Flitting About

filet butterfly

I’ve done this simple filet pattern twice recently in swatches (both in my Ravelry projects), so I thought I should put it into the tablecloth as well. I’m now working on another picture in it, that I knew would be big, but that looks to be taking up the vast majority of the piece now, which I didn’t really intend it to. Nevermind. So long as the yarn doesn’t run out it’ll all come together.

234. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I must have spent practically one whole summer watching the old black and white Tarzan films on the television (they had a different one on at the same time every day), and then a year or two ago I found a new edition of this first book of the series, bought it and read it, but didn’t find any of the later ones. Now I find that Librivox has the first and third, with the second in a limbo, part way complete. So I just listened to the first now, and intend to listen to what there is of the second, and read the rest on Project Gutenburg, then listen to the third, and possibly read some of the others. (I believe they may not all be out of copyright as yet.)

I am starting to wonder, listening to all these classic/old novels, just how much the inherent racism can just be ignored as a product of the times in which they were written. Not that it isn’t true, but for myself perhaps I should protest, or stop listening, or something. It’s definitely more of an issue with this work than many of the others, since so much of it is about Tarzan trying to work out value judgements about the various creatures, peoples, societies, individuals, moralities, he comes across. Definitely problematic.

As for the story beyond the ethics (although I amn’t convinced they are particularly separable), it’s entirely implausible, but mostly holds itself together, apart from the last couple of chapters, which are entirely too rushed and try to wrap things up, and set up an immediate (guessing here, since I haven’t even begun it) sequel all at once.

For my liking too many of the characters are entirely dense (especially Jane — I mentioned the racism already, but the sexism is laid on pretty thickly as well), so why do I enjoy the story at all?

235. Up the Attic Stairs by Angela Bull

Another nostalgia reread, about an interconnected but shifting network of women – young, old, and middling – based around a town and in particular two houses within that town, across eighty years and several generations. Three contemporary (the book was published in 1989) student flatmates start a fundraising project that leads to them researching the lives, loves, clothes and struggles personal and political of their predecessors, forcing them to confront their own memories and aspirations. It sounds very worthy, and I amn’t sure what draws me to it, but I keep returning to it every couple of years. It’s long out of print, but isn’t that long, so is worth keeping an eye out for. Sexism in this one is a very acknowledged topic, it being a Virago Press title.

Niccolo Rising chapter 11. I lived on the edge of the old part of Geneva for a year, and I’m trying to work out what the city would have been like around 1460. I think I probably had a better time there than Claes did, anyhow.


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