Movement Is A Chimera

30 04 2007

Hegel, halfback, on the bench, says: “You have to take in the season as a whole to understand what motivates the other team right now.

“It all adds up to this very moment.”

Captain Kierkegaard, fists clasped and elbow on knees with his head hanging between, thinks: no one knows the loneliness of quarterbacks. The ref whistles. They rise and take their places on the line.

The captain’s tall, blond, of Danish blood, girls call him the Seducer. Sometimes, in concentration, he looks like the mast of a listing ship. Sometimes, on the edge of the field, running ahead of the pack in the floods’ sharp glare, thoughts besiege him of the ilk: do I do this for my joy or for the good of the team, their greater glory or my own alone? His Lutheran folks drag the family to mass every Sunday. His father, a townsman of good standing, owns a grain silo and a feed yard. The coach says, “You think too much. Maybe you should try baseball.”

From upside down between his legs Hegel whispers, “They score, we score, the game goes on. You’re surrounded by large men made larger by padding. The bleachers are chock full. Feel the weight of it all on this moment!”

Hegel snaps the ball. Surprise!

The quarterback breaks left.

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More Nouveautés

22 04 2007

Just finished the semifinal draft of Okko #6 this week. That’s two issues into The Cycle of Earth, which will follow on The Cycle of Waterwhich I trust you all are reading faithfully—when that concludes this summer. No spoilers, hopefully, in forecasting a satisfying character arc for our young narrator Tikku, and a rare creature for any D&D fans of Oriental Adventures from back in the day. Also, hints of pleasingly troubling moral ambiguity shadow our heroes’ triumph—seeds of greater future uncertainty and even thematic grandeur? We deny monsters, the other, whatever we hate, the capacity to feel what we believe ennobles us—for if they too were so entitled, then what should tell us apart? And how should we justify our mercilessness toward them?

 

I myself haven’t read the second volume of The Cycle of Earth yet. Maybe it’ll even tell what the deal is with Noburo and his mask.

 

Okko # 3 out in stores this very month! Go buy it! Or, er, be square. Read the rest of this entry »





Go Buy Secret History #2: The Castle of the Djinns

22 04 2007

A little plugging never hurt a blog. In hectic February I missed the boat when another series I’d been translating for Archaia Studios Press made its debut on the racks the week after NYCC—namely, The Secret History. Here I am, catching up with a few words in time for the release of the second issue.

Archaia’s Secret History 2

I’ve now read and translated my way through four books of The Secret History, taking me in the story’s chronology up through the late Middle Ages, via the Crusades and the Wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and the Renaissance siege of Rome, featuring everybody’s favorite action hero artisan, Benvenuto Cellini, whose classic memoirs I’m now inspired to read. The series has definitely grown on me, and the transition from crazy Igor Kordey’s art in the first two books to the more even, if less impassioned work of Goran Sudzuka in the third hasn’t been jarring. There’s some particularly lovely brushwork in the third volume, when a band of evil monks raid a sacred forest (shades of Broceliande and Fangorn, and also naked killer druid chicks. That phrase alone should draw some Google traffic my way). Read the rest of this entry »





So, the baby squid…

18 04 2007

…were probably not worth the trouble, but if we only ever did the things that were, would we learn anything? Cleaning them was a slimy affair reminiscent of early biology dissections, so little did I recognize the parts I pulled—taking hold of the head firmly just beside the eyes—from the mantle, yet so clearly were they parts: gills, intestines, even glands and the hearts of whose multiple existence, indifferentiable to my eyes from the innard mass, I had later to be informed by anatomical schematics—though once I swore to have identified ovaries and their smeary roe, if those are the words. The feathered gills I knew from other fish and seafood. I ruptured only two ink sacs (of twelve), and sacrificed several fins to separating skin from mantle. The cartilaginous spine came out easily each time, though I never got a clear look at the beak, nestled among the edible tentacles, to compare it to a bird’s. It too was easily removed, a hard but never really sharp little nodule, in my fingers. I’ve no aversion to fish eyes but for some reason tried not to meet, consider, or even register beneath my fingers these orbs which, I’ve read, contain a hard lens functioning much like the that of a camera or telescope when focusing: “Rather than changing shape, like a human eye, it moves mechanically.” Tentacles, mantles—the tiny clumps and fibrous tops I might’ve sliced into the more familiar rings of calamari—all these I tossed in olive oil with garlic and sautéed. I hacked a pineapple into cubes while waiting. Back home, I would’ve found a pineapple too troublesome. The secret to a pineapple is a sharp knife.