University Presses | A New Project
It has taken a lot of my courage to write this down and I am certain that I will receive a lot of disdain and mockery for it, but the girl is resilient - so she persists.
Pictured above is the Banaras Hindu University, a university of insurmountable prestige from the ghats of the ganges, the place of my genealogical origin. My father, a blind man born in the 60s with virtually no education whatsoever wanted me to land here. It needs no drum rolls that I did not.
After he passed and the world grew cruel and anchorless, I turned to books - again and again, and still do - more voraciously.
University Presses across the globe are publishers of academic papers of immense import. They also publish research oriented pieces that are written for the enral (un-academic) public.
You will be surprised out of your fucking mind - the gems you can find in a university press catalogue.
Let me give you a few seductive lures for reading books published by them
Introductions that will help you traverse through the text in all its glory
A University Press focuses on libraries and so they have these (chef's kiss) gorgeous editions for your own library
They can help you delve deeper into the niches that you hitherto depended on unreliable online resources and discover new ones! (victorian pottery for me lol)
You'll be supporting some honest good work.
What can you expect from my project?
Tea on colonialism and what not lol
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recently every time i start a book i see on Tumblr a day or so later you've recently finished it 😅 (The Mime Order Series, One Last Stop)... so what's next on your to read list? it's like seeing into my future
Haha, what timing! I just started The Kingdoms, by Natasha Pulley this morning (after finishing Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid), and then it’ll probably be something from one of these towers:
In theory, Mister Impossible, but I’ve mostly been redoing the first book in that series via audiobook while I run, so I have to finish that first.
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Last week's post was thrown out the plane window as I flew off to my week vacation. Anyway, I got a lot of reading done since last time I posted.
Books I Finished:
Throne of Glass: This book was such a bore. I honestly hated it by the end, to the point that I just kept skimming and even skipping over sentances to get to the end faster. Everything was so predictable and tedious that I have absolutely no desire to continue torturing myself with this series.
The Binding: this book on the other hand......SO MUCH LOVE. I loved every minute of it - I almost bought the book outright when I thought I wasn't going to finish it before I had to return it back to the library. This book was an emotional masterpiece and left me wanting more but at the same time it ended the book and story so perfectly, that it didn't need more.
The Shining: I enjoyed this book - I have always loved the movie and accredit the movie to being what really got me into reading horror (this and the A Haunting tv series). But like with most King works, I find that overall he is kinda a sloppy writer and uses sex/sexuality and nudity to add a level of grotesqueness to the story to "hype" up the horror and I find it cheapens the story every time. But I did enjoy the way the story ended in this one much more than how the movie ended and I do look forward to eventually tackeling Doctor Sleep, the sequel.
The Picture of Dorian Gray: I finally finished this series and I'm so very happy. It's in a style that is very different than what I'm used to reading so I needed a long break from it. But the ending was worth and I hope to reread it with more ease in the future. Diffently a classic that is worth tackling again and again.
D. Gray-man Vol. 6: I think I'm starting to get into the parts of this manga series that I've never read before, which is exciting. I'm looking forward to getting even farther into the mystery.
Mexican Gothic: what. a. brilliant. book. I absolutely loved and adored this book. It was dark and gothic and creeping and just everything wonderful. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more by this author.
Goals for the Next Week:
I made a lot of progress with Flyte and so I am hoping to finish it early this week. I also want to get at least close to finishing Pink Triangle and I want to at least get the daily allotment of Scum Villain done daily - that will amount to a lot of progress if I just stay on track.
Additionally, I want to start The Sword of the Summer, the first Magnus Chase book, and get that into the rotation, though I won't have access to it after Monday unless I luck out. Keeping my fingers crossed!
why does VA need a "right" to write anything that's in her own damn mind? like people ask for diverse worlds and then complain when people write them
she doesn't need a "right" to write what she wants, but when she writes from perspectives that aren't her own--namely, people of color or a sexuality or gender that's not her own, given those are what crop up most in RB--there comes a certain responsibility to be respectful of the people she's writing about. it's true of any author, not just VA (or sj///m, obv). if you write diversely, great! thank you! but doing so opens your work up to critique from people who share the identities in which you're writing.
given i'm an enby, i can freely and confidently point out that the way VA has tried to include more than the gender binary is a little wanting. i can see what she's going for, which i truly appreciate, but it's not really working. for instance, in chapter 14, Ridha stops at an inn for the night and two children run out to care for her horse. this exchange happens (emphasis my own):
The boy sneered at her, a woman in armor, but the girl gaped, her pale eyes going round.
“It’s three pennies to stall your horse,” the boy spat, wiping at his nose. “Another one for hay and water, another for grooming.”
“My lady—sir,” the girl added, jumping into a bow that was more a squat. Ridha guessed she had never bowed in her life.
and later, when Ridha goes into the inn, this (emphasis my own):
“What can I do for you . . . miss?” the barmaid said. Her eyes roved over Ridha’s face and armor. “I’ve got a room to let, six pennies for the night, seven with board. Ale’s more.”
clearly they don't know what Ridha's gender is, and i know what VA was trying to do, but what could have happened is the characters simply use a gender neutral greeting. i know it's 100% possible for an author to do, especially with VA's caliber and the anachronisms that already exist in RB's world. just look at Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. that was wonderfully inclusive, and it was set in a world inspired by Pre-Columbian Americas. so the fact remains that VA is writing from a perspective not her own (presumably, given she hasn't come out as anything other than cis afaik; a quick look at her social media profiles doesn't say anything re: her pronouns, so) and therefore i am allowed to critique the way she wrote this.
the same can be said for how VA writes people of color in the book, or hints at sexualities outside of the assumed straight (Corayne's mom, for instance, mentions a fling with a girl prior to meeting Cortael, Corayne's dad--the fling of which led to Corayne's birth). when any author writes from perspectives not their own, they're opening themselves up to critique that is 100% allowed and valid. when a book is published, the author's intentions cease to matter. all that remains is for people to read the book, take the canonical evidence, and respond accordingly. it's always fair for marginalized people to demand that authors who include their marginalizations do everything they can to be as respectful and accurate as possible.
so no, VA doesn't need a "right" to write what she wants, but she has to be willing to accept critique over it. and, afaik, she's aware of this, given her response to the anon who first pointed my live read out to her (and the anon who followed up to clarify and back up what i do on my blog was so lovely, thank you; that meant the world to see).
hopefully this answers your question!
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