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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.

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.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
I think you might want to post this one tomorrow:


Prepare to laugh and gibber in equal measures...
Oct. 15th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! "Are you being honest?" So clever. I love it. Thanks for the link. I'm definitely posting it tomorrow. :)
Oct. 15th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Cool! I saw it for the first time at the weekend.
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thoroughly enjoyed your talk on StarShipSofa - lovely to hear about the research we've been watching unfold!
Oct. 15th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks a million for listening! FYI, I uploaded the PowerPoint (which includes book covers for several novels I didn't get to mention) here, and the most recent incarnation of my bibliography (both primary and secondary works) is here. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a chance to talk much about the possible connection between the anti-technological bias in the recent YA books and trends toward political demonization of technology as it relates to children (worries about everything from the violence of videogames to the ostracization produced by cell-phone and computer "addiction"). Also, Noga Applebaum's wonderful book didn't come out until after my WorldCon talk, which is a shame, because I'd only seen part of it, and I would've loved to pull more quotes out from her work. But hey, it's an ongoing process!

lovely to hear about the research we've been watching

And helping with significantly, I might add! ;)

Thanks again so much!
Oct. 15th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, beautiful presentation (lovely to see some of those covers).

Thinking about what you say about the anti-technological bias, and the point you make in the talk about the authors being GenX and the readers Millenials, I wonder if you're onto an interesting point here: GenX people may have grown up with IT, but it was from their early teens onwards (and later when it comes to the Internet, university age). Whereas for Millenials it's the water they swim in. I think many GenX-ers aren't as comfortable or natural around IT as the Millenials.

The point came up in a management article I read recently, about the problems GenX-ers sometimes have managing Millenials
(didn't keep the link, of course, sorry). But this might explain some of the GenX ambivalence towards rapid technological changes: they were in on the start of the curve, but then it accelerated past them, and people younger than them are, simply, better at it!

(BTW, I consciously wrote parts of The Never-Ending Sacrifice in homage to John Christopher's Empty World, so you could reasonably include it on your list! The protagonist is aged 16-24, and lives through a catastrophe.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )