This is the blog of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, a professional writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sarah Monette is my real name; Katherine Addison is a pen name, intended to be transparent.
If you've found me here, odds are pretty good you're looking for something to read, so the following is--to the best of my knowledge--a complete list of everything I've written that's available online:( STORIESCollapse )( ESSAYSCollapse )
If you know of anything I've missed, please leave a comment!
1. It is disgustingly hot today. Thank goodness for air-conditioning.
2. Think good thoughts for me tomorrow at 11; I'm interviewing with a temp agency.
3. These caracal kittens
are just stunningly beautiful. (Watch the video to see their even more stunning parents.)
4. So I'm behind the curve (as per usual), but I have finally discovered Hyperbole and a Half
(origin of "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!
"). My favorite entry is probably The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything
(it also makes me wonder if alots live in alotments), but The God of Cake
is a close runner-up, and the better pain scale
made me cry with laughter. (Also, an honorable mention to one of her older posts, "Thing of the Day: Uterus. Rating: NOT AWESOME
," for obvious reasons.) But I love the alot
. I want to give it cookies, and oh believe me, I will be thinking of it in bad English-usage situations from here on out.
has alertly pointed me toward instructions for making your own alot
5. And finally, a passage I have had to excise from an essay I'm working on, but which I love so much I have to SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD:
The difference between a murder ballad and a revenge tragedy goes like this. In a murder ballad, Johnny does Frankie wrong and Frankie shoots Johnny; in a revenge tragedy, Johnny does Frankie wrong, and when Frankie goes to shoot Johnny, she misses and kills the brother of Johnny's new girlfriend instead.
And Wacky Hijinks Ensue.
Thank you. I feel better now.
I realized this morning as I was brushing my teeth that Golden Age detective fiction would make ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT Jacobean plays.
(And revenge tragedies are also, in an odd way, almost murder mysteries.)
The deaths are grotesque and imaginative (I've been rereading John Dickson Carr's Henry Merrivale books, and trust me, Jacobean audiences would have loved this shit); the books always have a layer of meta (Carr and Crispin in particular); detectives love both acting and stage-managing (really, starting with Sherlock Holmes, but flowering emphatically in the 30s and 40s--and Ngaio Marsh named her hero for an Elizabethan actor, which is a clue I don't know why I didn't pick up on before), and I can easily imagine Burbage stomping up and down the stage and forcing, by the sheer pressure of his theatricality, the poor benighted murderer to give himself away.
And now I want to write one.
I'm reading F. W. Deakin's The Brutal Friendship: Mussolini, Hitler, and the Fall of Italian Fascism
(1962), and for some reason a minor exchange Deakin mentions between the King of Italy and one of his marshals insists on being rewritten in iambic pentameter, as if it were a quote from some time-traveling Elizabethan playwright*:
VICTOR EMMANUEL: The old guard . . . ghosts, all of them.
BADOGLIO: Then we, sir, we two are also ghosts.
--The Fall of Mussolini
If anyone wants to do anything with this, you may consider yourself to have my blessing. Because I'm not ABOUT to write a five-act blank verse tragedy about Mussolini--despite the sudden, ridiculous temptation of writing the Hitler scenes.
*This is oddly appropriate, since February 26 was the day of Christopher Marlowe
's baptism in 1564, and in matociquala
's excellent story, "This Tragic Glass
," Marlowe is exactly that: a time-traveling Elizabethan playwright. Happy approximate birthday, Kit, and next time, just pay for the fucking fish, all right?
So, Julie Taymor is directing The Tempest
, with Dame Helen Mirren as Prospero. (I am ignoring the change from Prospero to Prospera, because honestly (a.) not necessary, (b.) what's wrong with some good old-fashioned genderfuck?, and (c.) to me it kind of suggests we don't think Dame Helen is up to the challenge of playing Prospero
, which is nonsense. But if that's the worst mistake they make--and hopefully, this is really a very carefully thought out feminist statement that will persuade me of its rightness when I see the movie--we are all so very golden.)The Tempest
is not my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, nor even my favorite of Shakespeare's late plays, but I have to tell you, the trailer goes a long way towards persuading me to rethink that opinion:
1. Helen Mirren.
2. Alfred Molina.
3. HELEN MIRREN.
4. This, seriously, is what CGI is for (check out those hellhounds, OMFG), and if there was ever a Shakespeare play that could take the bling, THIS IS THAT PLAY. I am really almost deliriously grateful to see that here, finally, is a production of The Tempest
that takes Prospero's magic seriously.
5. Hard to tell from the tiny clips we get, but it looks like they're also taking Caliban seriously. Which not all productions do.
6. And did I mention, HELEN MIRREN.glvalentine
has some excellent discussion
of the costuming (which is where I lifted the still from). Zippered doublets FTW.
It also looks like, from the trailer, they understand what Stephano and Trinculo are in the play for (again, not all productions do, nor do all Hollywood versions of Shakespeare understand what the clowns
are for. See Much Ado About Nothing
, re: Michael Keaton.). The casting of Alfred Molina, aside from rocking my socks, is a good sign.
And, in conclusion, HELEN MIRREN.
ETA: if anyone else would like a very simple Helen Mirren icon, you may feel free to use this one:
And don't hesitate to add text if it pleases you. Currently, my only image-editing software is, um, Paint.
So I dreamed last night that I met a time traveler from the future (in a restaurant with the Worst Service In The World, but that's not the point), who said that he had trouble with the way we spoke English. He found it "rustic" and "quaint."
I said, "Oh, you mean like we think of Shakespeare?"
He was puzzled. "What do you mean?"
I quoted Sonnet 18: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate."
"I don't understand that," he said. "Who is Shakespeare?"
"Shakespeare, comma, William," I said. "English playwright of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The greatest playwright of the English Renaissance. Probably the greatest playwright in the English language. Maybe the greatest playwright in the history of mankind, but put three English majors and a classicist in a room together, and you'd get a pretty good argument out of it."
"Oh," he said. "I've heard of him. He's about half lost to us."
Which I found almost unbearably sad.
I'd be the first to admit my subconscious is a freak.