Finals update: They are ongoing, and paaaaiiiinful. I am writing a paper about something called frailty. I have made all possible jokes concerning my own mental frailty, how the paper is contributing to my frailty, the similarity of the words FRAIL and FAIL and the significance of this linguistic fact for likely outcomes of my paper… not to mention some ‘jokes’ along these lines that, in retrospect, were certainly not possible. Uck.
I mentioned before how Jennifer Donnelly’s A NORTHERN LIGHT may have been inspired by Dreiser’s AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, but just because that’s what got her to create the story I love, doesn’t mean I think it belongs in the book.
I have similar feelings about China Mieville’s UN LUN DUN. His first (and only to date) young adult novel — although he has a new adult novel coming out right about now — UN LUN DUN came about, according to an interview I read, because Mieville had an image of killer giraffes. And he knew that was fully awesome. And also, he knew you couldn’t write such a thing for adults.
Meanwhile, I love UN LUN DUN — I love its characters and its wordplay and its whimsy and its politics, which make it moving to me — but the giraffes, which I support in theory, are actually a tiny part of it. Although Mieville’s illustration of a killer giraffe is pretty cool, I think the whole species could have been cut from the book without much loss.
Which is just one of those little things that interests me about the writing process in general. And also, is the reason why our new category for crazy monster books is called “Vampires, zombies and killer giraffes.” This category is motivated by my desire to no longer have to tag every vampire book as being related to TWILIGHT just so they’re all collected in one place.
Also, speaking of crazy awesome monsters: Yes, I am excited about Diana Peterfreund’s book RAMPANT, which is about killer unicorns. And yes, I was made insanely happy by this link (from Oz and Ends): PINOCCHIO: VAMPIRE SLAYER.