elaby: (Lestrade - CJ <3 guh.)
In terms of realizations these may not rank high on the life-altering list, BUT STILL.

1. Do you remember that time I posted asking the LJ hivemind about some ancient practice where people would, for revenge, dig up the dead loved one of someone they were angry at and prop the body at the offending party's door? It was, and still is, for extended metaphor purposes in a Philip Marlowe ficlet that I've come quite close to finishing. We weren't able to come up with anything, but several people thought Mesopotamia sounded reasonable.

[livejournal.com profile] caitirin, kind indulgent wife that she is, told me to put in whatever movie I wanted this evening, so naturally I put in Titus (fabulously trippy Julie Taymor adaptation of "Titus Andronicus"). AND AND AND.

Act V Scene I
AARON:
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot

*FACE. PALM.* How did I not remember that?! It's TA for god's sake! I spent the most painful semester of my life underneath an avalanche of patriarchical Titus Andronicus scholarship! Nevertheless, I feel ridiculously satisfied to have finally figured out where I heard this.

2. Somewhere we were talking about Lestrade - it was in The Slasher's Annotated Sherlock Holmes, I think - and we came upon Lestrade's comment in SIXN that "You wouldn't think there was anyone living at this time of day who had such a hatred of Napoleon the First that he would break any image of him that he could see." I noted in my annotation that "at this time of day" sounded odd to me, and that since the only other usages of it I found were in the 1850s and '60s, maybe it was archaic. However, I was poking around Wikipedia learning about English dialects today, and on the page about the Norfolk dialect, I found this in the "phrases" section: at that time of day (in those days, e.g. beer only cost tuppence a pint at that time of day)

Perhaps Lestrade's family is from Norfolk?
elaby: (Holmes and Watson - L&S hand grab)
I got this meme from [livejournal.com profile] janeturenne, and she asked me about some quite wonderful things :)

Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

Cut, because I tend to go on. I discuss Holmesslash, but since I just talk about my definition of the term and about the fandom, it's safe for non-slashers.

hands )

Shakespeare )

dreams/nightmares )

research )

Holmesslash )
elaby: (Nibelungenlied - gems)
I had [livejournal.com profile] caitirin ask this question for me a couple of months ago, but that post got mostly flippant answers, so I thought I'd post again in case anybody missed it.

Have you heard of any culture (in antiquity is what I'm thinking, but I could be wrong) who would dig up the body of a loved one and put it on your doorstep if they were really angry at you? I swear I read this somewhere, but I have the sneaking suspicion it may have involved Anne Rice, and I don't trust anything that woman says as far as I could throw it. Her. Um. You get the idea.

I had a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] _melisande_ to the effect that funereal customs were so important to the Greeks that they wouldn't do this sort of thing, but it sounds like something that might have gone on with the Mesopotamians or Egyptians. Anyone have any thoughts?

This is, incidentally, all for an extended metaphor in a Philip Marlowe thing I'm writing, and Marlowe clearly has a classical education and would know these things, so I want to be accurate.

Thank you, oh great f'list!
elaby: (Jericho - brown)
*loves detectives*

I finished reading Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye the other day, and it was fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that it's inspired another long-winded post about how awesome it is, in the spirit of that one I wrote about "The Six Napoleons" (fear not: this one is considerably shorter). Marlowe is very different from Holmes, from the setting to the characters and everything in between (except for a distrust of the official police force, and a sense of private justice, and... hm, okay, maybe they're only superficially dissimilar) but they both give me the same kind of squeeful joy. Onward!

The Long Goodbye might be my favorite Marlowe story. It's neck and neck with Farewell, My Lovely, anyway, if only for the latter's drug hallucination scene and the "putting on my pants" scene and the whole Red incident with the hand-holding. Okay, so maybe they're a true tie. They're both generally seen as two of Raymond Chandler's best, and it's obvious that The Long Goodbye was written later. It's tied together thematically in much more developed ways, and Marlowe's even more cynical and lonely than usual. God above, is he lonely. But I'll get to that. It's also just a little bit freer with letting you know how Marlowe feels about things, which usually you have to extrapolate like you do with Watson (except, of course, on certain rare occasions, like when Marlowe tells all his fears to Red because Red's got pretty girl eyes). But since Marlowe's the focus of the stories, whereas Watson's not, it takes on a different significance. A couple of times he actually says how he feels, in narration or to another person (and it's almost always "like crap") whereas before, you'd have to glean what you can from his detached description of his own actions.


Cut for plot and squeeing and a smidgen of analysis, and a quote of the last scene of the book, which is ohgod so good. )
elaby: (Jericho - brown)
OMG, I love Raymond Chandler so much. I just finished Farewell, My Lovely and I'm into The High Window now. Farewell, My Lovely has been my favorite so far, and it contained this one scene that's how I first heard of Marlowe - it was quoted in an article I read when I was writing my Sam Spade paper.

The main reason why I love Marlowe so much is because he's like Indy - he gets beaten up, and sick, and scared, and overtired, and other generally human things. Sam Spade's hands shook once because he was mad, and he thought it was funny. Sam Spade is tough in a way that repulses me - he bullies women (or shags them with absolutely no conscience whatsoever), either beats up or mocks any man who doesn't meet his standards of manliness, and would nearly have an aneurism before showing any kind of "weak" emotion.

Marlowe seems pretty tough at the beginning of every book. He's extremely sarcastic, jaded, world-weary, and even edges on crazy occasionally. He also quotes Shakespeare, feels horrible about almost kissing a married woman, and tells a man all of his problems and fears because the man has pretty eyes. That scene in particular is awesome. Let me show you!

First, a description. )

*swoons*

Makes me want to draw fanart. Or something.

I need to find out if this was made into a movie.

Yuletide

Oct. 18th, 2007 09:41 pm
elaby: (Jericho - brown)
I signed up for Yuletide, the obscure fandom fanfic exchange! Whee!

Holy crap, they have Njal's Saga listed as a fandom on there O.o They don't have the Nibelungenlied, though! Sadness.

Right now, I'm reading some hardboiled detective fiction - The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler. Marlowe doesn't make me want to strangle him*! Yay! It's funny, and very bizarre, and apparently Raymond Chandler started his career writing poetry in the style of the late Romantics. Knowing that, I can see it in his writing. Marlowe is also fairly self-deprecating and occasionally makes interestingly insightful but seemingly offhand comments about himself. Something I find really weird (but interesting) about this era of writing is that entire stories can be written in the first person and you still have NO IDEA what actually makes that person tick. It's like... In this story, you're Marlowe's eyeballs. You're seeing things from his point of view, you see everything he sees and hear what he says, but as for what's going on in his mind... that's a mystery.

I want to read moooore! I'm hoping I get more clues about Marlowe in the other stories I have in the omnibus I'm reading (it's got Farewell, My Lovely and... something else. The Lady in the Lake.)

*I say this because Sam Spade does. After writing 25 pages exploring his vitriolic hatred of anyone not male/white/straight/emotionally repressed, I harbor a great deal of animosity toward him. As if you probably couldn't guess.

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