I’m a fan of Frankenstein. Not only has it had an enormous impact on popular culture (always fun), but it is quite the book. However, apparently some people question who actually authored the work.
Something really bothers me about this question, though. As the article notes, “Knowing that the story’s content would be met with controversy — least of all written by a woman — the young Mrs. Shelley first published it anonymously.”
This fact – that a woman (and an 18-year-old at that) COULDN’T have written such an important and influential work – doesn’t strike me as any justifiable reason to say someone else MUST have written it. As Chronicle Review states, “an uneducated, teenaged girl could not have written the book but her husband — one of the greatest poets and prose stylists in the English language — could have.”
Smacks of blatant sexism and ageism to me. Tell me that it doesn’t match up with Shelley’s later work, and we’ve got a conversation. But that’s not the case. Give me a reason beyond, “She was an 18 year old woman.” Otherwise, I don’t put much value in your judgment.
August 20, 2014
I can’t agree with this article (Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi—It’s Making Us All Fear Technology). We keep coming back to dystopian, sci-fi novels (right now especially) because scary stuff is happening in the world. We’ve recently discovered that we’re being monitored and spied-on to a much larger extent than we realized, there are riots and rebellions home and abroad, and there are ongoing wars and armed conflicts that continue to flare up. And technology has played a major role in the ongoing conflicts around the globe, from allowing them to occur in the first place (such as the NSA Spying Scandal) to bringing live images and videos to us from the conflict areas like never before.
An article responding to the above-mentioned piece says it quite well, “To claim that fiction and our buying into it causes this wariness misidentifies the causes and effects in the way that art and life interact with one another. Dystopian science fiction, from the time it first appeared 100 years ago, grew out of our own preexisting anxiety about technologies we couldn’t control.”
We shouldn’t fear technology itself, but we should fear what people are capable of doing with that technology. And people have demonstrated quite recently that this fear is justified. The recent revival of the dystopian novel (or it’s ongoing popularity, depending on your timeline) simply reflects people’s fear of abuse of power. While it certainly isn’t a new fear, it is playing out in fascinating but terrifying new ways.
The takeaway seems to be an old but always relevant rule: Don’t fear the tool; fear individuals who seek to abuse it.
August 16, 2014
I’m supposed to exercise tonight. I told myself again and again I would. But I came home and made fajitas. Now my belly is full of homemade fajitas, wine, and chocolate. Why have you cursed me, past Crispus. Why?
I cut strips of chicken, halved an onion and cut it in strips, and cut a green pepper in strips. I put some minced garlic in a frying pan with some olive oil. The garlic browned, and then I added the chicken, onions, and peppers. The spices were a bit of a mix. I think I ended up with cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, basil, and a dash of ginger? Mixed some water in with the spices to allow even distribution and create some steam. I put aluminum foil over the pan and let everything cook. After everything was done, I put some small tortillas in the pan on top of everything and covered them with the aluminum foil to let the tortillas steam, too. Used some store-bought salsa (I was lazy) and Fage yogurt. Boxed wine from Trader Joe’s (no need to judge!). And ate some chunks of chocolate afterwards. Mmmm, fajitas. They were good. Now I’m sleepy.
June 9, 2014
This article is well worth the read for anyone in a relationship (and for anyone who wants to be in a relationship).
As someone who’s been in a relationship for a long time (but is far from good at it), here’s my advice (feel free to read with caution):
Ninety Nine percent of the fights you will get into are utterly absurd. Walk away for five minutes. Ten minutes. However long it takes for your heart to slow down and your breath to steady. And then ask yourself, “Does this disagreement really matter?”
One percent of the time, it will. If it is real – go back, sit down with your partner, and talk it through. Those are the times you really need to be willing to be completely open with your partner and share everything. Don’t try to ‘win.’ Simply try to understand how you both are seeing the situation. You will be shocked to discover how well honesty can solve those important disagreements. And I promise you, the reasons we all started the fight are never the real reasons we’re fighting.
Ninety nine percent of the time, it won’t. Let those go.
Know when it is worth arguing it out. And know when it is worth admitting you’ve acted like an idiot and you shouldn’t have fought in the first place.
And I will readily admit – I’m an idiot most of the time.
February 27, 2014
I agree with a lot of the list, but – I have to admit – I really hated On the Road. I’ve wondered if I should give it another chance. I read it in college and thought it was pointless. But maybe I would enjoy it more now that I’m older.
Two of my favorites, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby, are also on the list. I also really enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school (to the point that I read it multiple times). But I recently tried to re-read it, and it wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered. I imagine it speaks best to a certain age-group (which would obviously make sense given the age of Holden).