The State of the Reader: 7/27/16

<–The State of the Reader: 7/20/16          The State of the Reader: 8/3/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.  Some discussions of suicide as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016
Date Finished: July 26, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

I have a lot to say about this narrative poem.  In reading it I realized I’ve seen and used the paradigms in it numerous times.  My paranormal romance novel arguably has the meta-motif of using the assault of a woman to motivate a male character.  This of course causes her erasure from the narrative as a physical entity (it’s symbolically similar in this regard to what happens in FFVII :\)  I’m not sure how proud I feel about that.  There are of details that may balance out my trepidation; however, I feel less wary about how I’m planning on using one in my next project The High Lord.  The “if you don’t fuck me I’ll blackmail you” is still pervasive in both narratives and real life.

My plan is to review Lucrece in the same format as Paradise Lost, which is in video.  As the only equipment I currently possess is a laptop (with camera) and iPhone (also with camera, but a cracked screen and no memory), it may be a while before this happens.  I’m planning on procuring equipment at some point, though I still don’t really have a place to record.  I’ll keep you all posted (if you’re interested).


Books Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: The Invisible Library
Series Title: The Invisible Library
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Date Added: June 14, 2016
Date Started: July 17, 2016
Date Declared Unfinished: July 25, 2016
Final Progress: 17%

The concept of this book was really interesting.  It was marketed as something Doctor Who fans would really flock, too, and indeed I can see why that would be so.  The characters couldn’t seem to settle on any kind of solid personality though (like the Doctor can’t settle on a form…see what I did?), and there was too much info dumping.  I usually like that, but it could’ve been better woven in.

I’ll be writing an Unfinished review of this where I’ll elaborate more.


Books Currently Reading: 1
Change from Last Week:
-2

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 69%

I’m still on the chapter about Malkuth.  For some reason I thought I was supposed to finish the one on Yesod last week, but apparently I was supposed to complete Malkuth.  Ah well.  I finished (and unfinished) two books this week.  I’ll finish up Malkuth before next Wednesday.  I’m nearly finished the book proper…after ten years.  I suppose that’s accurate.  A year for each Holy Sephiroth (I’ll show myself out…)

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The State of the Reader: 7/20/16

<–The State of the Reader: 7/13/16          The State of the Reader: 7/27/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016
Date Finished: July 14, 2016

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Though the volume is slim it is bursting with poignancy.  I’ll be working on the review for it tonight right after I post this.  I gave it a 5 star rating so you have an idea of what I thought.

Title: Spectrum
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: July 16, 2016
Date Finished: July 16, 2016

I read Mr. Reid’s spectacular short story in less than 24 hours so it didn’t even make the Books Currently Reading list.  I had no compunctions about giving this 35 page short 5 stars.  The review for it is right here.

So both of the books I finished this week received a perfect score!  I don’t know if that will ever happen again hehe.  Either the finishing two books in a week or the perfect score.


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 69%

I made my goal set last week of completing the chapter on Yesod.  I’m currently on the section on Malkuth, the lowest of the Sephiroth.  The goal this week is to finish that.  Mini-goals seem to be working out well for this volume.

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The Seventh Is the Darkest

More Final Fantasy essays, metas, and examinations can be found here.

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and suicide as pertains to narrative in symbolism and subtext.  Graphic image of violence and death.


Somewhere between Final Fantasies VI and VII, a well of darkness grew.  I say between, but that’s not quite so.  The shadow spread after inception.  FFVII would’ve been a far different tale save for a life-changing and tragic event. 

Note: So…the above is actually wrong and apparently based on misinterpretation/mistranslation.  I’m not the only one to make this error, especially considering I garnered it from Do You Know Gaming, which has *counts* over 2 million subscribers on its YouTube channel, so it’s a fair mistake.  (Ugh…that video features JonTron).  I’m…actually not too sad that I was wrong about this, because something about it bothered me, and that something was how games prior to VII seemed to have a similar vibe, and it turns out I was actually not wrong about this at least.  I was actually going to revert this entire essay to draft until I could fix this error among other things, but I figure this little update would suffice until I get the time.  Also, I have to credit Continuity Nod for relieving me of my ignorance.  Go read his articles!

Grief is a great impetus for stories, but it does make the shadows grow.  There are definite motifs of macabre laid throughout the entire series, but the seventh has a deeper mien of it throughout for the cosmic horror at its heart, the stark subtext of rape, the unknown name of mother’s bane, and the silence in “blackest” of labs.  All of these culminate to show what happens when the truth is kept by those who yearn for power.

The Name of the Mother

The core of my Sephiroth defense hinges on the idea in the macro: the name of the mother unknown.  It is a valid debate that had he this information, the story would’ve been quite different, but this knowledge was cast to the silence by his terrible, manipulative, Josef Mengele-esque father, Hojo, the only definite complete monster in the story, and, as some have argued, the real villain.

The so-called professor literally “created” his son through experimental measures and continued to use him as such throughout Sephiroth’s “first” life. Hojo attempted to forcibly breed Aeris to Red XIII/Nanaki, and while this scene could be glossed over, it is a brief inkling into the yawning maw of VII’s multilayered rape subtext.

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The State of the Reader: 7/13/16

<–The State of the Reader: 7/6/16          The State of the Reader: 7/20/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 0


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 66%

I completed the weekly goal set last week and finished the chapter on Hod, so I’m happy about that.  This week’s goal is to finish the chapter on Yesod.  I like this weekly goal thing.  It keeps me even more honest and means I may actually finish reading The MQ before the end of this year.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

Nope.  Still no progress.  Not only am I now editing a story about rape, but I’m also writing an essay where a major point is about rape in the subtext of my favorite story, FFVII.  I actually had to stop writing the fore mentioned because in researching the book above (interestingly enough) I became very upset with Wikipedia’s explanation of how the titular character was viewed.  It was an excellent analysis, but horribly dehumanizing.  It also perfectly aligned with what it references in FFVII.  I was both fascinated and disgusted, and eventually the latter emotion won out.  I’m working on the essay tonight and hoping to finish it, so that will be one less source of rape rhetoric on my plate, and I can hopefully finish up this poem.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016

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Medium: Paperback
Progress: 82%

I’m so close to being done with this slim volume.  I was hoping to finish this week, but I still have about 50 pages left.  I should definitely be able to knock them out before next Wednesday.  I’ll more than likely review this.  It shouldn’t take me too long.  I think afterwards, I’m going to give it to my friend Siobhan (who’s going to be reviving her own blog here!).  There’s something about Auri that utterly reminds me of her.  I feel like this book needs to be hers.

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The State of the Reader: 7/6/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/29/16          The State of the Reader: 7/13/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 0


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

No progress.  I’ll try to finish the chapter on Hod by next week.  That’s my goal for this book.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

Same problem as last week with this one.  I’m editing a story that’s rife with rape.  It’s hard to read about it as well.  Once I’m farther along in TBR I should be able to finish this off.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Untitled-14

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 66%

I was hoping to finish this little novella this week, but I’m more than halfway done.  It’s sweet and whimsical with a dark edge.  I’ll more than likely give it a quick review.

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The State of the Reader: 6/29/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/22/16          The State of the Reader: 7/6/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Windhaven

Review will be forthcoming.  Oddly enough the action and interest dipped and lifted like a flyer in a series of eddies.  I wonder if that was done purposely or if it was just a happy accident of the wind.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostI’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t finish the volume; I looked up the last two Books on the internet and read the summary there.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t miss much excitement.  I also didn’t find the direct reference I was looking for (the internet lied to me) about God taking one of Satan’s wings as punishment for rebelling (which if you’ve been paying any sort of attention would particularly interest a fangirl such as me), but I believe it may be something that readers/scholars could’ve interpreted from either the first or sixth book.  I’m unsure, but regardless, Milton’s epic poem was still highly influential in the narrative of FFVII and my second favorite story ASOIAF. 

I think I”m going to do the review for this differently though.  Instead of posting a written one, I’m going to attempt to do  a video one since I have an abundance of notes for this epic and could just talk/rant about it on camera.  I don’t have the equipment for such right now, but the desire to do this might spur this process on.


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

Went up one percentage!  Go me!!  I’m still plugging away at this volume.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year; it would be a decade long accomplishment.  After this I want to find a good translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, so if any of you have any recommendations on that, I’d love to hear them.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

It’s going to be interest noting the progress for this once since I’m reading it from another book I didn’t technically add, The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry.  There are many compendium books for great and classical authors so you must either choose adding their works one by one or as part of a particular volume.  I decided to add Shakespeare’s works one at a time, which may inflate my finished “book” count, but I’m not overly worried about it.  While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may not be a novel, I’d still count it as a finished book (Note: I’ve already read Midsummer…should probably make sure that’s on my read list).

It is exceedingly difficult to read a poem about rape, while editing a story about the same 😦  I actually haven’t read any more of this since starting my edit of The Broken Rose.  It’s…just too much.  Once I get far enough in my edit where rape is no longer directly forefront, I think I can pick this back up.  I’m very happy I started reading it though.  This is another one of my so-called “VII  books” (books/stories I read because of FFVII), as the game makes a pretty important reference to Lucretia, though it’s ironically and tragically only discovered during a side quest.  I also think ASOIAF is playing with and subverting the main motif the poem.  I may post a meta on tumblr about this.  I was quite excited about the revelation.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016

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Medium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Sometimes you find a book where the title itself speaks poetry.  Thus is The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  The moniker alone evokes both potential horror and poignant poetry.  Sometime that both has time for silence and slow regard must be long lived in deed.  It puts me in the mind of Lovecraftian horror, as if something dark and horrible is watching, watching, always watching and waiting for what we do not know.

I just realized something else this picture reminds me of: the first time you see the Emerald Weapon in FFVII.  I’m not going to bother to put a link/picture, since I haven’t been able to find a screenshot of that particular moment, but the first time I played and saw it, it terrified me.  You’re in a cave and you just see this great, slivered eye open, look at your characters, then close again.  It’s…unsettling to say the least.

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The Rhetoric of Rape in Game of Thrones

As those of you who have been following know, I have been writing Game of Thrones reviews/analyses since the first episode of the 5th season.  I sort of fell into it not really planning on making it a weekly work, and though it is quite consuming of a commodity I do not have, I feel still it has been worth that time.  These expositions are usually posted on Wednesdays though last week’s review of episode 5 was a bit late.  In them I not only discuss differences between show and books, but also deeper delvings, symbolism, potential meta-meaning, and possible predictions.  All of these things are highly influenced and inspired by the YouTube theorists I was lucky to find (and whom I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions) whose own analyses and genius have given me greater insight into this marvelous tale.  While the below could’ve been included in that, I feel it is far too important not to stand on its own. *******Warning: Discussions of Rape and Sexual Assault****** Continue reading