Apr. 23rd, 2009

Today was Archangel. This book creeps me out a little bit more every time I re-read it.

The first time, I remember being very impressed by Josiah. He’s clearly a very cynical person, if not an actually evil one - the power behind the throne, he manipulates Gabriel and Rachel and Raphael, relatively simple-minded people, into doing what he wants. When he says that God has no emotional attachment to human beings, he’s talking about himself. And while it’s obvious to the reader that he condescends to and lies to everyone he meets, none of the characters ever realizes it.

Rachel never quite catches on that Josiah dismisses her faith as a cargo cult (though he says it pretty clearly), and Gabriel never realizes that Josiah, reassuring him of God’s existence, is just telling him what he wants to hear. Our heroes all sort of absent-mindedly think of him as the story’s non-threatening mentor figure who exists only to set up their own stories. And then they all live happily ever after within Josiah’s plot, without ever noticing there was a plot to begin with.

But this time through, I’m developing the sneaking suspicion that Shinn doesn’t realize it, either. I liked the book so much better when I thought she was in on it. My meta-book is so much more awesome than the real one.

Also, the book suffers from What These People Need Is A Honky syndrome. Why couldn’t Rachel herself have been ethnically one of the pseudo-Romani, exactly? Why did she have to be adopted? Was her blondness in some manner integral to her function within the narrative?

(Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.)

(Leo is the Russian kid.)

Peter Pan, Jack’o'Lantern, and an as-yet non-nicknamed cohort came over to my desk and prevented me from working for a while again today, so I decided to make them practice some non-lying-related English. One of my questions was, “How old are you?” They didn’t understand the question. I did the example sentence for them, “How old are you? I’m twenty-three.” This works on grade-schoolers most of the time, but did not work on this set of high-schoolers.

Manager, who was standing nearby showing Leo something, said to them, “Why don’t you have Leo help you? He’s fluent in English, you know!”

Leo gets extremely annoyed when Manager tells people he speaks English, which I don’t think Manager has noticed - I’m sure he and Lucca get really sick of people assuming they do - but in this case, he actually did know. He told Peter Pan haughtily in Japanese, “She’s asking how old you are. She’s twenty-two - I mean, no, twenty-three!”

“Oh!” said Peter Pan. “You’re good!”

“Okay, so how old are you?” I asked Peter Pan.

“Anooo… juu-san-sai.”

“English! English! You’re thirteen.”

“Sah-teen.”

“No! That’s bedsheets! Thir-teen! Thir-teen!”

The word “bedsheets” was apparently too much for Peter Pan, for I had lost her again. Leo said, “Thirteen. It means juu-san-sai.” Kagura-sensei had come over to look for something, and he pointed to her and said to me in English, “She’s four hundred.”

Manager and I both made threatening gestures at him. (Kagura-sensei, who was doing actual work, did not bother.) “Sorry, sorry,” he said. “I don’t think you’re actually sorry,” I told him. I don’t know if he understood this, but he nodded solemnly in agreement.

“Wow!” said Peter Pan and Jack’o'Lantern. “You really are good at English!”

“Oh, I’m not that great,” he said, spinning around impressively on his roller-skate shoes.

“Those are good shoes,” said the third girl, eyeing them covetously. And Leo, though his ego is quite healthy, is nonetheless still twelve - slightly too fragile to handle all this at once, he was forced to skate away for a second. Aww.

(Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.)

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Style Credit

Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:36 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags

Creative Commons



The contents of this blog and all comments I make are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. I hope that name is long enough. I could add some stuff. It could also be a Bring Me A Sandwich License.

If you desire to thank me for the pretend internet magnanimity I show by sharing my important and serious thoughts with you, I accept pretend internet dollars (Bitcoins): 19BqFnAHNpSq8N2A1pafEGSqLv4B6ScstB