March 28, 2005

“You’ve already shown me and I believe you.”

Posted in books tagged , at 2:22 pm by placeinthestars

So I’ve been rereading and rereading A Separate Peace, and it never ever fails to make me cry:

if you haven’t read it, this is highly spoilery as it’s basically the emotional climax of the book. if you have read it, you know what’s coming. have the tissues handy.

March 24, 2005

Is it not passing brave to be a King and ride in triumph through Persepolis?

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 2:14 pm by placeinthestars

So since I read Fire from Heaven and The Persian Boy over New Year’s, I’ve been on a whole Alexander the Great kick, in case you haven’t noticed.

Aside from Lord of the Two Lands, which I enjoyed when I first read it, and again upon rereading it recently, I haven’t found any good published fiction on the subject (or any that really goes into the parts I’m most interested in, which would mainly be the Alexander/Hephaistion relationship, including the hot mansex), and while there is a tiny amount of good fanfiction, I’ve found the fannish communities here on LJ rather terrifying.

So I turned to non-fiction, of which there is an abundance.

I want to preface this by saying that 1. obviously, I’m not a historian, I don’t play one on television, I have vague recollections of learning some of this in high school social studies a long long time ago, but that’s it. and 2. I’m obviously a fan of the fictional Alexander, but I also get irritated at the attempts to judge someone who lived 2300 years ago by our current/modern standards of behavior and morality rather than trying to understand what was done in the context of the society in which he lived. Which isn’t to say that Alexander didn’t do some awful and horrifying things, that he wasn’t a murderer and a conqueror and all sorts of things that we recognize as being Not of the Good in this day and age (as well as his own), ’cause he did. But he also wasn’t a genocidal maniac, a Stalin or a Hitler. If I can make that distinction, I expect trained historians to be able to. Some of the things that seem obvious to me seem to be either ignored or too easily dismissed by people who want to only see the bad. And maybe I just want to see the good, but I’m not getting paid to write books about it, so it doesn’t matter. But even some of the people who only seem to see the good irritate me, because it looks like they’re turning off their critical faculties on certain issues, and that just is not what I’m looking for in my non-fiction.

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