Saturday, March 1, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/01/2014

Portrait of a Young Woman, Alfred Stevens, 1870

Daily Thoughts 03/01/2014

Last night, I read Annhilation by Jeff Vandermeer.  It was a weird tale with horrific overtones.  A lot of horror motifs were used in the story.  The main character has no name, the place is beyond the ordinary.  There is an expedition into a borderland where no human survives as an intact person.  There are people who return, but they are husks of their former selves.

There is a stark beauty to this novel.  The main character is a biologist deeply interested in the natural world, and what survives contact with the otherness in this story is the natural world, not the human world.  The main character is exploring a world where human things crumble to dust.

The horror in the tale is not horrific in the sense of a monstrous beast, it is more of something incomprehensibly strange which eats at the psyche and infects the soul and body.  There are four members in the expedition who are as much responsible for destroying each other as the thing in the tower.  It is different than Lovecraft in that there is a kind of biology to the story which is very creepy.  It is the biology of spores, fungus, and mold which is something that Jeff Vandermeer often writes about.

The novel is very self reflective in that the main character thinks of her past, her past actions, and the setting often moves into the characters memory.  The book has a slightly unsettling effect, parts of it are designed to question what you think about ordinary life.  It was well written.

This morning, I changed part of the display to Women's History.  March is Women's History month.  There is a brief article about how Sterling Cleveland is going to talk about his Diabetes Walk Across America in the community room of the Mount Vernon Public Lirbary in the Mount Vernon Inquirer on March 15, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

I spent a little more time on the displays and did a little bit of weeding in the oversize books.  Hopefully, the snow next week will not be too bad.

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