Experimental Titles for the Third Quarter

JEFRather than push things, the presence of what might be considered a Big Fat Book has forced me to give into some readers and only schedule three titles for the 3rd quarter at Experimental Fiction (XFX). But even the two shorter works are worthy of two or three months of reading and study so we should avoid thinking this is a period of fluff reading. The three titles are: Nervous Conditions byTsitsi Dangarembga; Three Trapped Tigers by G. Cabrera Infante; and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke. What do you think?

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The Man Who Loved Children

Man ChildrenJackie Gleason made a movie in the 1960s called Papa’s Delicate Condition. In some ways Christina Stead’s novel, The Man Who Loved Children reminds me of that movie; in other ways it reminds me of The Stepfather. The Man Who Loved Children is the story of a large family in the early part of the last century and how it coped (or didn’t cope) with their problems (especially money related). Father was a bit of a bore but I suppose his sing-song fairytale approach to life was fun for the kids, at least to a point, but it certainly didn’t help his relationship with his wife or his older daughter (by a previous marriage).

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this novel from Australia:

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Stop or my fetus will shoot!

baby gunAs usual, I am ashamed of the shenanigans that go on where I live in the state of South Carolina. I spotted the latest while scanning the regular feeds that come to my desktop each day; this one from Crooks and Liars: South Carolina Legislators Want ‘Stand Your Ground’ Expanded To Fetuses.

The legal argument is that mothers should be able to defend not only themselves but also their unborn child, starting at conception. Of course this is a ridiculous and unnecessary extension to the law since the pregnant mother, under the existing law, could legally blow away an assailant for threatening her, pregnant or not. But the discussion suggests that this is a backdoor try by the religious-right and the ultra-conservatives to get personhood legally affixed to the projected child at the time of conception. Tricky, huh?

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The Principle: A Documentary About Geocentrism

This was introduced to me on a radio talk show and I followed up with a trip to Google and the original post at Slate. The text is rather biased but on the other hand, the concept of Geocentrism is just cocoa puffs. Here’s what Phil Plait has to say in Slate:

Of all the wrongiest wrongs that ever wronged wrongness, Geocentrism is way up on the list. The idea that the Earth is the center of the Universe makes creationism look positively scientific in comparison. It might be edged out by people who think the Earth is flat, but just barely.

And yet somebody actually went out and made a “documentary” where, apparently, that is exactly what they’re trying to promote. It’s called The Principle, and it’s making the rounds on the ‘Net right now. Here’s the trailer. …

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