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Happy birthday to aelfgifu! And best wishes for many, many more.

This weekend I had a lovely time talking J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling at Xanadu 8/DeepSouthCon 43, though I was juggling about three separate events, and thus could not stay as long as I wished (and was forced to scoot off without proper goodbyes). It was a treat to attend readings by Connie Willis and M.M. Buckner as well as some terrific panels, and to see melissagay, vaklam, toddlyles, thewordoffred, and other friendly faces. I am really looking forward to HyperiCon in June, which promises to be a fantastic experience.

Recently, after watching the film version of Farenheit 451, I asked my students which book each of them would choose to memorize and become, if they were all transported to live among Ray Bradbury's Book People. Now, rereading Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow in preparation for our class discussion, I am reminded why The Sparrow appeared on my own short list in answer to that very question.

Quotes for the day, from Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow:

"We are, after all, only very clever tailless primates, doing the best we can, but limited. Perhaps we must all own up to being agnostic, unable to know the unknowable."


"We had all the information, really," Emilio said. "It was all there. We just didn't understand. I think perhaps that even if we had been told directly, we would not have understood."


They meant no harm.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
Don't remember if I had asked you this before. What is that you teach?
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
I am an historian by training. I teach in Interdisciplinary Studies, which means in my case that I mix history and political science and literature quite a bit, but all of my classes relate in some way to science fiction/fantasy studies or Native American studies. This semester I'm teaching a first-year seminar on science fiction (Knowing Today by Imagining Tomorrow), my Harry Potter and His Predecessors class, and my U.S. Exceptionalism (The American and the Frontier) class. This summer I'll be teaching my Native American Identity class over the whole summer, and then I'll do two short, intensive seminars at different universities (at Princeton on the East Coast and at Chapman on the West Coast) with a combination of science fiction/fantasy and Native American subjects. How's that for a long answer to a short question? Thanks for being interested! :)
Apr. 12th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Well do you want to come a teach at Murraystate I would love to take your class. It sounds very interesting.
Apr. 12th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Aw, thank you! That makes my day. Wish I could, but my plate is overfull now! ;)
Apr. 12th, 2005 12:19 am (UTC)
Great quotes today, EH! The first one particularly, but the last gave me scary shivers down my spine, oh the harm we do and the wasteland we leave behind us while we say, "we meant no harm!"
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like them! I agree wholeheartedly about how terrible best intentions and/or unintended consequences can be. I think that's one reason I love the book so much; it explores what you so rightly call "the wasteland we leave behind us." Scary shivers, indeed.
Apr. 12th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC)
Wow! I've never read The Sparrow. I must check it out!

It was great to see you this weekend, as always! I would love to get to hang out with you more. :-)
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
It's a remarkable book, seriously.

It was wonderful getting to see you! I feel the same way -- we need to get a chance to visit. Maybe when the semester is over and spring gets wee bit calmer, we could do some lunch or coffee or whatever works for you. I'd love to get a chance to gab! You know, you, me, some Shoggoth's Old Peculiar... *wink*
Apr. 12th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)
The Sparrow would be on my short list too.
Have you read/are you planning to read A Thread of Grace? I keep seeing the hardback and picking it up wistfully, but I can't afford it.
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
The Sparrow would be on my short list too.

Fantastic! :)

I definitely am planning to read A Thread of Grace, but my reading stack is so backed up at present, I figure that by the time I'm back in control of my reading, it may be out in paperback (and less expensive)! I don't know that I'll be able to wait, considering the excellent reviews I've heard, but that's the plan at the moment.

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )