Monday, 29 October 2018

Snow White And White Knight

A celebrities' friends published damning information about her ex to show that:

"While she's not Snow White, he's no white knight."

"While, "White" and "white" are alliteration.
"...she's..." and "...he's..." rhyme.
"...not...," "" and "...knight..." are alliteration.
"...not Snow..." and "" are alliteration and rhyme.
"Snow White" and "white knight" rhyme.
"...white..." and "...knight..." rhyme.

Have I missed anything?

A camp that I attended wanted: "No dogs, drugs, drunks or drongoes."

"Drongoes" contains "dogs" and most of "drugs" and "drunks."

My point here is enjoyment of the English language.

Friday, 31 August 2018

An Anderson-Buchan Parallel

In John Macnab by John Buchan, an American archaeologist, digging on a Scottish estate, unearths Harald Blacktooth's coffin containing funerary adjuncts peculiar to North America, thus confirming the legends of Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky while also proving that a Scottish laird's ancestor crossed the Atlantic long before Columbus.

In "Time Patrol" by Poul Anderson, Manse Everard, posing as an American archaeologist, detects radioactivity inside a chest found in an ancient British barrow but immediately covers this discovery by claiming to recognize a poisonous ore of which he has heard in Indian territory, thus making a famous private detective wonder whether there is any truth in "'...these theories about early Phoenician voyages across the Atlantic.'" (Time Patrol, 4, p. 27)

Later in his career but earlier in history, Anderson accompanies Vikings across the Atlantic.

Buchan also refers to the famous detective. Janet pictures John Macnab:

" a sort of Sherlock Holmes..."
-John Buchan, John Macnab (Edinburgh, 2018), FOUR, p. 55.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Some Apparent Deaths And Resurrections

See here.

(i) Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander is shot in the head with a low caliber pistol, loses consciousness and is buried in a shallow grave of loose soil but wakes up and digs herself out. Maybe Larsson could have left her apparently dead between volumes?

(ii) At the end of From Russia, With Love, the reader thinks that James Bond is dead;
at the end of You Only Live Twice, the other characters think that he is dead;
near the end of his last novel, The Man With The Golden Gun, Bond is shot and loses consciousness...

(iii) Poul Anderson makes us think that Dominic Flandry is going to die near the end of A Stone In Heaven and that Hanno is going to die near the end of The Boat Of A Million Years. However, both are rescued.

Physical Damage
Salander is hospitalized once and Bond several times whereas Flandry does not suffer comparable injuries.

Thursday, 26 July 2018


I recently read here, here, here and here that a Marist Brother whom I knew 1956-60 has been accused of sexual abuse in the 1960s.

I was taught first by Catholic lay teachers, then by Marist Brothers, then by Jesuit priests, and now receive spiritual guidance from Zen monks. I accept responsibility for my past actions by meditating, not by confessing to a priest.

I utterly reject the Jesuit boast that, given the child from an early age, they can answer for the beliefs of the man. To foist particular, highly questionable, almost arbitrary beliefs on defenseless minds is like mental violence. I also abhor the former physical brutality of some Marists and Jesuits and commend those who did not practice corporal punishment while others did. The religious orders have changed with the times. They have not given a moral lead to society despite their claim to do precisely that. I was bullied by school staff and disbelieved by my parents. A young child had no defense unless adults considered the matter serious.

I remember Germanus (see the above links) telling me that I knew that marriage was a sacrament. I did not. I had been told that marriage was a sacrament because I was being educated in a Catholic school. In a different kind of school, I would have been told something different. That was indoctrination, not knowledge. When I became engaged, my mother commented, "I had hoped she would be a Catholic girl." No way. My daughter would only have been harmed by Catholic indoctrination and did not receive it. I gave her a Bible and a life of the Buddha.

In Largs, 1956-60, I had no knowledge of sex, let alone of homosexuality, and did not realize until many years later that I was once in a situation that might have led to sexual abuse although fortunately it did not.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

A Fourth Criticism Of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Blomkvist has discovered that Anita was involved in Harriet's disappearance but Henrik asks how he, Blomkvist, knew that Anita had not murdered Harriet. Blomkvist replies that, if Anita had murdered Harriet, then the body would have been found.

No. If Anita smuggled Harriet's living body off the island, then she could have smuggled a dead body, then disposed of it at sea as Martin Vanger did with his victims. However, Blomkvist was independently finding reasons to suspect Martin.

The novel needs a rewrite to give a better explanation of why the photo showing Anita at Harriet's window remained undiscovered for so long.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Three Criticisms of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

(i) Harriet Vangar is photographed at the parade in the town, then goes to the island, where she disappears. There is a thorough search and police investigation. The Inspector and Harriet's uncle continue their private investigation for decades. Eventually Blomkvist, hired by the uncle, notices that, in that photograph, Harriet is not watching the parade and smiling but looking to one side and frowning. In order to find out what she was seeing, he requests access not only to the published photographs taken on that day but also to all the unpublished photographs of the day in the local newspaper archive.

But a thorough police investigation should already have covered all the unpublished photographs. Even if the police had missed the point noticed by Blomkvist, they would have found the face in the window which is also significant.

(ii) Harriet kept a list of names and what looked like local telephone numbers but, as phone numbers, they had no significance. Blomkvist learns entirely by accident that the apparent phone numbers are really Biblical references, then finds that Harriet has underlined these same verses in her Bible. The police should have considered the possibility that the apparent phone numbers were really something else, like numbers standing for letters - or Biblical references. They would then have found the connection with Harriet's Bible. Blomkvist checked the references in Harriet's Bible because it was the only Bible to hand and thus found that they were underlined. But a thorough police investigation would surely have included looking in Harriet's Bible and thus making the same discovery.

(iii) Blomkvist knows that Salander is a hacker because she quotes a draft press release that had existed only in his computer but surely her knowledge, e.g., of his financial information already shows that she is a hacker?

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Literary References To Popular Fiction

See Batman.

Jerusalem also refers to Daleks, which are as much a part of the British landscape as the supermarkets that Alan Moore names, and, again, Moore has contributed to that fictional universe. The Daleks are enemies of the Time Lord known as the Doctor and Moore wrote back-up stories about other Time Lords in Doctor Who Magazine.

The BBC's the Doctor and the Daleks are successors of HG Wells' the Time Traveller and the Morlocks. Wells incorporated an ironic reference to Morlock's in one of his mainstream novels:

"There's an incurable misunderstanding between the modern employer and the modern employed," the chief labour spokesman said, speaking in a broad accent that completely hid from him and the bishop and every one the fact that he was by far the best-read man of the party. "Disraeli called them the Two Nations, but that was long ago. Now it's a case of two species. Machinery has made them into different species. The employer lives away from his work-people, marries a wife foreign, out of a county family or suchlike, trains his children from their very birth in a different manner. Why, the growth curve is different for the two species. They haven't even a common speech between them. One looks east and the other looks west. How can you expect them to agree? Of course they won't agree. We've got to fight it out. They say we're their slaves for ever. Have you ever read Lady Bell's 'At the Works'? A well-intentioned woman, but she gives the whole thing away. We say, No! It's our sort and not your sort. We'll do without you. We'll get a little more education and then we'll do without you. We're pressing for all we can get, and when we've got that we'll take breath and press for more. We're the Morlocks. Coming up. It isn't our fault that we've differentiated."
-copied from here.