Thursday, March 11, 2010

Currently reading

I tend to have bookmarks in a wide variety of things at any one time, not least because I read for work as well as for pleasure. Here's what's at the top of the pile right now:

Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends. I picked it up because I will be teaching a course this fall on "The Fantastic as Place," and I thought that some of the essays in here might be useful to think about. They are. They are also quite enjoyable and thought-provoking even outside of that context.

Chill, by Elizabeth Bear. Because I read everything this woman writes, and you should, too.

The Midnight Verdict, by Seamus Heaney. I'm pretty sure I'll be teaching this in my other class this fall, "The Dream as Literary Form." This is a long poem, Heaney's translation of selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses bookending his translation of Brian Merriman's 18th c. Irish poem, Cúirt an Mheán Oíche. Anything Heaney does is brilliant, and I highly recommend this.

The Dancers at the End of Time, by Michael Moorcock. I think I gave my friend Lou a small stroke when I told him I hadn't read any Moorcock. When I asked him where to start (because, seriously, there are eleventy billion Elric novels. And that's just the Elric novels) he said start anywhere. So rather than starting with Elric, I'm starting here. I'm just a couple of chapters in, and so far this is one of the most gorgeously insane books I've ever read. I can't wait to see what happens next.

The English Romance in Time, by Helen Cooper. Secondary research for the Shakespeare and Sandman book. Brilliant, thorough scholarship, and clear prose. Covers everything from grail quest stories to Shakespeare's romances to modern speculative fiction.

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