October 14th, 2009

Halloween

Halloween Countdown, Day 14


Happy birthday to grisemalkin, and best wishes for many happy returns of the day!


I have a few Halloween-related news items to share:

* From ThisKevin: "5 Music Videos about Werewolves."

* Travis Prinzi, author of Harry Potter and Imagination: The Way Between Two Worlds and editor of Hog's Head Conversations: Essays on Harry Potter and all-around great guy, recently gave a lecture in New York entitled "Harry Potter, Dracula, & Frankenstein: Fear and Gothic Elements in J.K. Rowling’s Best Selling Novels.” The recording of this lecture is now available online. Read more about it here.

* My latest segment is up at StarShipSofa: The Audio Science Fiction Magazine, and it is my talk on "Young Adult Dystopian Fiction" -- a longer version than the one I gave at WorldCon, and a shorter version than the one I gave at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. It is available for download or streaming here. (Hey, there's a Halloween connection: dystopias are scary!)

* I think it's brilliant that fans of Neil Gaiman's wonderful novel The Graveyard Book (which my students are reading this week for class, as a matter of fact) have filmed themselves dancing the Macabray. Read more here. And here they are:





Spooky Text of the Day: Today's text is the poem "Lenora (Lenore)" (1790) by Göttfried August Bürger and translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Excerpt:
But see! but see! in an eyelid's beat,
Towhoo! a ghastly wonder!
The horseman's jerkin, piece by piece,
Dropped off like brittle tinder!
Fleshless and hairless, a naked skull,
The sight of his weird head was horrible;
The lifelike mask was there no more,
And a scythe and a sandglass the skeleton bore.

Loud snorted the horse as he plunged and reared,
And the sparks were scattered round: --
What man shall say if he vanished away,
Or sank in the gaping ground?
Groans from the earth and shrieks in the air!
Howling and wailing everywhere!
Half dead, half living, the soul of Lenora
Fought as it never had fought before.


Read the complete poem here.