Read it for free on Goodreads:

Download it for free on Goodreads.

#BLAThoughtOfTheDay – Yes, this explains one reason why I dislike Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

Other reasons include:

“THIS IS HOW THE TROJAN WAR STARTED”

On Sacrifices in Homer:

“There are also stories which point back clearly to a time when there was human sacrifice. But what is astonishing is not that bits of savage belief were left here and there. The strange thing is that they are so few.”

-Edith Hamilton, Mythology. 

“Myths are early science.”

“Myths are early science, the result of men’s first trying to explain what they saw around them. But there are so many so-called myths which explain nothing at all. These tales are pure entertainment, the sort of thing people would tell each other on a long winter’s evening.” – Edith Hamilton

“For poetry too is a little incarnation…”

“For poetry too is a little incarnation, giving body to what had been before invisible, and inaudible.”  

– C.S. Lewis

Happy day of the dead!

muertosautos

Descárgalo gratis.

BookTuber Tuesday – Classical Literature

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

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On the sacrifice of the scapegoat:

“But the scapegoat was not always reviled. As noted above, the sacrificial victim sometimes came to be revered after the event – even to the point of becoming over time a founding hero for the community. The Greeks celebrated Prometheus as a sacred pharmakos (scapegoat) after he had met with his sacrificial fate, and we witness a similarly retrospective apotheosis of scapegoats across a variety of foundational myths – Osiris, Romulus, Christ, Orpheus, Socrates, Cuchulian. Such figures, though invariably ostracized for excoriated by their contemporaries, became hallowed over the ages until they were eventually remembered as  savior gods ho restored their community from chaos to order. They re-emerge out of the mists of time as miraculous deities who managed to transmute conflict into law. But this alteration of sacrificed ‘aliens’ into sacred ‘other is, of course, predicated upon a strategic forgetfulness of their initial stigmatization, that is, the fact that they were originally victims of ritual bloodletting…

A genuinely peaceful community would be one which, Girard contends, exposes its own strategies of sacrificial alienation and enters the light of ‘true fraternity.’ It would be a society without need of scapegoats…such a community would commit itself instead to principles of ‘transcendence’ beyond time and history. It would take its lead from the exemplary action of Christ, who underwent death on the Cross in order to expose the sacrificial lie for once and for all by revealing the innocence of the victim. The sacrifice to end all sacrifice.

In short, peace requires nothing less than the decoupling of the stranger and the scapegoat. And this means acknowledging that the genuine ‘other’ is always guaranteed by a radically divine Other – an asymmetrical, vertical alterity irreducible to the envious ploys of mimetic desire. Girard, like Levinas, calls this ethical alterity – even if it addresses us through the face of the other – God.” – Richard Kearney,  “Strangers and Scapegoats” in Strangers, Gods and Monsters. 

 

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Amazonian Fancy Pants, a Tumblr post

Coin toss: Take a chance on THE AUTOMATION

coinflip

Get a manuscript here.

Why I’m already concerned about the Starz TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

 

Hi. BLA here. Coming to remind you of what Neil Gaiman said back in 2010 about not setting one of his books in “America”:

“The great thing about having an English cemetery is I could go back a very, very, very long way. And in America, you go back 250 years (in a cemetery), and then suddenly you’ve got a few dead Indians, and then you don’t have anybody at all, unless you decide to set it up in Maine or somewhere and sneak in some Vikings.” [Via]

A “few dead Indians” is what you’re supposed to pay attention to here. Now, surpassing debates on what he meant or didn’t intend to do in that interview, we can look at his colonial mentality in his work itself. Take this statement about American Gods:

And perhaps most offensive, we’ll get the book’s Big Statement About America, which is bizarrely insulting to Native Americans. Near the end of the novel, a Native American with magical powers named Whiskey Jack tells Shadow he’s not a god, but rather a “culture hero,” because the land we call America “is not a good country for gods.” [Via]

Neil Gaiman consistently glazes over Native Americans/Indigenous peoples and their cultures. Something I’m sure he has learned to correct by this point, but it was something I had hoped the creators of the new TV show adaptation would rethink in the story. However, it doesn’t seem likely. Sure, sure, they can update Technology Boy to not be so technologically illiterate, but this recent EW article doesn’t give me hope for the story’s cultural literacy:

“Neil created this wonderfully stuffed toy box filled with all sorts of cultural points of view on how American operates as a system, and that was so fascinating and mythological in and of itself,” says Fuller. “It’s really much more of an immigration story than it is a god story.” Green adds, “One of the biggest challenges was stripping the idea of gods as X-Men or giant empowered creatures who stomp on cities and throw the oceans. We wanted them to be people with problems. It’s not about lightning bolts – it’s about the question of day-to-day survival.”

So, we’re still talking about immigrants? Colonizer problems? Nothing has changed. Dear Hollywood and Neil Gaiman, just because your story doesn’t whitewash doesn’t mean it’s not racist.

See also, The Gods Don’t Need Your Worship. 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Theodora Goss on why she writes:

“This movement to separate fantasy and reality, but also realism and fairy tale, continued into the nineteenth century, and by the end of the century it was very clear that there were the respectable novel and short story, and the considerably less respectable forms of fairy tale, myth, romance (in the old sense of an adventure story), ghost story, etc. By the twentieth century, they occupied different publishing niches, different shelves in the bookstore. As they still do….

Here’s the thing: talking about conservation will not save the badgers of England. If anything will save them, it will be the way people feel about Mr. Badger. We are human beings, and we make decisions based not on logic or rationality, however much we may think we do (deluded as we are about ourselves), but on emotion. And what creates emotion? Story.”

[Via]

BookTuber Tuesday – Karen Armstrong, on violence and religion

 

Check out other book vlogs we’ve featured here.

Have a book vlog video you want us to check out? Submit a link below in the comments and it could make the CIRCO blog.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

March, April, May CIRCO blog roundup: JUNE BUG

Have we really not rounded up our monthly posts for three months? Oh my. Let’s head ’em up, move ’em out.

We changed our Tweets of the Week to be more other social-network friendly. It’s now going to be officially called Social Medea.  Pun intended.

We posted a video on The World’s Greatest Internet Troll.

[The Author added commentary on Victoria E. Schwab’s statement on writing/creativity in the current publishing industry]

As always, Gabbler had things to recommend–like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 and the children’s book I Am Pan!

Sexism in YA was discussed. 

Our Throwback Thursday posts included a progression of Beardless Hipster Songs that we thought was funny.

Ursula K. Le Guin needs to get with the times. 

BLA took back what s/he said about The Jungle Book 2016 movie.

The Magicians TV show ended. 

BLA went on a rant about the representation of gods in our stories. 

J.K. Rowling wrote about Native American Wizards and shit hit the fan.

Anomalisa was weird af.

Gabbler had some thoughts on Daredevil season 2. 

Our GIF of the Month from our GIF of the day is:

 

Tweets of the Week: Coo coo for cocoa puffs

 

 

 

#BLAThoughtOfTheDay: Only dipping your toe

blog1

Gabbler recently recommended Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis. I, however, have reservations about recommending the book (yes, I have read it too).

While the fable itself is fine, and the scenario is certainly interesting (Hermes and Apollo give human intelligence to fifteen dogs they find at a veterinary clinic for a bet to see whether or not even one will die happy), the story ultimately has no impact on how we understand our own said “intelligence” or the human-animal relationship.

Dogs were chosen as the subject for the experiment, and, since so, a population from a more diverse pool should have been employed. I was disappointed that no dogs from a kill shelter were involved, no dogs from a dog fighting ring were involved, no dogs from the meat trade in, say, China were involved. There was a lot of worthwhile material there. This was one way Apollo, Hermes, and Alexis himself avoided serious dog-specific cultural matters. None of the dogs really had to grapple with the holocaust their own species faces every day.

Instead, the story focuses on the symbol of the collar and leash, dominance in a pack/household, the existential nature of dogs trying to be dogs. This dance around the true issues a canine faces in our world ultimately made it a too-comfortable read, and, I think, kept the humans in the story and the humans reading the story from being confronted with what “human intelligence” is capable of.

But the bet itself was cool. Gods should gamble more often. Oh wait, that’s all they do.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Gabbler Recommends: Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

Fifteen DogsFifteen Dogs by André Alexis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Gabbler Recommends.

View all my reviews

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Joseph Campbell, on reboots:

“The symbolic field is based on the experiences of people in a particular community, at that particular time and place. Myths are so intimately bound to the culture, time, and place, that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.”

The Power of Myth

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

THE AUTOMATION got a review in Tales of the Talisman Vol. 10 issue 4:

Check out “Tales of the Talisman” Vol. 10, issue 4 for a book review of THE AUTOMATION. 

Click to order on Amazon.

Like Tales of the Talisman on Facebook.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

The Basic Theme of All Mythology:

“However, we do know that burials always involve the idea of the continued life beyond the visible one, of a plane of being that is behind the visible plane, and that is somehow supportive of the visible one to which we have to relate. I would say that is the basic theme of all mythology–that there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one.”

-Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth.

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.