David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

round-up of things

From Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to Emile Bernard, advice on how to produce good work: "you have to eat well, be well housed, have a screw from time to time, smoke your pipe and drink your coffee in peace."

I really can't argue with that.

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In the aftermath of the latest fandom racism flamewar, I found a recommendation of Imaro, by Charles Saunders. The books sounded interesting, so I got the first two, have read the first one, and want to recommend it to folks who haven't run across it yet. The book, and its sequels, are republishings/reworkings of stories originally published in the 1970s, with future sequels to include a previously unpublished novel. The premise is simple, but a beaut: in the same way Robert E. Howard mined European history and legend for his sword-and-sorcery, Saunders mines African history and legend for his, with his warrior-hero Imaro cutting a red swath through it all in the tradition of Conan and other physical heroes; though Imaro isn't Tarzan, there's also a strong Edgar Rice Burroughs influence. You'll spot the real-world parallels and echoes pretty easily, but they're well done. (One section of the first book was heavily rewritten, as Saunders had been uncomfortably prescient with regard to the Rwandan genocide.) Anyway, if you like beefy guys in loincloths stabbing things -- and who doesn't! -- IMARO is well worth a look.

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Undercover Black Man (also known as David Mills, writer for THE WIRE, HOMICIDE, and other TV shows) has a fascinating post that just made my jaw drop over and over -- I didn't see each new development coming. He found a folk song that he'd never heard of, and nor had I. It's a great tune. Very catchy. Its history is amazing. And it is absolutely unsingable -- but turns out to be something other than you'd think it is. Check it out.
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