May 24th, 2016



Listening to Johnny Cash & Jerry Lee Lewis in my teenage years, I never figured my first visit to Music City would be for a two-woman wedding, but it was and we had a great time. Felicitations, Terry & Luisa. We made it back OK despite the incompetence of Orbitz.

The Past Is an Alien Planet

I may have first thought of the literature of the past as a kind of science fiction when I saw the The No-Fear Scarlet Letter, with the original and an "easy-to-understand translation" on facing pages (and it is of course half again as old as it was when I read it). Jane Austen’s books read like tales of an alien culture that needs explanation, and of course Jo Walton found the customs detailed in Anthony Trollope’s mimetic works so strange that she ascribed them to cannibal dragons, in Tooth and Claw. Even Henry James is old enough by now to be fantastic: Daisy Miller must die because she spoke to an Italian outdoors after dark. WTF?

This post was inspired by mrissa’s excellent discussion of Too Like the Lightning and nellorat meeting the challenges of making A Room with a View intelligible to her students.


There is a meme that attacks scientific ignorance. It says, “52% of the population refutes the Big Bang theory.” At this time, no one can refute the Big Bang theory; 52% of the population denies the Big Bang theory.