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  • Interests
    I like books, and philosophizing, and procrastinating, and sour candy.

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    College Student/Retail-Wage-Slave-for-Hire
  • Favorite movies
    The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Lord of the Rings, Before Sunrise, Groundhog Day, Back to the Future.
  • Favorite music
    U2, Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, The Pogues. New Wave. Early Punk. Folk. Hymns. Spirituals.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Shakespeare, Tolkien, Donne, C.S. Lewis, Blue Like Jazz, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
  • Favorite visual art
    Turner, Edvard Munch, Edward Gorey.

ThePersistanceOfWaffles's Achievements


Member (5/5)

  1. That is so true. I must have given that book a go at least three time between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, and I could never make it past the first London chapter. If only someone had told me, and my teachers, that just because a classic novel has a young hero, it doesn't necessarily mean the ideal audience is a young reader. An excellent observation. It's truly a testament to how much the reader brings to the equation of reading--the book stays the same, but the experience is different every time. Hehe, funnily enough, it was your namesake who gave me more trouble than anyone when I was a young student. I remember writing a persuasive speech on why Walden should be struck from school curricula forever, for the crime of being insufferably boring and wrong. I'd be interested to see how Thoreau reads to me today (especially now that I'm no longer the neoconservative young capitalist I once was.)
  2. A Tale of Two Cities. I don't know why, but I've been on a Victoriana kick lately. This means, among other things, that I'm finally getting around to some essential Dickens. This is my second Dickens novel after Oliver Twist (flawed, but enjoyable). I'm enjoying this quite a bit so far: sprawling, human, dryly funny, and melodramatic in a way that reminds you why melodrama was ever appealling. The Innocence of Father Brown. Made me realize once again that I'm not so keen on the Murder Mystery as a genre. But, heesh. Chesterton can write.
  3. I like how they seem to be following the naming template for Blackadder. Otherwise... I got nuthin'.
  4. Hm... mystical institution who've survived into the post-WWII world; whom Hollywood is more than comfortable with turning into cartoon villains? I hope the Catholic Church is ready for its closeup. And as if there wasn't already enough reason to fear this would be a dreary Da Vinci Code ripoff.
  5. , so that would work. Ooh! That's interesting. Very interesting. And perhaps the are ? I think I have a new pet theory.
  6. Personally, my first thought when reading the title was of the . I always expected that Rowling would return there eventually. At any rate, I like the title. It seems spooky and evocative and the natural culmination of where the last couple of books have seemed to be heading. Okay, I can actually sort of buy as a Christ figure (assuming , which I do)--at any rate, it's no more farfetched than Sirius Black as Christ figure. But I really don't understand how Granger gets a metaphor for Christ out of the Chamber of Secrets--it's basically just the bad guy's Fortress of Doom, no? At any rate, this sort of reminds me of a game we used to play in my small Evangelical elementary school: the goal was to pick an object around the classroom--any object--that our Principal could not use as the basis for a sermon. We never won, and it was only later that I realized that was because, if you squint hard enough, you can find a sermon--or a Christ metaphor--in anything. Going back a bit, I find it curious that Mattingly and the good Father think Harry Potter is a tragedy, or that Rowling is drawing specifically on tragic epics any more than she's drawing on, say, bildungsromans or Victorian melodrama. Besides, the way this series has been structured, it would make a spectacularly lousy tragedy about the battle between Good and Evil. The focus is all on Harry growing into a man and coming--slowly-- to a better understanding of the events and people surrounding him (the increasingly central mystery of is a good example of this.) The natural emotional climax that has been established (especially in the last book, when Dumbledore practically spells it out) is Harry learning to judge and act with discernment and love. The point isn't the defeat of Voldemort--his evil is too distant and emotionally removed from the core of the novel. The point is Harry growing up and finally getting the story straight. Instant Death just undercuts all of that and makes it really kind of pointless. Sigh. Clearly, I've been thinking about this too much. (Edited because my principal is my pal, not my ple. )
  7. So, uh, did this: raise a WTF? from from anyone else? I guess he's trying to distance himself from the threat of association with conservativism or pro-Americanism, and maybe emphasize what a provocative guy Jesus is, but still, seriously. WTF?
  8. Well since Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is on my "favorite writing" list, I better add my two cents. I think I'm with Ebert on this one. The transfer between mediums just doesn't work for me, and I'm not sure it could have worked. Aside from the points about the camera's "eye" that Ebert makes, I think the main problem is that there is no equivalent of the "empty stage" in film, and the empty stage was crucial to this play. To have the early scenes transplanted to a forest where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are actually travelling and doing something and interacting with a world that really exists is the complete opposite of what the play works hard to portray: two men in a physical and philosophical vaccuum (Hamlet scenes not included). The screen can't convey a vaccuum. The closest the filmmakers can come is to make the reality that is being filmed as fluid and surreal as possible, which I guess explains all the random absurdity that got added into the film. (Roz pulling a giant sandwich out of his pocket, Looney Toons style, for example.) It's kind of funny and interesting as far as it goes, I think, but it doesn't really work as a substitute for the stage. Which is not to say that this is a bad film--it's funny, well-acted, and it's so bizarre that on its own I'm sure I would enjoy it. But the play was much more to me. (Especially now that I was lucky enough to see a fantastic production of it at my local playhouse). Yeah, I definitely thought that the play dug deeper into its own existential implications. I think what I really love about the play is that it is genuinely funny, absurdist stuff in the beginning--but it becomes increasingly real and urgent as it goes on, until it works itself into a genuinely touching tragedy and an existential nightmare at the end. Though I wonder if we have a different attitude toward those "hints of an Author at work", as you put it. To me, they all point to a capricious, apathetic, and cruel Author--he reminds me of the puppet-master God of some particularly disturbing strains of Predeterminism I've encountered (with poor R and G as the helpless, hopeless, eternally damned Non-Elect). It's spiritually signifcant for me as an example of what I don't believe God to be. From what I remember of the ending of the film (and I haven't seen it since high school) the film mutes the horror and tragedy of the play's ending--as I recall, it ended pretty much on the same note of apathetic nihilism that Life of Brian did. I much prefer the sincere grief that the play inspired in me. The saddest part for me is the very last line, where Rosencrantz(or is it Guildenstern?)--right before they die--says, "well, at least we'll know better next time." At first it sounds like a sliver of hope for the characters, until you realize that this is the next time, and they've been saying it to each other since Hamlet was first performed and will continue to say it--then die--until the last time it is performed. They can never learn, never break the cycle. Scary stuff, as a metaphor for how the world really is. It reminds me to be glad that I do not believe that's really all there is. (That line might have been in the film too, but I never made the same connection until I saw it performed.)
  9. I also adored "Come thou Fount." It and "Amazing Grace" (a song that never truly moved me before I heard Sufjan's rendition of it) were my favorites on the original three Christmas albums. Ironic, since neither are Christmas songs! Also, I haven't heard it yet, but I'm already in love with "Get Behind Me, Santa."
  10. Heh. You've got a real gift of foresight there, Peter.
  11. I'm signed up. And I'm almost certain I'm going to fail--I've only written 1,700 words in the past three days and I'm already running out of steam. But, hey, it's good practice for next year, what?
  12. I can't be the only one who needs to watch a film to get into the Halloween spirit. (And I can't be the only one who loves to get into the Halloween spirit.) I tend to think spooky and fun--or just plain funny-- films capture the true mood of Halloween better than horror does, and so my preferences tend to run toward the silly stuff like Young Frankenstein, Army of Darkness, or Nightmare Before Christmas. And even though it's not film, I'm extremely fond of the early "Treehouse of Horror" Simpsons episodes. (Probably a little too fond--I'm pretty sure I can quote the entire paordy of The Shining, and I've never even seen The Shining.) What are your own Halloween favorites? Does anyone have any traditions? (Oh, and to take pre-emptive anti-"ahem" action: I'm aware of the existance of this thread, but I think my question is far enough removed that I can start a new thread.)
  13. This is all well and good, folks, but it seems you've forgotten that even though you might have rockhard abs and chiseled features, it doesn't mean you too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident.
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