth installment in the Grantchester Mysteries series, now a major PBS television series as well. The sixth book in the James Runcie's much-loved Granchester Mystery series, which has been adapted for Masterpiece's Grantchester starring James Norton, sees full-time priest, part-time detective Sidney Chambers plunged back into sleuthing when he discovers a body in a bluebell wood. It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Attending to his paternal duties, Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in the woods with his daughter Anna and their aging Labrador, Byron, when they stumble upon a body. Beside the dead man lies a basket of wild flowers, all poisonous. And so it is that Sidney is thrust into another murder investigation, entering a world of hippies, folk singers, and psychedelic plants, where love triangles and permissive behavior seem to hide something darker. Despite the tranquil appearance of the Diocese of Ely, there is much to keep Sidney and his old friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, as busy as ever. An historic religious text vanishes from a Cambridge college; Sidney's former flame, Amanda Richmond, gets a whiff of art-world corruption; and his nephew disappears in the long, hot summer of 1976. Meanwhile, Sidney comes face to face with the divine mysteries of life and love while wrestling with earthly problems--from parish scandals and an alarmingly progressive new secretary to his own domestic misdemeanors, the challenges of parenthood and a great loss."

Yeah Sidney! I'm ALWAYS ready for more Sidney!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Diane: These Trees are Really Something

In honor of the return of Twin Peaks, I thought it would be fun to post an old paper I wrote in undergrad for my Forestry Class, I give you, from 2002: Diane: These Trees are Really Something! And yes, there are footnotes! Oh, and spoilers!

Before the present time, forests were not viewed as idyllic locations for a weekend getaway but as something far more sinister, a lurking threat. “Forests have always invited the creation of myths and legends, given their size, age, density and abundance of wildlife.” (Guries) The woods were viewed by many cultures as a place to avoid, and a place of great danger. These beliefs of evil in the forests were passed down among generations through stories and folktales throughout the world. From Native American legends to Celtic fairytales, the forest was not a place where you wanted to be found unawares. The forest was a land of unknowns, a land least familiar, and where fear is born. (Bancroft-Hunt 70) It was believed there were “supernatural beings which lived in inaccessible places deep in the forests…vast numbers of dangerous beings with a propensity for causing harm.” (Bancroft-Hunt 70) Danger resided in the woods, whether real or not, the fear was there and the woodlands were avoided wherever possible. Many Native American tribes believed that the spirits of the dead would retreat into the dark of the forest where “these spirits became malevolent, and then their presence in the dense forests was a constant threat to the unwary.” (Bancroft-Hunt 70) Spirits and creatures resided in the depths, but soon progress would take away and dull the fear.

Progress came and diluted the mystique of the forests. “The earlier time was not a golden age from which the present has declined but a strange age to be set right for the people who are here now.” (Handbook of North American Indians 593) Setting things right involved the clearing of forests, hard toil and work for the secular. (Guries) The idea that “law and order stopped at the forest edge with only savages” within gave great impedes to its clearing. (Guries) Whether the savage was mystical beasts and spirits in the minds of the Natives, or the Natives themselves in the minds of the Whites, progress led to the clearing of the forests. With the shrinking of the forests, legends faded. The forest was no longer this place of bewilderment, the dangers within were forgotten, for the time being.

“I’ve never seen so many trees in my life…Diane I almost forgot, got to find out what kind of trees these are, they’re really something.” (Pilot) The American public was introduced to FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, with his love of coffee, doughnuts and trees, “big majestic” (Pilot), when Twin Peaks premiered on ABC in April 1990 with “a cinematically brilliant 2-hour season opener that sent the country talking.” (Bravo) This quirky show created by David Lynch, “the Jimmy Stewart from Mars”, brought us into the fictional North West logging town of Twin Peaks. (Kirkus) The show began with Agent Cooper’s arrival in Twin Peaks due to the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, but went far beyond the typical detective show, far into the depths of ancient Native American and Celtic mythology. Twin Peaks went into the woods. With David Lynch’s “combination of clarity of eye and a sort of calculated unclarity of mind” (Lawson) he presented us with “an unsettling, sometimes darkly comic vision of the ominous unknown lurking beneath the commonplace and the everyday.” (Bravo) David Lynch brought back the nightmares of what was lurking in the forests that our ancestors knew but we had almost forgotten.

Twin Peaks’ “attention to mood and minute details, and its construction- designed to increase tension, suspicion and unease” never could be more well applied then to the fully realized vision of the forest that was created. (Quill) In an interview David Lynch said; “In my mind this was a place surrounded by woods. That’s important. For as long as anybody can remember, woods have been mysterious places. So they were a character in my mind.” (Rodley 162) This idea of the forest as a unique entity had never been explored on television. This idea that “every forest has its shadow” had long been pushed aside for more pedestrian uses, such as camping and recreation. Twin Peaks went into the “forbidding, although undeniably beautiful, aspect” of the North West where the forests were deceptive; “where high canopies of leaves create a dark, dank twilight world inside the forests, even on sunny days, and where the constant sound of dripping water is evidence of the damp which gives rise to a deep carpet of lush, brilliant moss.” (Bancroft-Hunt 9) For a show to delve into and capture these emotions and fears is unique. In regard to the location David Lynch said: “Those beautiful Douglas Firs. Actually the place is very important. I don’t know how to explain it all. I just pictured this kind of darkness and this wind going through the needles of the firs.” (Quill)

The darkness within the woods surrounding Twin Peaks was felt by all, characters and viewers alike were affected when “scenes [were] intercut with ominous shots of majestic evergreens bending in a stiff wind.” (Quill) These ominous shots bring to mind the feelings local tribes had that “wind whistling through the trees the creak of the tree trunk…were all suggestive of the close proximity of some spirit.” (Bancroft-Hunt) But there was an evil presence, a feeling long before the show delved into mythology to explain the dread. The sheriff, Harry S. Truman, said: “There’s a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. A darkness, a presence, it takes many forms. But it’s been out there for as long as anyone can remember.” (Episode 3) Twin Peaks contained many odd people who had connections to forest mythology and the activities in the forest. There was the Log Lady, whose log spoke to her and told her portents of what’s to come, such as with the Chinook legends where logs could guide you and help you to the other world. (Ferguson) Major Briggs was a member of the Air Force and Project Blue Book whose work was originally outer space but in the case of Twin Peaks the woods surrounding. There were also Giants and Midgets who figure prominently into Native American and Celtic stories dealing with the woods who guided Cooper on the quest for Laura Palmer’s killer through dreams. (Ferguson) Within the forest surrounding Twin Peaks two aspects of mythologies where predominant. One is that of forest wildlife, mainly owls, being supernatural and dangerous. The other idea is, that within the forest were places, realms that lead to other worlds. Good advice given to Cooper on his arrival in Twin Peaks was “I’ll advise you to keep your eyes on the woods. The woods are wondrous here, but strange.” (Episode 12)

In legend and in Twin Peaks the simple line whispered by the Giant to Agent Cooper sums up all known ideologies, specifically Native American, about owls: “The owls are not what they seem.” (Episode 8) Native American tales speak of owls as dead souls, as a force, an evil that exists within the depths of the forests that is to be avoided, or a dead shaman soul now shape shifter. Or even as a connection to other worlds. “The Land of the Dead is regularly depicted…as being near to the world of the living, even though there is no return. There are direct connections with it via…some animals and birds, particularly owls, are thought to be dead souls.” (Bancroft-Hunt 97) The call of the owl was an omen, “the hooting of owls was also thought of as the voices of spirit people.” (Lewis 31) Within the plot lines of Twin Peaks, not only do the owls signal death and danger, such as they did the night Laura died, but they are also evil in themselves, capable of clouding men’s minds. Owls are present when two characters mysteriously disappear, very reminiscent of the story of the Windigo, an owl like creature who takes captives deep in the woods. (Wood) But when Major Briggs returns he has no memory of his abduction save a giant owl, big “enough to cloud my mind and memory.” (Episode 20) The final aspect of owls in Twin Peaks deals with the supernatural being of Bob. Bob is a possessing spirit, typical of stories of possessing spirits among Natives, a “gluttonous, lecherous trickster-transformer.” (Handbook of North American Indians) Bob is able to enter people making them “kill without recourse.” (Lewis 27) It was Bob while possessing Laura Palmer’s father Leland who actually killed her. Upon Leland’s death, largely brought about by Bob, Bob takes his form that he inhabits when not in human form, that of an owl.

Owls aside, the forests of legend contain great places of danger, and mentions of meeting places of other worlds. In Indian, Celtic and even Tibetan mythology there are portals, places of access to the world of the dead or other worlds. In Celtic and Tibetan myths there where 7 portals and they where located in the woods, under trees. (Linsell 84) Evil and the dead where believed to reside in the places deep within the woods or at specific locations. In Twin Peaks these locations took the form of the White Lodge and the Black Lodge. “The White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule men and nature here reside. There is also a legend of a place called the black lodge, the shadow self of the white lodge. The legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection.” (Episode 18) While the White and Black Lodges do not actually exist in mythology, the idea of a similar place does, and in Blackfeet legend it is said “the dead, who are themselves shadows, live in shadow lodges.” (Grinell 275) Therefore the idea of these shadow lodges for spirits was brought back from legend. In Twin Peaks Agent Cooper’s agenda after solving the murder of Laura Palmer shifts to the finding of the Black Lodge and the entity known as Bob.

It transpires that Agent Cooper believes that Bob comes from the Black Lodge. “I think [the Black Lodge] is where he comes from. I think the Black Lodge is what you have referred to in the past as the evil in these woods.” (Episode 28) The powerful forces in the forest are now directly connected to these two locations and the specific mythologies that they represent. The entrance to the Black Lodge is “a circle of 12 Sycamores, Glastonbury Grove.” (Episode 29) As Agent Cooper says with a finger snap, “The legendary burial place of King Arthur.” (Episode 29) For the location where one world meets the next David Lynch has gone to Arthurian Legend and that of the legendary burial place of King Arthur, Avalon. “For Glastonbury is the Isle of Avalon, to which after his last fatal battle on the River Camelot, King Arthur was by magic ‘bourne away for the healing of his wounds’.” (Trehorne 7) The two places are one and the same. Glastonbury besides being where Arthur died was also the source of many other legends connected with the first meeting of Guinevere, the Holy Grail, and even as a retreat for Lancelot and the other nights when they became hermits following their quests. (Lacy 198) But “there is one factor common to them all, namely a reference in some form or other to a Celtic Underworld or beyond-world, a magical abode of healing and of peace.” (Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition 16/17) And what is the Black Lodge than an entrance to a “beyond-world” where once you get through it you reach the White Lodge where you are at peace. There are also references to Glastonbury being some kind of a labyrinth, which is what Agent Cooper finally faces once inside the Black Lodge, with the same hallway and red room over and over again. (Lacy 199) The inside of the Black Lodge is a strange place where everyone talks backwards and there is always music in the air. Again here we see imagery taken from Native American legend because it was believed “in another realm…where everything was backwards, dwelled the ghosts.” (Normandein 29)

Twin Peaks was a unique television show not relying on convention, but breaking down barriers and delving into the past. Consciously we had left our fears of the forests long behind in myth and legend. But subconsciously in our dreams the fear was still there. “The soul was believed to leave the body at night, when it traveled into the Other World, from which dreams originated.” (Bancroft-Hunt 81/82) In the land of Twin Peaks, this Otherworld, this Black Lodge, where Agent Cooper’s dreams are, lies within the forest. David Lynch went back to this dream world, these ancient fears of the woods that were echoed in Laura: “I know I’m going to get lost in those woods tonight.” (Episode 11) There is an old fear of the woods, preserved deep in us and our tales that David Lynch tapped to bring Twin Peaks to life. Through the Native Americans to the Celts we have evidence of the belief of evil and fear in the woods. An evil and fear that existed again in the world of Twin Peaks. “The sound wind makes through the pines…What we fear in the dark. And what lies beyond that darkness.” (Episode 18)

Bibliography

Bancroft-Hunt, Norman and Werner Forman. People of the Totem: The Indians of the Pacific Northwest. New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 1979.

Bial, Raymond. Lifeways: The Blackfeet. New York: Benchmark Books, 2003.

---.Lifeways: The Tlingit. New York: Benchmark Books, 2003.

Boss, Kit. "David Lynch teased us all Season with his dark, intriguing TV series - and oh, how we loved it - 'Peaks' pique." The Seattle Times. 30 Sept. 1990, Sun. Final ed: L1.

“Bravo creates new programming showcase ‘TV too good for TV’, David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ cult series, first program acquisition.” PRNewswire 18 Jan. 1993, Entertainment, Television, and Culture.

Chuculate, Eddie D. "'Across Indian Lands' Features Natural Sounds." Albuquerque Journal. 22 September 2000, All ed.: p1.

“Episode 1.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 12, 1990.

“Episode 3.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 26, 1990.

“Episode 5.” Twin Peaks. ABC, May 10, 1990.

“Episode 6.” Twin Peaks. ABC, May 17, 1990.

“Episode 8.” Twin Peaks. ABC, September 30, 1990.

“Episode 9.” Twin Peaks. ABC, October 6, 1990.

“Episode 12.” Twin Peaks. ABC, October 27, 1990.

“Episode 14.” Twin Peaks. ABC, November 10, 1990.

“Episode 16.” Twin Peaks. ABC, December 1, 1990.

“Episode 17.” Twin Peaks. ABC, December 8, 1990.

“Episode 18.” Twin Peaks. ABC, December 15, 1990.

“Episode 19.” Twin Peaks. ABC, January 12, 1991.

“Episode 20.” Twin Peaks. ABC, January 19, 1991.

“Episode 21.” Twin Peaks. ABC, January 26, 1991.

“Episode 24.” Twin Peaks. ABC, March 28, 1991.

“Episode 25.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 4, 1991.

“Episode 26.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 11, 1991.

“Episode 27.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 28, 1991.

“Episode 28.” Twin Peaks. ABC, June 10, 1991.

“Episode 29.” Twin Peaks. ABC, June 10, 1991.

Ferguson, Diana. Native American Myths. London: Collins and Brown, 2001.

Fraser, Rob. “A to Z: Twin Peaks.” Cult TV May 1998: Season 2, Episode 5.

Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition. Edited by James P. Carly. Cambridge: D S Brewer, 2001.

Grinell, George Bird. Blackfoot Lodge Tales: The Story of a Prairie People. Lincoln: Bison Book, University of Nebraska Press, 1962.

Guries, Raymond. Forests of History and Legend. Forestry 100 Handout. 12 September 2002.

Handbook of North American Indians: Vol. 7 Northwest Coast. General Editor Williams C. Sturtevant and Volume Editor Wayne Stuttles. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1990.

Kirkus Review. "Some of Me." The Kirkus Service, 1997.

Lawson, Mark. "Red herrings and cherry pie; It's the television series people were talking about the morning before, never mind the morning after. If you missed the first episode of David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks', don't worry: with this thriller, plot doesn't come into it." The Independent (London). 28 Oct. 1990, Sun. ed: p.16.

Lewis, Claudia. Indian Families of the Northwest Coast: The Impact of Change. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Chicago, 1970.

Linsell, Tony. Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Migration and Magic. Middlesex: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1992.

Lynch, David. Images. New York: Hyperion, 1994.

Marriott, Alice and Carol K. Rachlin. American Indian Mythology. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968.

Nadelson, Reggie. "A Nation gripped by something very weird; what's this? David Lynch's soap opera Twin Peaks is a bigger hit than Dallas. Reggie Nadelson faces up to a new obsession." The Independent (London). 23 May 1990:p.20.

The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. Edited by Norris J, Lacy. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.

Norman, Howard. Northern Tales: Traditional Stories of Eskimo and Indian Peoples Selected and Edited by Howard Norman. New York: Pantheon Books, 1990.

Normandein, Christine. Echoes of the Elders, The Stories and Paintings of Chief Lelooska edited by Christine Normandein. New York: DK, 1997.

“Pilot.” Twin Peaks. ABC, April 8, 1990.

Quill, Greg. "Blue Velvet TV for Twin Peaks, David Lynch is scaling his odd and disturbing brand of film making to the size of the small screen, with a miniseries that is likely to resemble nothing you've ever seen on TV before." Toronto Star. 1 April 1990, Sun. 2nd ed: C1.

Rodley, Chris. Lynch on Lynch. London: Faber Faber, 1997.

Royle, Nicholas. "A to Z of David Lynch." Time Out. 12 Dec. 2001: p.32-34.

Trehorne, R. F. The Glastonbury Legends. London: The Gesset Press, 1967.

Wood, Douglas. The Windigo’s Return. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Young, Judy Dockery and Richard Dockery Young. Race with Buffalo and Other Native American Stories for Young Readers Collected and Edited by Richard and Judy Dockery Young. Little Rock: August House Publishers Inc, 1994.

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