Friday, November 07, 2008
Link Proliferation: Gesù Cristo! Un piccolo uomo fatto dei quadrati!
That's right, pussycat!
The generous papercraft figure designers at Cubeecraft are offering free downloads of their models for Italian Spiderman and his lead baddie Captain Maximum.
To truly make this your Friday productivity sink, here's the first episode of Alrugo's Italian Spiderman:
Follow the flick all the way through the series and you'll be another hour or so closer to the weekend.
Leaping from papercraft to t-shirt design, Devil's Due Publishing – the group that handles the indie hit series Hack/Slash - and online t-shirt retailer Threadless are joint-hosting a horror-themed design contest. The rules can be found here. If you've got any artistic talent, give it a shot! I'm looking at you, Screamin' Spacejack.
Now that the political debates are over, let's get back to discussing the real issues of the day!
Simon "Shaun of the Dead" Pegg sounds off in the pages of the Guardian: Zombies don't run!
From Pegg's rant:
I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a reality that does not exist, but this genuinely irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with an MDF stake; werewolves can't fly; zombies do not run. It's a misconception, a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster. The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all.
More significantly, the fast zombie is bereft of poetic subtlety. As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster. Where their pointy-toothed cousins are all about sex and bestial savagery, the zombie trumps all by personifying our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Slow and steady in their approach, weak, clumsy, often absurd, the zombie relentlessly closes in, unstoppable, intractable.
Speaking of debates, the Chronicle of Higher Education sounds off on the Mary/Percy Frankenstein authorship debate recently rekindled by the publication of an new edition of Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein manuscript. From the article:
In 1974, the late James Rieger published a new edition of the 1818 text. (Up until then, the 1831 edition, which incorporated substantial revisions by Mary, was the one familiar to most readers.) "Shelley oversaw his wife's manuscript at every stage," Rieger argued. "Not only did he correct her frequent grammatical solecisms, her spelling, and her awkward phrasing," Percy made more-substantial suggestions "for the improvement of the narrative."
Rieger summed up Percy's influence this way: "His assistance at every point in the book's manufacture was so extensive that one hardly knows whether to regard him as editor or minor collaborator."
One of the first scholars to put the focus back on Mary's accomplishment was Anne K. Mellor, a professor of English at the University of California at Los Angeles. In the 1980s, Mellor went to the Bodleian Library in Oxford to take a look at the manuscript evidence — including the two Frankenstein notebooks — which had been more or less ignored by researchers.
Mellor's 1988 book Mary Shelley: Her Fiction, Her Life, Her Monsters goes after Rieger's claim that Percy's interventions improved the novel. Rieger's account is "so biased in Percy Shelley's favor that it must be read as a tissue of facts, half-truths, and pure speculation," Mellor wrote.
Her own study of the notebooks led her to conclude that Percy "made many technical corrections and several times clarified the narrative and thematic continuity of the text." In Mellor's reading, however, Percy at times "misunderstood her intentions and distorted her ideas" as he attempted to impose his style on his wife and make the novel more formal and Latinate.
"Percy never met a monosyllable that he didn't want to make a polysyllable," Mellor says. "Percy thought he was heightening her prose style, making it sound more erudite." So the monster walks around "sounding as if he's Horace."
We are not likely to know why Mary accepted those words, or any of Percy's other edits and additions. Robinson [editor of the new edition – CRwM] hopes that readers will take the evidence laid out in the Bodleian edition, weigh it for themselves, and — putting the ideological extremes of past disputes aside — go easy on both Shelleys.
"Some people are going to argue that Percy is usurping his authority and changing Mary. Other people would argue, at the other extreme, that Mary needs this advice," Robinson says. "I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. Here are two people who love each other. One is giving a manuscript to the other for editorial advice, one suggests changes, the other accepts them, the end. But that makes no drama."
To stay on the subject of horror novels, remember the untitled online serial novel I hipped you to back in August? It's got a title now and it available as hardcopy novel. You can score your own copy of Cryptic Bindings On/Off - A Jekyll & Hyde Story at their Web site.
Finally, for you screamers and screamettes who dig a little high culture with your morning coffee, here's a poem by Roberto Bolaño.
GODZILLA IN MEXICO
Listen carefully, my son: bombs were falling
over Mexico City
but no one even noticed.
The air carried poison through
the streets and open windows.
You'd just finished eating and were watching
cartoons on TV.
I was reading in the bedroom next door
when I realized we were going to die.
Despite the dizziness and nausea I dragged myself
to the kitchen and found you on the floor.
We hugged. You asked what was happening
and I didn't tell you we were on death's program
but instead that we were going on a journey,
one more, together, and that you shouldn't be afraid.
When it left, death didn't even
close our eyes.
What are we? you asked a week or year later,
ants, bees, wrong numbers
in the big rotten soup of chance?
We're human beings, my son, almost birds,
public heroes and secrets.
Stay classy, Screamers and Screamette's. And remember, rispetti la donna!