Random Oscar thought: John Hawkwood : Giovanni Acuto :: Clint Eastwood : Corrado Astuto? His translation for Morricone was very cool. Anyway, I don't actually have a TV, so I know about this through my psychic powers. I do have a lot of books. Gargoyles, Thomas Bernhard. One of Wisconsin's finest novelists. A mill won on a bet over a twelve-point buck, the last two mill brothers killing every exotic bird in the aviary because they were making too much racket, but saving the corpses for taxidermy purposes, and getting the new
Hmong Turkish guy to help out (who does a better job)? Classic Wisconsin.
The Pure Product of America: Isn't he Austrian? And what about the last hundred pages, the mad prince's monologue on forestry, family, and cognitive despair?...
The Pure Product of America: Right.The Emperor of the Sorcerers, volume 1, Budhasvamin. I found a few titles in the Clay Sanskrit Library at the Strand before Methodist Lent, hidden underneath some Arthuriana. They're not bad. This one is pretty good, in fact. It's taken from four Nepalese manuscripts, two from the twelfth century, collected and edited by a French scholar in 1908. One of the plot points involves the construction of an airplane to satisfy a queen's pregnancy cravings. No, really:
All the artisans stood aside and talked at length among themselves before speaking to Rumanvan in voices faltering with fear: 'We know of four types of machine: machines for water, stone, and dust, and those for pressing sugarcane. As for sky-machines, they are apparently known to the Greeks but we have not come across them.'The Sanskrit word for 'machine' or 'mechanism' is yantra, incidentally. It's best known now as a Tantric geometric design, like a mandala.
Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, #1, Jeff Smith. This was very enjoyable. It's very hard to write (and draw) simultaneously both for eight-year-olds and for people who want to remember what comics were like as an eight-year-old. But I think Smith succeeds, and all the cool people in Brooklyn agree with me. (I will admit I am a little unnerved by the corporate interest in Jeff Smith. I'm not sure why. Captain Marvel is a product; but getting kids to read is also a product, and education has been part of Bismarck's sausage factory for a long, long time.) Avoid other Shazam! titles. They will make you unhappy. I blame Alan Moore.