Stuf I’ve Learned from Reading

I stole this format from Lindsey Millar, but I like it.  Here are some of the weird things I’ve picked up from what I’ve been reading lately:

“The Robber/Sanchez must be pure evil and inhuman [to make a joke about the death of Felix Leiter].  James Bond ought to kill them, preferably in a similar way or at least in some fashion equally, if not more, gruesome.  Yet when Bond responds to the death of a villain with such nonchalance we laugh or giggle and generally take pleasure not only in the death but the way in which Bond responds to it, namely, with such lightheartedness that he might have just flushed a fish down the toilet instead of dropping a defenseless Blofeld wheelchair and all down a smoke stack.”  The essay “Don’t You Men Know Any Other Way?” by Jacob M. Held from the book James Bond and Philosophy.  There are some intriguing essays, although, one of the essays that addresses sexism in Bond films seems to conclude it’s nothing to worry one’s pretty little head about.

“In horror, the man who does not take care of his teeth is obviously a man who can, and by the end of the movie will, plunder, rape, murder, beat his wife and children, kill within his kin, commit incest, and/or eat human flesh (not to speak of dog- and horsemeat, lizards, and insects), and so on and on.”  Men, Women, and Chain Saws by Carol J. Clover.  I picked it up because of the title.  It’s very academic, so reading ten pages sometimes took half an hour.  Still, she made some points I hadn’t expected but found very interesting.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), and the annual meeting featured a full range of festivity.  Nothing raucous or vulgar, mind you, and only a few instances of untoward cleavage (‘She would do well to sew a little lace over the bodice,’ one Austenite was overheard whispering to another regarding one plunging neckline).  Two full days were packed with special sessions on everything from textual cruxes in Austen novels to lessons in the dances of the Regency period.  The titles of the talks ranged from the light-hearted (‘Laughter over Tea: Jane Austen and Culinary Pedagogy’) to the self-reflexive (‘A Walk with Jane Austen: Seeing My Life through Austen’s Lens’), to the pedagogical (‘Introducing Austen to Military Students’), to the multicultural (‘Austen’s Legacy in Japan’)–and on to such far-flung topics as ‘Jane Austen and Global Warming’ and ‘Jane Austen’s Legacy in Scent.'”  “Jane’s Addiction” by Paula Marantz Cohen on The Smart Set.  If Jane Austen and Global Warming is still too dainty for your taste, perhaps you’d be interested in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Seriously.
Special thanks to Julie who directed me to that last link.  Awesome.
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