Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Buzz: Why Read Moby-Dick?

Book Buzz: Tension City, Why Read Moby-Dick?:

I love it--it's now a book. Why Read Moby-Dick?

Nathaniel Philbrick is a great writer in his own right. I really enjoyed his book about the whaleship Essex--it completely captivated me, and I usually don't like non-fiction at all.

The author of this article calls the book "a passionate and convincing text." There is no personal opinion on Moby Dick itself.

But check out this "argument." If I had a student write this, I would have the student express why the quote proves the point:

"but when he quotes Melville, the text soars and Melville’s prose becomes Philbrick’s best argument for reading the book: 'While gliding through these latter waters that one serene and moonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude. ... '"

Yes, I agree, that sentence is awesome. Should we consider Moby Dick just a long, great sounding poem then? The term novel just doesn't fit then anymore, especially if you consider structure.

I love how this piece ends:

If anyone is still awaiting the arrival of The Great American Novel(s), give it up. They have already been written. The first is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and the second is “Moby-Dick, or, The Whale.”

I just taught Huck Finn and didn't have a great experience either. But Huck Finn has a narrative structure.

Monday, January 16, 2012

DC already cancelling 6 books from new relaunch

I knew it:

Sorry, DC, but I knew it. You put too much product out on the market and killed good books.

It is reported here that books Static Shock, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C., Men of War, Blackhawks, and Hawk and Dove are cancelled. I could've told you that, and unfortunately, this does not mean anything against the creators.

So now we get yet another Batman book, Batman Incorporated, by Grant Morrison so that one should be okay. It's Batman.

Also--and check me if I'm the complete idiot here--G.I. Combat gets a go. Uh, didn't they just cancel two war books?? See, the blending that I predicted has started.

World's Finest is just another team-up book. Supposed to not concentrate on Superman or Batman but I bet they'll both be in it by issue #10--it's a bet. I have just never understood why they don't just save these team-ups for the regular individual mags.

Dial H is a concept that we laughed at back in the 80s. I give this six issues--see, this could be a team-up in another mag, see if that sells like hotcakes, then give it a solo title.

Earth 2 written by James Robinson sounds really really cool if you are into DC. This should have been in the original relaunch.

The Ravagers will fail monstrously quickly, no offense. This should just be a subplot in another book, like Superboy or the Teen Titans.

See, what DC doesn't get is that the market is completely glutted. And since comics now take more and more issues to tell a single story, we don't have the freaking money to try new comics.

For instance, and I have to rant here. I recently read the issues of the newest The Brave and the Bold that featured Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and The Stranger. Good little story. But it took four issues. Four times $2.99 is way too much for this story, I'm sorry, and I really liked it. I remember when a story like this was told, with all sorts of text, in two issues or less. Now they are just drawing out the story.

Now we have 52 monthly titles at $2.99 or more? And that's just DC. Heaven forbid you try any independent comics for a change.

My prediction is already coming true, DC.