Saturday, January 22, 2005

Potpourri: Corgis, Zissou, Norrell, Blogs

Last month we went, with some friends, to the annual "Rein-Dog" parade in Cincinnati's historic Mount Adams district. In my opinion, the star of the show was the Hanukkah Hound.


The name of the Hanukkah Hound is Tymbel and he belongs to a professor at Hebrew Union College. He is the only Jewish Welsh corgi of my acquaintance.

Of course, I can't neglect to mention Andy, our own official entry in the parade, and the Chief of Security for the Cook household, also a Welsh corgi:


Last week we went to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on the strength of a laudatory review in the New Yorker. I really like Bill Murray and I wanted to like this movie, but I was disappointed. Murray excels at playing cool, ironic guys with lousy personalities who gradually Learn to be Better Persons — most notably in Groundhog Day. But he may have taken this shtick to the well once too often (is that a mixed metaphor? let it go). His performance seemed just a little too studiedly off-hand and sloppy to be effective. And Anjelica Huston? Yikes. She looks more like Leonard Nimoy as Spock all the time. Scary.

I've been trying to get into the novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke, since the holidays. I'm a little over 200 pages into it, but I keep finding it depressingly easy to put down. The story is written in an arch, pseudo-Jane Austen style that is maintained with great skill and cleverness, and the fact that the story is intended to be a fantasy about 19th century magicians holds out great possibilities. But I haven't yet gotten into it. For one thing, the characters (so far) are none of them very likable. There's no one to relate to. Not only that, the actual fantasy element (again, so far) is too muted; the author seems more interested in writing a novel of manners than in writing a real fantasy — although when she does rarely get down to business, it's well done. I'll keep plugging away, hoping it gets better.

Adventures in Biblioblogdom: I keep wanting to mention some really good posts, so now is as good a time as any. Siris has become one of my favorite stops, and bibliobloggers might enjoy him. Philosophy is one of those disciplines I could have gone into with enthusiasm, had I not been detained by philology. But now I follow it as an amateur. Siris is a professional.... Michael Pahl has a great post on the genre of blogs. .... Jim Davila meta-analyzes the religious element in Bush's inaugural speech. ... Dr. Cathey has some thoughts on gun control that are satisfyingly non-PC. I've been gradually writing the platform for the political party I (and only I) belong to, the Green Tory party. I might make his suggestion ("arm women") part of it.

1 comment:

Sam Tsang said...

I love your corgis! they are soooo cute! come and join us!