Many thanks to all of you who sent holiday gifts and good wishes via snailmail, email, and LJ. I hope all of you are enjoying this last week of 2009, and looking forward to a wonderful new year!
* In 2007, I had the privilege of editing and writing the introduction to new scholarly English edition of Emilie Flygare-Carlén's remarkable 1845 novel The Magic Goblet (which North American Review called a "wild phantasmagoria of unmixed and unaccountable evil") for Valancourt Books. I now teach the book in one of my classes, and it remains very close to my heart. To my absolute delight, the talented loligo has written and posted a fantastic fic based on the novel here. I highly recommend it! (Do be warned, though, that it contains spoilers for the novel.) Thanks again, loligo!
* By the way, for my Harry Potter friends, an FYI: you might be interested in the chapter "Harry Potter and the Secrets of Children's Literature" in the new book Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers by Maria Nikolajeva (Routledge, 2010 <- although the website says 2009). I originally looked up the book for its chapter on young adult dystopias ("Othering the Future: Stereotypes of Dystopia"), but the chapter on Harry Potter is also well worth reading.
* Fundraiser alert! December is almost over, and with it will go your chance to buy Lord Dickens's Declaration, the new novella by Lawrence Santoro, as a fully illustrated, limited edition e-book. All proceeds go to Spider and Jeanne Robinson to help with their expenses due to Jeanne's illness. For more information, go here. StarShipSofa appreciates whatever you can do to help spread the word about this fundraiser.
Now the corn mazes truly are frightening;
bedraggled hulking husks of a sinister thinness,
looming and swaying over the tamped-down paths
littered with their fallen hides —
ochre’d in the early winter darkness,
they rustle at the unsympathetic winds,
interwoven with the harsh hiss of the season.
What child now dares lose themselves
among these rasping ghouls, whose shrouds
come peeling off in leprous strips? What child now
dares enter this maze of death? What child? None!
For what they truly seek is not a fright,
but to be startled by delight.
- Christopher Watkins, "December Sonnet"