August 9, 2011

The Road by Cormac McCarthy [review time]

"He thought perhaps they'd come to warn him. Of what? That he could not enkindle in the heart of the child what was ashes in his own. Even now some part of him wished they'd never found this refuge. Some part of him always wished it to be over."
An incredible literary author takes a stab at post-apocalyptic fiction - and nails it. The Road is chilling, deliberate, and beautifully written. It opens up many avenues of thought and questioning with a poetic hand while still giving horror-seekers the thrill they are after. The last of the human race after an unexplained armageddon run and hide from those turned to cannibalism and human-farming to fill their bellies. McCarthy claims that this story was written to say something about his relationship with his son, and the dead land-scape of a fallen America is the setting for his message: that we do what we can to pass on our values to our children, who must eventually replace us.

The protagonist of the novel is known only as "the man", his son, "the boy." This could really be a story about any man in the post-apocalyptic situation, travelling from the northern US to warmer climes in a desperate attempt at survival. He is unnamed and largely uncharacterized, leaving plenty of room to relate to him. The man knows that he will not always be there to protect the boy, and has to teach him to make it in the world on his own - not only in a practical sense, but also as one of the last of the human race. The story is about keeping humanity alive and passing down what makes us human even when our entire civilization is gone.

The story is largely driven by the quest for food, and basic survival. The Road is so bleak and depressing that we get excited even when the man finds shrivelled dry apples to live off for a while, to keep going, keep trekking onward and "carrying to fire." Driving home the horrors of this world are some very graphic images and the constant feel of being hunted and tracked throughout the novel. The Road is darkly horrifying, yet satisfying.

August 8, 2011

Not sure what to make of this: The Road by Cormac McCarthy [musing time]

There's just one passage of McCarthy's The Road in the first person and I'm really not sure what to make of it! Really neat but it seems very out of place and also contains some breaks in continuity. I have an exam tomorrow in which I want to write about this, I'd love to see what other people think about it! Here is the passage:

The dog that he remembers followed us for two days. I tried to coax it to come but it would not. I made a noose of wire to catch it. There were three cartridges in the pistol. None to spare. She walked away down the road. The boy looked after her and then he looked at me and then he looked at the dog and he began to cry and to beg for the dog's life and I promised I would not hurt the dog. A trellis of a dog with the hide stretched over it. The next day it was gone. That is the dog he remembers. He doesn't remember any little boys.

August 5, 2011

Subjectivity of Nature in Tinkers by Paul Harding [review time]

Paul Harding’s Tinkers is concerned with the separation between man and nature, an important theme of literature since Romantic Poetry. Humanity is incapable of experiencing nature objectively; it can only be experienced subjectively in that it is always coloured by human interpretation. Tinkers has many of what I will call Borealis pieces, where one of George's grandsons reads to him from an old journal in his handwriting. The natural experience is filtered through a human perspective in these pieces, and human actions disrupt the natural scenes. Human, man-made objects also intrude on these passages. Personification assimilates nature to humanity rather than understanding what nature really is. The Borealis pieces in Tinkers draw attention to the subjectivity of nature in its impenetrability from human understanding.

August 3, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [review time]

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?"
What I expected when heading to the theatre to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was to be wildly excited to see the final installment unfold before me, accompanied by underwhelment at the actual quality of the film. Other than a few inaccuracies to the book, I would argue that the film may have been one of the best in the series. Then again, the goosebumps I felt during the epilogue scene were probably from the expectation of greatness due to my love of the book much more than anything the film actually achieved. Yep, kind of have to say this was pure fanservice.

August 2, 2011

Buffyverse on Twitter

So, if you're like me, you want your Twitter feed to be full of tweets from your favourite celebs, and what actors could be more charming and hilarious than Whedon's faves? So here's a few of your favourite Buffyverse characters and the names you can find them under on Twitter. Just to let you know right off the bat, our hero Miss Buffy Summers doesn't have a certified Twitter account. You won't find Sarah Michelle Gellar on Twitter, but I'll update this if she ever gets an account.

August 1, 2011

So Many Firefly Quotes, So Little Time.

I was really surprised to find upon rewatching an episode in the series that many of my favourite quotations came from the pilot episode, Serenity, alone. Here are a few of them:

Mal: We're not gonna die. We can't die, Bendis. And you know why? Because we are so... very... pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw, huh? Come on!