May. 30th, 2012

hawkwing_lb: (Aveline is not amused)
"Cry havoc, and let slip."

Flags on a billboard like a washing powder ad:
"Vote yes for stability!" - we'll give you samples
of new improved political detergent
gratis, free: and freely launder sticky fingers
for the banqueting class. Let Kenny fiddle, go
cooking the books, basting his mates: for us, too late.
In back streets and broken new estates some trampled
tinder-sparks of our eternal conflagration
are forced out the pressure valves of emigration.

Remember twa corbies, the twa named Brian?
And one unto the other one said, "I wot
we'll find ourselves behind the dyke (with our boney
hoors) long before the waters flood. No Tribunals
will sit next year. Not here." Irishmen and Irishwomen
- but see, old traditions of nationhood are dead:
by hooks and crooks we'll cling to treaties that can't bring
either peace in our time, or plenty. Still looking
east for a saviour, or south, or west: devil's deals
pass for miracles if alternatives look worse.
Curse Labour, and their so-shattered promises!
Those dole-swingers grow lazy now, so Burton said,
and washed her hands, and shook her head. Name of God!
Of the dead generations, so easily forgot.

But they are liars and the truth is not in them.
I come to bury Caesar - should Caesar swiftly die:
only let Caesar die and pass like other men,
then we will move. Then we will recognise our chains,
and cast them off, and make new peace with the world to come.

A terrible political poem. Still, prose does no better on this subject.

Monday, met a [ profile] rysmiel for lunch on what seems to have been the last day of summer. Said [ profile] rysmiel was, as on our previous meeting, a scholar and a gentlebeing. That was a very pleasant afternoon.

Since then, I have occupied myself with work and with an unusually high proportion of suicidal ideations. Sometimes it seems as though the most painless option would just be to lie down and wait to die - but I can't do that, since it would leave the IIHSA in the unenviable position of having to find a replacement co-guide for the study-tour on uncomfortably short notice. Likewise with having a screaming frothing nervous breakdown.

Therefore, onwards.
hawkwing_lb: (Ned virtue)
Books 2012: 85-87

85. Elizabeth Bear, ad eternum. (Subterranean Press, 2012.)

There are to be no more wampyr stories? To hear this makes me sad. Very sad indeed.

This is a decidedly elegant little novella, and immensely satisfying. (I mourn that I cannot afford the limited edition with the extra story, but such is life.) Highly recommended.

86. Lynn Flewelling, Casket of Souls. (Ballantine, 2012.)

Review forthcoming from Really not Flewelling's finest hour.


87. Frances Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. Routledge Classics, Oxford, 2002. First published Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972.

The late Dame Frances Yates was famously - and not unflawedly, but who among us is without flaw? - a historian of 16th and 17th century Hermetic and occult intellectual movements. This is a vibrant and compact little book that aims to place the early 17th century Rosicrucian manifestos in a historical context related to the marriage of the Elector Palatine to the English Stuart Princess Elizabeth, their short reign at Heidelberg, and the Elector Palatine's disastrous bid to claim the crown of Bohemia. There follows some attempt to trace the influence of the Rosicrucian idea up to the foundation of the Royal Society in England.

Unfortunately for any follow-up interest, the footnotes are forty years out of date, and Dame Frances appears to have disbelieved in collecting her bibliography in one place. Routledge Classics could have supplied this lack with a more recent introduction and up-to-date bibliography. It is to their discredit they did not.


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