Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anna Quindlen and Spartacus.

Strange bedfellows, I know, but I don't want to be one of those annoying bloggers that posts things every 30 seconds. My annoying bits will come all at once, thank you.

1. Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen, 2006.

I don't really know why I had this; maybe my mother left it here. In any case, I was trying really hard to make it through my Thomas Mann Reader (that I started back in October) but seeing as my nightly routine usually involves at least a couple alcoholic beverages after I eat and come down here to try and write, and then a bath with whatever book I'm reading; the concentration factor was a little lacking these last few weeks . . . I kept zoning out in the tub and then squinting and trying really hard to concentrate on Death in Venice, telling myself that I owe it to myself to have read this . . . Finally I just said FUCK IT this is too heady right now. I'll come back to it again later. And then I picked this up instead.

It was fine, I guess. Not exactly my cup of tea, but competent. She seems to be very descriptive and good with words, so good job there, but here's my thing: Wordy people need to be either funny (Diablo Cody) or I don't know, edge-y (Quentin Tarantino) for me to really say I enjoy their writing. She was just wordy. That's all I can say.

2. How Reading Changed My Life, 1998, by Anna Quindlen.

See? This is probably an example of what will happen to me someday. I'll absolutely shred myself trying to roll out decent, intelligent fiction or media criticisms but people will really only want to hear about my non-ficitonal past and a day in the life of four kids and the 3493898988 fecal incidents that accompany such a lifestyle. People love writers with a flare for describing fecal incidents.

I liked this a lot. I LOVE TO HEAR PEOPLE TALK ABOUT BOOKS, it just makes me happy. And I love reading lists. It could be a complete works of Larry the Cable Guy list and I would still love it just because it was a list of books. And what I was getting at up there before was that fiction writers are usually really gifted at telling their own stories, and I was far more interested in this (of Quindlen's) than the other title.

3. ON BATIATUS: (spoilers, a lot).

So clearly, I've had a little wine, there's a full moon, and I love *everyone* right now, but I've been meaning to say this for a while, now.

Spartacus has really excellent emotional exchanges.

-Lucretia loves Quintus enough to murder his disapproving father. "Tell me I was wrong about you."
"You were wrong. I am far worse."
-Quintus loves Lucretia enough to leave the Ludus with nothing, to give up everything to be with her.
-Gannicus! Being champion gladiator and engaging in drunken three ways fall to the wayside once he falls in love with Melitta. That whole relationship shift between them completely gives me chills. (RIP, Melitta).
-in Blood and Sand, Spartacus OVERTAKES THE HOUSE OF BATIATUS to avenge his wife's death. "Was she really such a woman?" Mira asks him. "She was the sun."
-in Blood and Sand Crixus, the former champion gladiator cries openly to Naevia, "I have ruined us!"
This entire show is an exercise in denied love.
Hot, Crixus, but please do *something* with that mop. . .

Finale next week. :(

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