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"nostalgia of things unknown"

My classes started yesterday. I will also be helping to lead discussions among the university's freshmen in the First-Year Seminar Film Series for the showings of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film that proves there can be more to science fiction cinema than big budget special effects flicks. And so the new semester begins.

Other bits:

* Happy birthday to altariel!

* The MidWest Jedi Slash Fen are holding an auction now to raise funds for UNICEF's tsunami/earthquake relief efforts. Go here for more information.

* The Tolkien on Film anthology (previously mentioned in detail here) is now available from Amazon.com.

* Neil Gaiman recently posted some interesting thoughts regarding "Everything you wanted to know about literary agents..." on his blog.

* One (of many) reasons I celebrate the return of 24 and Enterprise is that these new seasons also mean the return of their corresponding commentaries at Television Without Pity. I've missed the snark.

Today is the birthday of H.P. Lovecraft's friend and fellow fantasist Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), who will provide the quote of the day:

"The nostalgia of things unknown, of lands forgotten or unfound, is upon me at times. Often I long for the gleam of yellow suns upon terraces of translucent azure marble, mocking the windless waters of lakes unfathomably calm; for lost, legendary palaces of serpentine, silver and ebony, whose columns are green stalactites; for the pillars of fallen temples, standing in the vast purpureal sunset of a land of lost and marvellous romance. I sigh for the dark-green depths of cedar forests, through whose fantastically woven boughs, one sees at intervals an unknown tropic ocean, like gleams of blue diamond; for isles of palm and coral, that fret an amber morning, somewhere beyond Cathay or Taprobane; for the strange and hidden cities of the desert, with burning brazen domes and slender pinnacles of gold and copper, that pierce a heaven of heated lazuli."

from Clark Ashton Smith, "Nostalgia of the Unknown"


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
They are showing Eternal Sunshine? I wish I could see that. I don't even know if it ever came out here. :( Have yuo seen it? When you say classes, do you mean teach or learn? :D Hi eldritchhobbit. I don't believe we've met. I suppose I should have said hello first before my comment. :| Silly me. :D How are you?
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:44 am (UTC)
Hi there, new friend! :) I saw Eternal Sunshine in the theater - it was something of an indie picture, so I'm not sure where and how long it played everywhere - but it's now on DVD. We're showing it on campus as part of a freshman movie series. And the courses this semester - "History of the Future: Knowing Today by Imagining Tomorrow," "U.S. Exceptionalism: The American & The Frontier," and "Harry Potter & His Predecessors" are classes I'm teaching. I have a longer description of them here.

It's great to "meet" you! How are you? I hope you're drier than we are: we're about to get washed away by the rain. I'm glad you dropped by. Thanks so much for your reply! Nice Alan Rickman icon, by the way.
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:54 am (UTC)
Cool, eldritch or ERH (can I call you that? Which do you prefer?) That sounds very interesting. So, is that school or university? I'm great thanks, and you? Rain? Where do you live? It's scorching hot down here. ;D I can't wait to see Eternal Sunshine and thanks. I think that my Alan Rickman icon's nice too. ;D I know a lot of people who wouldn't even know who it's a picture of. And I LOVE your Snape icon. Do you like Alan Rickman then? :D He's a great actor.
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
Oh, you can call me whatever you like! :) And yes, I really do love Alan Rickman's work. He's so wonderful. I am thrilled to hear he'll be lending his voice to the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film! And I also like Snape, so having Rickman play Snape... well, you can imagine. :) I'm in Tennessee in the USA, where I, among other things, teach at the university level. How about you?
Jan. 14th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
The quote of the day is very beautiful, EH! It makes me feel that longing that has no known source...happy sigh. I think its the longing for home and it keeps us all just a little itchy in our surroundings so we don't get too comfortable here, LOL!
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
Thank you, Estellye! It reminds me of how Tolkien writes about how we're trying to glimpse Eden again, always looking for it and yearning for it. I like your take about "longing for home." What a beautiful idea!
Jan. 14th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
Beauitful quote. I don't start my semester until Tuseday.
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Hello
Thank you! :) Best wishes and good luck on your new semester. I hope its the best yet. I've been awful lately about keeping up with my replies and posting (apologies!), but I hope you know I've been sending good thoughts your way!
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: Hello
Thanks for the good thoughts, you don't know how much that means to me. (((eldritchhobbit)))
Jan. 14th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Jan. 14th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)
Well, that's a good name. EH then. I didn't know that there was going to be a new Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy film! :O Wow! And Alan Rickman's lending his beautiful voice? Yay! :D I can't wait. I love Snape too. ;D Of course, it is winter in the US. I am in Australia and it is so hot that I am sweating at the computer and feel like fainting from the heat. It's bright and sunny outside. I'm still at school though. But I want to be an English teacher because it's my best subject. And I also love reading and writing. So maybe I'll be an author like Tolkien! :D But nowhere near as good of course. ;)
Jan. 14th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
Rickman is supplying the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android. Won't that be a hoot? Good luck with the heat there -- it's been very warm here for wintertime, but I think that's about to change. It sounds like you have a wonderful literary career ahead of you, in teaching, writing, or both! :)
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC)
Oooooh. I loved "Eternal Sunshine." Is that the handsome Mr. Gaiman I see in your icon? Best of luck with the new semester!
Jan. 14th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
Isn't it a wonderful film? And it stands up to rewatchings, too. I'm so glad to see some indie scifi being made, as well as the blockbusters. And you're quite right, that's Neil Gaiman on my icon, thanks to the artistic <lj user="licia_north". :) Do you like his writing, too? Thanks so much for the kind words and wishes for the new semester. They're most appreciated! :)
Jan. 14th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
Definitely! The first book of his I read was American Gods. I was blown away and read Neverwhere and Coraline, which were also great. He is so original and Gothic! I also love his imagery.
Jan. 16th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
So do I! I adore those same books. He's also written some short stories I really like, as well. "A Study in Emerald" and "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar" come immediately to mind. I'm amazed at how he moves between different voices and projects so easily, from so-called "children's literature" to adult novels and everywhere in between.
Jan. 14th, 2005 10:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for the birthday wishes :-)

Wonderful quote. And I must get round to seeing Eternal Sunshine...
Jan. 14th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome - I hope you had a great day! :) So glad you liked the quote. I think you'll enjoy Eternal Sunshine: great cast, great concept. It and Memento give me hope for the indie SF film scene.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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