The Status of Fiction in Traditional Northeast Asian Literary Culture

A while back, I mentioned how, in 1632, the commoners around Shaoxing (in China) had planned to cosplay the characters from the famous wuxia novel The Outlaws of the Marsh, hoping to appease the gods into making it rain so a famine could be avoided, and some of the local literati had gotten involved, donated some cloth and lots of money, and […]

A Particular American Fervency? (How It Might Connect to SF?)

I just ran across a really interesting quote on American culture, which was embedded in a discussion of jazz, but seems to apply quite well to American SF as well. Apparently, from 1961 to 1965, a British literary critic named A. Alvarez ran a show on BBC radio where writers talked about the intellectual scene […]

Link Buffet

I’ve got some stuff to do today, but I figured I’d clear out some of the links in my “To Blog” bookmark folder, so here’s some interesting stuff I’ve run across. Some are old links, but I found them all interesting. Niebelungenlied: after reading this review, I want this book. I have a boxed DVD set […]

What’s Your Major, Mr. Hippocampus?

A discussion of Steven Pinker in the comments for my last post brought up a memory from grad school, and I thought I’d post it here. I was sitting in the little coffee shop/diner place across from the Second Cup on du Parc, up in the McGill Ghetto in Montreal. It was basically my favorite […]