juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
[personal profile] juushika
Title: Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables Book 2)
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Published: 1909
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 225
Total Page Count: 219,680
Text Number: 696
Read Because: ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library, but it's on Gutenberg, and I own it somewhere
Review: Anne, age 16, spends two years teaching at her childhood school. The focus on early adulthood means exploring gender roles and romantic relationships archetypes, and that introduces the historical sexism one would expect: relatively mild, but not innocuous, and preventing this from being the same sort of unfettered escapism as Anne of Green Gables. That said, the constrained scale changes the pacing and allows for a more coherent, focused narrative; something is lost by toning down the humorous vignettes, but something of equal value is gained in the sensitive, finely-rendered portrait of Anne's entry into adulthood. The supporting characters are colorful, and Miss Lavender is the easy favorite; she enlivens this book and helps restore the frothy, idyllic tone. This was lovely, but, unlike the first book, here I find I have caveats: I don't think it's aged as well, and it doesn't carry for me the same nostalgia.


Title: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
Published: 1943
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 100
Total Page Count: 219,780
Text Number: 697
Read Because: in preparation for reading Kij Johnson's The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, dowloaded via Gutenberg but also owned in paperback collection somewhere
Review: An experienced dreamer goes in search of a beautiful, forbidden dream-city. The travelogue aspects of this novella are less than successful; Lovecraft's repetitive phrasing, stylistic embellishments, and reliance on visual descriptions frequently makes the landscapes inaccessible (at least for me), and most of the localized action in the first two thirds is removed from the overarching quest. But the ending is packed with direct action and has substantial payoff, and the underlying concepts of this novella are superb. In some ways, this feels like the most Lovecraftian of Lovecraft's work that I've read: the concrete mythos and substantial worldbuilding; a bevy of iconic gods and monsters; elaborate imagery and vast, haunted landscapes. It didn't really work for me, but I admire the atmosphere and potential; consider this a mild recommendation.


Title: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe
Author: Kij Johnson
Published: Tor, 2016
Rating: 4 of 5
Page Count: 175
Total Page Count: 219,955
Text Number: 698
Read Because: reviewed by [personal profile] ambyr, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: A college professor seeks a student who has eloped into the waking world. This takes place in the same setting as Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and readdresses what Lovecraft achieves there, introducing diversity while acknowledging the limitations of Lovecraft's worldbuilding and of society (historical and present, fictional and factual); it's especially satisfying to see the protagonists of each novella meet. Johnson's style echoes Lovecraft, but the particular, evocative language is less repetitive (thank goodness) and more effective; the worldbuilding is also reiterated, but the pacing and tone is inward-facing, subdued: Vellitt Boe is an unassuming protagonist, experienced, competent, but dwarfed by the scope of her world and her quest. I can quibble about the ending, which has a different setting and is arguably rushed. But I enjoyed this on the whole. Johnson's approach to the source material is as loving as critical, and she reinvigorates the setting by viewing it from within, reversing the portal fantasy to strip the colonial/power fantasy aspects and allowing the residents to speak for themselves.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
juushika

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
345 6789
1011 12 13141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags