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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
Christopher Hitchens, Rebecca West
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
The Story of My Misfortunes - Pierre Abélard, Henry Adams Bellows, Ralph Adams Cram I've never understood why the story of Abelard and Heloise is considered romantic. Abelard was a self-centered whiner who seems to have had no reservations about violating his monastic vows and the trust of his employer. He finagled a teaching position with the plan of beating his student so that she would give into his sexual demands:
he had entrusted a tender lamb to the care of a ravenous wolf. When he had thus given her into my charge, not alone to be taught but even to be disciplined, what had he done save given free scope to my desires... to bend her to my will with threats and blows if I failed to do so with caresses?

Is this an interesting and revelatory passage concerning how ideas of "love" change over time and cultures? Yes. Is it romantic? Not to me, at least. I'd totally be there with Heloise's brothers, castrating the teacher who knocked up my little sister. This story also peeves me because it serves as an exemplar against education for women.

Of course Abelard never blames himself for any of his problems; it is all due to the jealousy of others. For a text that is supposed to be romantic, Abelard spends a lot more time bragging about how brilliant he is and whining about how everyone is mean to him than thinking about Heloise. I suspect that most of his persecutions occurred because he was an intolerable prick.

And who the fuck names their baby Astrolabe?