Seven Questions

Ganked from Canadian girl out and aboot (tho I wasn’t tagged):

1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies.

Um… the last book I was buying and giving away was… let’s see… Bruce Sterling’s Holy Fire, maybe? I have bought a number of different books by Greg Egan and given them away. Lately, it’s been books from the Portable Korean Library series of translations of short stories. And then of course there’s Daughters Are So Wonderful, the book I helped translate combatting the still evident preference for male children in Korean society.

2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music.

Oh, there are so many. I think the crucial ones might be “Om” by John Coltrane, and The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. Both of these pieces just blew my mind. Though, actually, now that I think back, the biggest change in direction came from an old compilation album of collaborations with Miles Davis called Tallest Trees, which I’ve only ever seen on LP. My first private saxophone teacher gave me a dub of it on cassette tape, and I listened to it over and over. It’s not out on CD or anything, but all the tracks must be available elsewhere. I think that album set the stage for everything else that came after. And lastly, maybe Steve Reich’s Piano Phase. I heard it live, and it blew my mind. My first musical composition was an overt emulation of Steve Reich’s approach.

3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue.

Does such a thing exist? Not if “again and again” means successive viewings in a single day. Hell, I loved Season 1 of Lost, but when Lime wanted to watch it, whole months after I’d started watching Season 2, it was difficult for me to keep watching it with her.

However, over longer periods of time, Blade Runner never seems to fail me, and The Name of the Rose is good too. For some reason, Almost Famous has been like this for me as well… I’ve used it in classes and while a few students who saw it twice got tired of it, I didn’t.

4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief.

Morgan Freeman. The man’s probably my favorite actor.

5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with.

Actually, there is one. My friend Kimberley gave me a painting years ago, and I had it on my wall in Jeonju. I left it with my friend Shawn when I moved, as it was too difficult to move it to Bucheon safely, and I still haven’t picked it up. But I really must do so, especially now that we have wallspace for it.
Oh, you mean a famous work of art. In that case… hmmm. I think I’d like to have a Kandinsky. I don’t know his oeuvre well enough to name anything, but I like a lot of what I’ve seen. Something nice and geometric, with plenty of red.

I also am partial to Dali.

6. Name a work of fiction that has penetrated your real life.

Hm. Besides the ones I’m writing, which basically take over my life? (Temporarily!)

When I first read it, Bruce Sterling’s Holy Fire certainly did. Not the least which because in a strange way it mirrored important and difficult events going on in my life. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man totally blew my mind, as well, and subtly altered how I think of fiction. Also, I first considered writing SF after reading David Brin’s Earth, and I first realized the kind of stories I’d like to write in SF were possible when I read Maureen McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang.

7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh.

“One of its legs are the same.”

It’s a dadaist’s perfect joke, the question preceding it being, “What’s the difference between a witch?” I heard it in middle school, and it pushed some button in my brain and never let up. Just thinking of it makes me grin. No, wait, I’m smirking. Anyway…

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