Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Fourteen-to-eighteen-year-old me would have of course DIED of this piece of news, just because: Cornwall! Tintagel! There is nothing here, of course, even theoretically pointing to a young Arthur learning literacy and practicing at a windowsill. Still I would have come up with the dreamy idea.

Medievalist intercessionality.

Tony Mattera has a beautiful piece on patriotism and our times. A short, perfect read.

Women are perpetually asked to be the cops, the police, the bosses of their bosses, the judges of their judges; the ones held responsible for patrolling and controlling and meting out punishment against — or graciously forgiving — men who trespass. And God help us if we get it wrong.

The Cut has an eloquent discussion of the current Bill Clinton moment - which, as timesome as it is and he is, does bear consideration right now.

In related non-news, the Patterson brand and the Clinton/Patterson ghost(s) aren't great authors. Who knew? Absolutely everybody. Gary Sue, let'r rip. Two reasons I will not read this book - incidental and not even applicable anti-Muslim villain naming, and egregious use of the term Dark Ages. Y'all know how I feel about *that*.

Unfortunately, the title, “The President Is Missing,” depends upon what the meaning of the word “is” is.



Jeff said...

When I was 20, my best friend and I hitchhiked and walked 18 miles into Tintagel on a rainy summer night. Stray cats ran through the dark streets, and to seek out lodging we had to wander through an eerie medieval churchyard cemetery and along treacherous cliffs at midnight. In the morning we awoke to a lovely coastline and a kitschy little tourist town, but we weren't disappointed, because the previous day had been so darned cool. I could read a hundred books about the actual, unromantic history of Tintagel, I know the town didn't even have that name until the Arthurian craze of the 19th century...but even though I know better, for me it'll always be a place where myth and legend reign.

DLM said...

What fun! Yes, I do sometimes enjoying a legend or historical theory even with the knowledge it is the downiest of horsefeathers. Historical fiction, I guess it's really my bag.

BTW, just added a new link above - sort of a reflection on one aspect of medieval queendom. With which, the thinking goes, we Americans are currently blessed times two.

Jeff said...

Historical fiction strikes me as a great compromise between "history" and "fiction," but I've learned over the years that historians make a lot of assumptions that in the long run aren't much different from those made by novelists—a fact that should hearten novelists! Of course, I just got in from a good D.C. production of the musical "Camelot," and it reminded me that Arthurian myths and legends have had a more profound influence on the world than whichever real-life dude or dudes may have been the distant, small-time inspiration for Arthur. So here's to storytelling. (I've finally found a new nonfiction idea that combines the two; have just started taking baby steps on the book proposal.)

I saw that piece on the parallels with medieval queenship a couple days ago, and I'm torn. On one hand, I basically buy the idea. On the other, is it so much different from the role played by most other First Ladies? I'd apply her theory to the modern presidency overall—but then I'm suspicious of all politicians, and probably hold them, as a class, in dimmer regard than most...

DLM said...

Oh, it absolutely fits a much larger pattern. The point here, I would have said, is that the incumbent's actions more archly and overtly hew to the barbarity and cruelty most people read in the term "medieval" - and I'd agree to that as much as I'd agree to the position of FLOTUS fitting age-old (gender) roles.

The *way* the current couple enact their roles is unique, as well. It is often speculated that Mrs. Trump's is a much more transactional marriage than is typically seen (or at least admitted to) in contemporary public life, and that too harks to the arrangements seen in past monarchies.

I doubt your regard is dimmer than most. That's the entire way we got the president we have, and the same could be said widely beyond the U.S. these days.