My apologies for the brief hiatus; I have a tendency to repeatedly bite off more than I can chew. Coupled with the fact that I have trouble thinking coherently between November and February anyway has led to me disappearing off into other projects.
All this will change however. The West Coast book fairs are in full spate as I speak, then there’s a couple of catalogues to do (one of which is going to contain some books from Byron’s travelling library, squeeee!) and then the deliriously intimidating New York Antiquarian Book Fair in April.
During this time, if all goes according to plan…which it won’t, I will be starting a fiction blog with Miss Wildes (this will be equal parts exciting and very intimidating because on the upside people will get to read stuff from the deeper recesses of my head…and on the downside people will be able to read stuff from the deeper recesses of my head); and I hope to have finished and self published a novel which I started writing as the result of hanging out with the coruscating Natalie Fisher and being told to stop being so damn lazy and negative.
I would also like to start constructing a guide to The Strand Magazine, which will be very exciting for those of you who like that sort of thing and utterly incomprehensible to those of you who don’t.
In the meantime I should really finish my meandering flailing into the beginning of the concept of fandom (literary and otherwise and how they are gradually morphing together) and what this actually means.
I’m chiefly kind of fascinated by the way in which we so willingly hurl ourselves into other, imaginary worlds, and what this says about us.
There are a lot of different concepts struggling to escape from my silly fat head at the moment. There’s a vague commentary on intellectual elitism and the definition of “quality” as it pertains to literary consumption. There’s a concern based around how technology and free (as in Freebooter, as in “Bring me that horizon.”) access to “cultures” may be defining generational and social gaps in new, inspiring, wonderful and occasionally potentially damaging ways.
In my foolish mind at least, that’s what it is all about; what brings us together, what holds us apart and why we desire both extremes of proximity and distance.
There’s very little material difference in my head between the disdain of the academic classicist for the exponent of the graphic novel as literary form, and the hard-core Otaku’s resentment of the pretty non-Asian girl getting all the attention by cos-playing Sailor Moon. The first thing that happens when we gain knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject is apparently that we become hypersensitive and aggressively opposed to usurpation of that knowledge and its attendant enthusiasms. For some reason we can’t help but associate ownership with our learning.
You could look at the recent “Book blogs are bad, Mmmkay.” opinion swing from the Booker panjandrums, or you could with probably equal validity look at the storm that broke when Glee recently appropriated a musical arrangement of Jonathan Colton’s without either asking or crediting him. The establishment viewpoint (either in the academic and critical sense or in the mainstream profit making sense) comes up against the hard wall of amateur enthusiasm, loyalty and indeed the frequent sense of fair play displayed by the informal fan community, and is slightly discomposed by the results. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing, (although as always I lean towards good, because nothing can be any good unless it gets shook up once in a while) I am saying that it’s a definite thing.
Anyway, that’s more of a statement of intent and a way of getting my thoughts in order than anything else.
Monday you get Dickens and Doyle. Promise.