The Fat Man

images.jpgWarning! The Magician never really pulls a rabbit out of his hat. In fact, most of the Magician’s time and effort is spent delving into the mysteries of the occult sciences and spiriting beautiful young virgins away from their true loves.

At first you make the connections and comparisons between Maugham’s The Magician and Du Maurier’s Trilby. Interestingly the two titles cast a slightly different aspect on their narratives: I can accept that Margaret would not be as enticing as Trilby, but Svengali puts The Magician to shame.Basically the two novels are concerned with an evil man gaining control of a young, beautiful woman. Svengali makes use of mesmerism, or hypnotism, while Oliver Haddo (the Magician) seems to cast ancient spells or perhaps even uses some mind-altering potions.

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Bad Boys In Bondage

BarsoomI was reading a review of the cinematic triumph, Bad Boys In Bondage 3D, yesterday and it reminded me of an earlier time when the simple use of the word “bondage” was not allowed by the internet gestapo. Back then I was managing a reading group on Yahoo (or was it the old Excite days?) and when I went to post the upcoming reading selection, Of Human Bondage, the computer made a rude sound and rejected my post. The error message was tantamount to branding me as a sex-offender and I later found out that the internet guys in the back room placed my web-presence on the For Adults Only list (there was no notice of this action so I was spared several days of shame and embarrassment since I didn’t even know I was Adults Only … although I have always suspected it).

Of course today we are all more tolerant and adult in our attitudes (excepting the Republicans) so I feel safe using terms like bondage, bustles, ba’zoooms, Barsoom, and Betty Boop. That being said, I suppose it’s a good time to says something about Somerset Maugham’s novel, Of Human Bondage, which I reread recently.

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