Every Friday, I’ll link to a few interesting things I’ve read around the Internet this week. Feel free to discuss, share your own, or both!
1. Jennifer Weiner on gender and the literary/popular fiction divide:
It used to be a writer could just turn up her nose at chick lit, and say, “Oh, I don’t read those books, I don’t read books with that stuff on the cover, and I certainly don’t write books like that.” Only now that nobody seems quite sure what chick lit is, and everyone has recognized that authors—especially female ones—don’t always have control over how their books end up looking, a new code word is required. That word has become likable. Calling a novel’s characters the L-word doesn’t just imply that the author in question is writing like a girl; it hints that she is writing like the wrong kind of girl—a dumb, popular, easy girl.
I HAVE SO MANY COMPLICATED FEELINGS.
2. Sarah Emily Duff over at the always-wonderful Tangerine and Cinnamon has a lovely post about Scottish food, particularly in the context of the mythologizing of “Scottish” culture.
[The process of constructing a "Highland tradition"] was consolidated in the early- to mid-nineteenth century, with the popularity of Sir Walter Scott’s novels about an idealised Scotland, and the Victorian ‘discovery’ of the country. As clothing, music, and language were co-opted in this remaking of Scotland, so was food: shortbread, oats, smoked fish, haggis, and neeps and tatties also became emblematic of this new, imagined nation.
3. THIS CAKE IS THE EARTH!!!
4. It’s my mother’s birthday! Well, she’s in Australia, so for her it’s the day after her birthday, but for me, it’s her birthday. A thing I wrote to her last week, in the course of our Torah discussions:
Glorious scientific achievement is all well and good, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum (at least, not for more than the time it takes for it to enter another planet’s atmosphere OH HO HO LITTLE VACUUM OF SPACE JOKE FOR YOU THERE, MOTHER).
One of the things I got her was Mary Hooper’s Fallen Grace, which I will write a longer review of later, but since I don’t know how much longer the $1.30 Kindle price ($1.37 hardcover) will last, you should all just go buy it now and we can discuss it later. (Don’t give me that look, I bought her something that cost more than $1.30 as well, I just thought she’d like this, too.)
5. Last but most definitely not least, as y’all may or may not know, fandom was basically my introduction to the Internet way back in the day. For various reasons, I’m not really all that active in fandom anymore, but I still feel pretty connected to it. One of the big discussions that keeps popping up again and again in fandom is around the question of monetizing fanfic.
Which is why it’s going to be incredible to watch what happens now that Amazon is going to start allowing self-publishers to distribute fanfiction.
Honestly, I sort of cannot wait to see how this plays out. Feel free to discuss the comedy/horror potential with me at length, because heaven knows there is lots of both.
Anyone else read anything interesting this week?