Quick Van Helsing review.

Cartoonish CGI, assaultive score, bad script, some bad accents. Kevin J. O'Connor is wasted under a makeup job so cheesy ST:TNG would have rejected it, his few soft-spoken wisecracks obscured by the blaring soundtrack and sabotaged by the editing. Hugh Jackman spends his time trying to look sensitive and serious in a role that would have benefitted from some over-the-top swagger. (C'mon, guy, you've got a gas-powered machinegun-action crossbow. Rambo it up a little.) Kate Beckinsale labors to deliver turgid lines in a wavering Bela Lugosi accent. Richard Roxburgh has borne the brunt of the acting criticism for a hammy performance, but when contrasted against the rest of the performances, he was at least moderately entertaining.

Look, it's a popcorn movie. Don't pay full price. Hit the matinee, take some cotton for your ears, sit back and let it wash over you, and don't ask too many questions.

No, I don't know either.

Neither why it's taking for fargin' ever to load this stupid page, nor why the links are hosed. As God is my witness, I typed the anchor tags in the previous post out manually; how Blogger managed to mangle the second and third ones is beyond my ken. It probably has something to do with the fact that I get an error every time I try to publish, although the page publishes anyway. Nice relaunch, guys. The playpretties are no good if they don't actually work.

Update: Ok, now the links are fixed, though I'm not quite sure how I did it. Publishing is still a mess, at least on my end.

Like school, you keep me young.

All the cool kids are doing it, so I thought I might as well join in and flaunt that oh-so valuable English degree (and possibly reveal the parochial nature of my literary tastes.) Titles in bold have been sucessfully completed; titles in italics have been attempted and abandoned either temporarily or out of varying degrees of exasperation.

Beowulf – Verse and prose translations.
Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot – Hell no.
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans – I liked it. I don’t care what Twain says.
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Dante - Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays – “To be great is to be misunderstood.” Whatever you say, Ralph.
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Homer - The Iliad
Homer - The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll’s House
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior – The one interesting book in that damned ChickLit course.
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain – the big thing was Death in Venice when I was in college.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick – I liked the technical whaling info. It was Billy Budd that made me want to kill.
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved - Also The Bluest Eye. Agh.
O’Connor, Flannery - “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
O’Neill, Eugene - Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar – Good God, no.
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales – I’ve read them all.
Proust, Marcel - Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair – The wittier version of War and Peace.
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son

There’s a strong whiff of multiculturalist revisionism coming off this list (not to mention a dearth of Roman authors); putting Alice Walker on the same level as Jane Austen is a crime against literature. Personal additions (by no means exhaustive):

The Arabian Nights
Aristophanes – Birds, Clouds, Frogs. Take your pick.
Bunyan, John - Pilgrim's Progress
Gogol, Nikolai - The Nose, The Inspector General
Graves, Robert - I, Claudius
Grimm, The Brothers - Grimm's Fairy Tales
Machiavelli, Niccolo - The Prince
Milton, John - Paradise Lost
Mitchell, Margaret - Gone With the Wind
Scott, Sir Walter - Ivanhoe
Shakespeare - Julius Caesar and King Lear
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Tacitus - The Annals and The Histories
Vergil - The Aeneid

Poets: Auden, Dickinson, Donne, Frost, Nash, Pope, Pushkin, Tennyson, Wordsworth.



Typically shitty Blogger implementation.

Update: The big kink seems to be the publishing feature, which keeps hanging up. Just like it used to. I wish they wouldn't break the parts that work.

Blogger changes.

Looks like Blogger has changed its interface yet again and added comment ability. Likely to be some confusion around here till I get this straightened out; old comments are likely to be snuffed out at some point.