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I'm beginning to think that my list of books read in 2005 would be more interesting, and a lot longer, were I to include the 20 minutes plus of daily bedtime reading to Looby Loo. At the moment, following a spell of, mainly minor, works by Roald Dahl, we're onto The Starlight Barking, the sequel to 101 Dalmatians. We're using the old, and very tatty, copy that I had as a child. This must have been bought for me, since I've always disliked dogs so wouldn't have bought it myself. I neither possessed nor read the first book and didn't watch the movie-with-the-annoying-name-changes until very recently.


Well, I suppose, in case of the remotest of remote chances that anyone who hasn't read this wants to do so, I'd better hide the rest as I'm sure to spoil something )

Gig

Feb. 24th, 2005 12:34 pm
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After a gap, due mainly to the loss of The Wrestlers as a venue, The Hibachi Dealers had another gig: a weekday at the Man in the Moon. Unsurprisingly when you factor in the paucity of live venues in the town, Fridays and Saturdays are booked up months in advance. M found two support acts, lost one and found a replacement. So out in the sleet I went, having run round in small circles due to it also being parents' consultation evening at school,


reviews )

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Okay paraphrasing a little, but that's the rule, apparently, for the epic two-part stories in SG-1.


Yup, we vegetated in front of From Stargate to Atlantis on Sky One.


Intriguing. Tho' we're not convinced that a whispers hirsute Teal'c will be quite the same.

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Seem to have watched more TV than usual the last couple of weeks--a product of feeling lousy and attempting to get a lot of knitting done.


Last week's viewing included Reign of Fire.


not that we could spoil this one! )

We also watched the second half of the SG-1 two-parter, Heroes, twice, and considered a third viewing.


well, we don't all have Sky )
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Okay, so let us posit, just for this one entry, to avoid a lot of unnecessarily convoluted phrasing that the soul does exist and the ravens possess one. (The ravens, however, will enclose this dangerous concept in quotes.) And it's going to be one of those long, long entries )

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...is ever so much more fun than doing the washing up. ironing, reading stuff for tonight, or attempting to be creative. So here we are reading Tristram Shandy by Sterne and Rowson [info on Rowson here - Cartoonist Laureate, eh!].


But it's so good. (If the ravens could purr (well, actually we can), imagine they're dong it now!). The physical book itself is fine: green cloth binding seems attractively warm to at least one of the cats and the book size just about right for Little to curl up on without too much overspill. Result of course: green cloth binding now slightly marred by white cat fur. The end papers are the marbled paper that looks as if a small child has been blowing bubbles through ink and a rather organic/cellular looking faded red with a green background. Inside beautiful thick white pages to set off the cartooning.


We've always thought that Rowson and Steve Bell<1> had similar styles of drawing, but actually the more we look the finer Rowson's line looks. It's not that the caricatures are less savage, if anything Rowson's more cruel, but the pen line and overall draughtsmanship are finer. OK, so this is a book, most of Steve Bell's stuff goes straight into printed newspapers or online. Rowson's whale reminds me of Bell's whale that he used at one point in the If... strip.<2>

And what does Rowson do with his fine lines? .Well, quite a lot of Sterne survives, suitably, and obscenely, illustrated. The penis-shaped hot air balloon is particularly fine. But the additions, especially the anachronistic ones, are a joy. The Aubrey Beardsley plate (very restrained, presumably deliberately, compared to some of Beardsley's own work) is great. The black page remains from the original ("Alas, poor Yorick!") and later<3> we get a new "odd" page which begins "0011010001111" and continues in like fashion (we won't quote it all!). The facing page has a picture of "Stevinus's Miraculous Calculating Engine" with the following exchange:
–SO WHAT'S GOING ON, BOSS?
–SOME DANGEROUS NERD HAS BLOODY DOWNLOADED THE ENTIRE TEXT OF "TRISTRAM SHANDY" INTO SODDING CYBERSPACE!
Overleaf we get several alternative versions of TS, including a Martin Amis and a magical realism one, culminating in a reference to Rowson's other great "adaptation", The Waste Land, with Eliot (the other TS) himself quoting "Datta Dayadhvam Damyata Shandy Shandy Shandy".<4>


Well, we've not finished yet. We're not going to read it all, or in order, a bit like the last year's on and off dipping into Sterne's original work.


And we do appreciate a limited edition (200 copies). Snooty ravens, rather than sooty ravens?




<1>Why the ravens like Steve Bell: (Not because of John Major's underpants!) Lol and Lal, the two-headed Cumbrian sheep, dating from the mid-eighties, were really what did it for us.

<2>What the ravens don't like about Steve Bell: his move into colour in The Guardian Online. The impact's lost. Unlike Ralph Steadman, whose violent use of colour is the making of his drawings.
<3> No page numbers!
<4> Must find our copy and have a re-read.

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