Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reading that inspires research

[Author's note: This partially written blog post has been sitting in the Drafts folder of my e-mail program for ages.  I am hoping that sending it out into the world as an unprotected draft will be more encouragement to finish it.  So, as usual, my readers, you are in on the ground floor of an experiment.  Take careful notes.]

The Swan Thieves sent me in search of my copies of The Story of Art and The Impressionists: A Survey so that I could read about Impresionism, but my recently recovered mythology books are coming in handy as well as because there is a reference to Leda, mother of Castor and Pollux and Helen and Clytemnestra.   For some reason it comes as a surprise to me that Helen is immortal.

I also came across the reference to Eris which my brain has been trying to unearth since I heard the name.  Eris is the goddess of discord.  Not sure if that is the reference intended by the Google Olympians (Googlenauts?) at HTC -- manufacturers of my beloved Droid Eris, Saraswati -- or not.  They do like to be upstarts, after all.

References and research aside, The Swan Thieves is an absorbing story of art, unconventional love, and the madness which so often shadows them both.

Perhaps it is simply that in all of my reading of science fiction and fantasy and food memoirs, I haven't read a "real" novel in quite some time, but Elizabeth Kostova's use of language is enchanting.  So much so that I finally understand the hype which surrounded her first novel The Historian.  Well, I potentially understand it since I only have a copy which I have not yet read, but if the style and the language are similar, I expect equal absorption and enchantment.

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