lovelycudy: (Default)
I did enjoy the book, but I think the first part (1789-1791) was stronger. The POVs varied in quality, I found Pauline, Danton, Claire and Robespierre's stronger than Manon and Condorcet's. There were some characterisation choices I don't agree with: I think Danton lacked some strenght and I am not so sure about Robespierre's portrayal of ever-increasing insanity, as well as his treatment of Elèanor.

The prose was flat at some points but it was good at showing the material realities of Paris in the late 18th century, especially between the lower classes.

All in all, a good book that I enjoyed, but lacking in some area
lovelycudy: (Default)
Not as brilliant as Wolf Hall, which I found more interesting (I prefer the use of "he" without the addition of "Cromwell"), Bring Up The Bodies is still the very image of historical fiction perfection: interesting, engaging and realistic. We never have to stop because we encounter a glaring anachronism, we never close the book in indignation because we find bad history. And that is wonderful.

The reason why I don't think BUTB is as good as WH is Anne Boleyn. Or, actually, Anne Boleyn as Cromwell's counter-part. In WH, the Cromwell/More dynamic was electrifying and the final confrontation was brilliant. I read their encounters (especially in prison) with an open mouth and full of exhilaration. But AB, at least in this book, is not on Cromwell's level at all and she provides no delicious counter-point to our main character. She doesn't know what is going on until it happens, which makes for less addictive reading. I did love Jane Seymour, who is intriguing and complex.

I suppose Gardiner will be the counter-point I am looking for in The Mirror and the Light.
lovelycudy: (Default)
I gave it one star because Scurr is a good writer: her prose and style are good and easy to read.

And that is the only positive thing I can say about this book.

The author claims she wants to write an unbiased, non-partisan biography of Robespierre. And the title led me to believe that the core of the book was the concept of virtue and the consequences it had for Robespierre personally and for the Revolution as a whole. But what I found is a work that makes no attempt to make true of its objectives. Scurr sustains and repeats the most traditional and reactionary readings of Robespierre's life trough the abundant and uncritical use of Thermidorian propaganda as sources. Proyart, to name one, is quoted without reservation while sources favourable to Robespierre (mainly Charlotte's memoirs) are doubted. The most striking example is, I think, is the fact that Scurr reproduces the description of Robespierre's rooms filled with paintings, busts and engravings of himself; but this account appears only after 9 Thermidor and by hostile authors. And yet the author does not provide this simple qualification.

Too many things that add to the obvious bias of the author and that made this book a thoroughly unpleasant experience. I would tell anyone who is interested in knowing about Robespierre, his life, his ideals and his role in the Revolution to skip this book completely.
lovelycudy: (Default)
've seen many people mentioning that this book was dry and I can't agree. It might be the fact that I am used to reading historical theory books or that my definition of dry is closer to Suimption's, exquisitely detailed and masterfully researched, Hundred Years War series, but I found this book lively and easy to read.
It is true that Schofield reaches some hagiographic moments in his defence of Cromwell, but I think that is to be expected when writing about a man so often slandered with such little reason. Like others, I've came to this books after reading Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies and I have always liked Thomas Cromwell, so I am of course biased. But we all are, in the end, and I think Schofield's description of CRomwell's last months show that he was, indeed, capable of doing morally reprehensible things.

Two things I loved about this books. The first was the clear explanation on Lutheran theology which, being raised in a Catholic family and a Catholic country and having attended a Catholic university was never too clear for me. The second is the abundance of sources and reference works. Too often one finds history books and biographies that make statements without citing their sources, which is frustrating at best and bad research at worst. But Schofield's book has a great bibliography section and his statements are backed up by evidence; a gift for those of us who want to keep reading on the subject.

An interesting exercise was going back to Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies to compare and contrast how Schofield and Mantel tell the same events and Schofield's influence is pretty clear, something I really enjoyed and allowed me to understand some parts of the novels better.

All in all, I loved the book and I'll be re-reading it often
lovelycudy: (Default)
 I've seen people posting again, trying to bring the old LJ back from the dead. I hope it catches, you know? And I feel weird because I don't even know if there is someone reading this but whatever.

How are things going for you guys? I am kind of terrified because I have a conference this Tuesday and it's been such a long time since I've spoken in public but I am also really fucking happy. Things are going better, thank God. And it seems that I got a new job with health insurance and a good salary and just nice.

So, umm, crickets? Or not?







Crossposted to LJ
lovelycudy: (Default)
I bought a few films to watch on these cold, windy Autumn days because I do love cold and windy days and cinema, so it's a win-win situation. I got Shame, J. Edgar and Evidence and I only watched Evidence (I'm planning on watching J. Edgar or Shame this afternoon) and, honestly, I have no idea what that film was about. It's a low budget, indie movie, so I have to congratulate the director for making it so good, from a technical POV

(yes, the wood-monster was a guy with a furry suit, but it could have been worse)
The acting was decent enough (Brett is cute, too) and the last part of the story makes you nervous. The hand-held camera + found footage is overdone, but I can live with it. The problem was that the last 30 minutes or so were too crammed with every kind of monster you can find in a video game:

there are forest monsters, alien bugs, zombies, running men with gas masks on their faces, the military, some sort of secret laboratory, a pregnant woman whose baby-thing kind of explodes from her, the conspiracy cover-up, evertthing.

At that point, I thought the film would have some sort of twist or would be a giant game, like Hostel. But no, it was just a mess.

Or maybe I didn't understand it, IDK.  

A good film I watched recently is Eden Lake. It's starred by Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly. It's nerve-breaking and gory enough to please horror fans and it's well acted, too, which is always something to be thankful for in these days of too many Hollywood remakes with 30 years old "teenagers" who can't act to save their lives. Anyway, give it a try, it's great. 


lovelycudy: (Default)

Yesterday, the Senate approved two much-awaited laws: the right to have a dignified death and the right to access to sex-change therapy and surgery. 

I'm really glad the Senate decided to grant people the right to control their own lives and identities and very pleased that my country is getting up to date with these issues. I am sure the Church will protest, but there's an overwhelmingly support from the general population, which is great news. 

From now on, terminal patients and their families will have the right to decline life-prolonging treatments if they want to. As someone who has lost two family members to a cruel disease and has seen them waste away in agony, I cannot begin to explain what this means. Until now, doctors could (and did) help patients with morphine, but we had no way to prevent our loved ones to be subjected to degrading methods that made them "stay alive" in the most basic sense. Alive as in with a beating heart, as if that is life. 

I have no personal experience on sex-change treatments, but I still feel incredibly glad that people who need it (as well as surgery) can now get it without getting a judge involved. It's a step towards making a better, fairer country. 

It is a pity, though, that this progressive legislation (that joins the legalisation of same sex marriage, the legalisation of abortion in rape cases, the creation of femicide as an specific crime, the broadening of campaigns protecting women, the efforts to make schools and society more inclusive for minorities) is not accompanied by more transparent institutions and respect for the opposition. It's a sad reality that the government is corrupt and authoritarian. It's a sad reality that the press who don't conform to the official narrative is persecuted and that the government manipulates statistics to present a reality that is just false. It's also a sad reality that books are being censored -sorry, that foreign books face restrictions to enter the country, as if it's something other than censorship- that we are losing all international credibility and that the aggressive campaign regarding the Falklands/Malvinas is disrespectful to everyone involved and that makes the worst of nationalism resurface. 

It is a pity that my country cannot have a normal, orderly government but always fall for some form of populism and corruption when it's not on its knees and kissing someone else's ass. 

I think it's not too much to ask for a good government, a clean democracy and honest institutions in addition to progressive legislation. 

lovelycudy: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] insanepurin at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] theljstaff at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood


Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, [livejournal.com profile] frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.

                    

Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)

lovelycudy: (Default)
I watched it today with my sister and I liked it. I can't say I feel much sympathy for Katniss (she fell kind of flat) but it was interesting anyway. Though I admit I am more interested in that world's past than its future. Are there any answers in the books? Why is Panem like that? Where is the rest of the world? Does every other nation sit and watch kids being murdered?
lovelycudy: (Default)
All my condolescences and thoughts to the French people who are going trough a terrible tragedy. I hope the authorities find the disgusting beast who is responsible of this and punish him with all the force of the law. If there is a Hell, this monster will rot forever in it.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Reading :)

Mar. 16th, 2012 03:23 pm
lovelycudy: (Default)
I've just finished reading Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt and God, it is amazing. The characters are very engaging, like always, and the historical research is flawless: everything down to the payment rates is accurate. But what impressed me the most was the descriptions of the siege of Soissons and Harfleur and the narration of the battle itself.

It is easy to forget the human tragedy and tjhe brutality of medieval warfare when reading academic essay or watching films (I recommend Juliet Baker's Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle; it's not only a great description of the battle and a well constructed argument about the numbers involved, but also a detailed work on how the army was raised and paid). But a novelization is always more vivid and the description of both the archers' role and the one-on-one combat was breathtaking. You can see the poleaxes and the maces and the plate on the men-at-arms crashing. It's terrible and awe inspiring. If you like medieval warfare, of course. 

Now I'm debating between starting the Grail Quest trilogy (set on the first phase of the Hundred Years War, under Edward III) or changing the subject. I have Paradise Lost and a biography of Napoleon waiting for me... I don't know what I should pick up next. 


lovelycudy: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] jedishampoo at The shaming room
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ypawtows at The shaming room

...

Since a number of US newspapers have refused to republish the latest Doonesbury cartoon strip which highlights the way Republicans are attempting to undermine a woman's right to choose, I feel it's important to make sure the message still gets across.

The shaming room awaits.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


lovelycudy: (Britannia Angel love)
Prompt: Something involving England and another nation in ballroom dancing (I do like swing and tap dancing but I would like ballroom dancing as the main focus). I'm thinking along the lines of England being an exceptionally good dancer. Doesn't have to be romantic! This anon is interested in seeing Russia, Germany, Romano, India, Prussia, Lichtenstein, Hungary or Spain as England's dance partner.

Why you should read it: It's incredibly sweet, Liechtenstein and England are adorable and IC. Liechtenstein wanting to grow up and England being adorably gentlemanly are reasons enough to read this fic. Not to mention that the author has a great way with words.

Link

I love England + Liechtenstein and this fic is just adorable.
lovelycudy: (Tea)
Yesterday morning there was a train crash in the always crowded train station in Once, a populated and centric train/underground station in Buenos Aires. The train was filled to the brim with people, because the train system sucks unless you live in the North, in which case the train has A/C and TV and you don't feel like cattle. You see, in Argentina, if you live in a non-upper-class area, you don't deserve to travel like an actual human being. Like in every other case, if you are poor, you don't deserve respect or consideration: you are worthless, expendable. And the trains are Chinese hand-me-downs that are 40/50 years old. That's how much the company cares about people. 

Anyway, at 8:30 the train arrived to Once station... and it never stopped. The breaks didn't work. The train crashed against the barriers and the second wagon invaded the first one. It was a disaster. Over 50 people died (including a child, who had a heart attack in the station's hall, in front of the TV cameras, so we could all see how life left him) and 770 people were injuries. Around 50 are in critical state. 

This is a disaster. This is awful. There were 150 people pressed against each other in a five meters space. You could see people (bodies, in some cases) dangling from the windows. Some people got expelled from the wagon and were destroyed against the rails. The emergency teams worked wonderfully and without them we would be mourning a lot more people. But this is a shallow relief. Because over 50 people who were going to work like any other morning found (and I just saw a woman just a bit older than I am, who is nine months pregnant and who just found out that his husband is dead; she's unemployed; her child will never know their father. I cried) found death because the company in charge of the train (TBA) doesn't give a fuck about people. And because our government doesn't give a fuck, either and cannot be arsed to control a damn thing. Because it is acceptable and expected to spit on the people who cannot afford a car to go to work. Or who lives in a non-wealthy part of the province. Because we are used to no one caring about us or what might happen to us and we just live on, silent and resigned because we were told (and shown, and beaten down when we thought differently) that this is our lot in life and we just can't change a thing. Because we are the third world and we can't aspire to a decent, functioning, respectful country. 

There's a girl in my college who lives in that area and takes that train to Once because she works there in a doctor's office. We are not friends, but we spent four years seeing each other every day. I texted her and she didn't answer. I might have her old number, I don't know. But god, this is awful. I just want to hear from her and be sure that she is not dead or hurt because no one gives a fuck about anything but getting rich trough people's misery. 

Fuck this all. Really. I'm honestly sick of this. 

Links for my non Argentinian flisters:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/22/argentinian-commuters-injured-train-crash
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/feb/23/train-crash-argentina-in-pictures?INTCMP=SRCH
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/world/americas/commuter-train-crash-kills-dozens-in-argentina.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=argentina&st=cse

lovelycudy: (Default)
Thank you for reminding of the scariest Disney song I've ever encounter D:




post

Jan. 24th, 2012 07:53 pm
lovelycudy: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kangawu at post
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] cantarina1 at post
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

--

If you are in the US, the only thing I know of is this petition, which requires 25000 signatures in 30 days for any sort of response: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/end-acta-and-protect-our-right-privacy-internet/MwfSVNBK

There are only 3000 signatures right now.

I don't know what options there are in other countries, but again, for the US, I imagine calling Senators would be a course of action. It worked on the surface for SOPA and PIPA, at least, and it at least sends the message that this is not okay.

If you do, though, [personal profile] opusculus notes that it has been signed already so it is probably worthwhile to mention that you know that and are protesting it anyway.

ETA: this tumblr post has more global resources for how you can protest ACTA.




lovelycudy: (Default)
I think I love BetterWorldBooks. I bought some books from there (Enemy of God -which I read in my phone I almost lose my eyes while doing it-, Azincourt and The Grail Books) and they were really, really cheap, something like $5 each. And the shipping is free. Free! I usually end up paying more for delivery than for the actual books, so this was a wonderful finding. And for each book you buy, they donate one to a literacy program, which makes me absurdly happy. And! You can contribute with a Carbon Offset Program, which is great, too. 

Anyway, I think this is a great option for people who buy lots of book like I do. 
lovelycudy: (Default)
Remember when I was moaning about lack of fandom for the Arthur Books? I'm not alone

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