Fall is approaching. Time to dig in with horror movies and funky-weird goth punk music.
“He made me important.” – Robert De Loungville, Rise of a Merchant Prince
I snatched up some Raymond Feist novels form my brother to re-read. I’ve been so immersed in work recently and besides the crime fiction I have around (I’ve been doing a bit of an incompletely and unofficial Elmore Leonard re-read as I worked on something about him for The Means At Hand) that I wanted something comforting, and Rise of a Merchant Prince was one of those re-reads. The pages are slowly yellowing, the paperback still in good shape, but definitely showing its age and its use from re-reads.
This scene, where (spoilers I guess) drill sergeant of the Crimson Eagles, “Bobby” De Loungville, lies dying in his protege Eric’s arms in an ice cave on a foreign continent, his lungs pierced by a broken rib. All the character can do is declare the importance of their leader, who lies burned and injured himself, the man who started the Crimson Eagles army, Calis the half-elf. It’s a bit meant to illustrate the character Calis as being vital to the mission and to the overall story of the books, but also, to me, what makes it so emotional is that it’s an illustration of the importance he had to these other characters. It’s an expression by De Loungville about just what Calis means to him. He raised him up from lowly soldier about to be hung into a man with responsibilities, with duties, with others who looked up to him for guidance. De Loungville was living before, but now, he had a life.
It’s an incredible way to express platonic adoration and relationships, in that small way that we never expect to hit us so hard when we read about relationships between men. It’s an honest admission of the root of friendship, devotion, and love, and it’s so painful to watch someone dying (even in fiction) thinking only of someone else, the man who means everything to him, because he gave his life purpose.
I love this scene. It makes me tear up every time.
I’ve been finding a lot of good nonfiction to read online actually, which feels rare;
- This is an interview from 2018 with Anthony Bourdain, and I don’t think I ever read this one. It’s a long but good one.
- Samantha Irby sings the praises of learning to make tuna noodle casserole, a truly delicious American comfort food.
- Cormac McCarthy, of all people, edits science papers apparently and gives some tips for writing what’s in front of you.
- On Peter Laufner, one of the founders of Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu, seminal midwestern rock ‘n roll.
- It’s hard to be legitimately critical of the world and write about it all when you’re literally struggling to live.
I’m sure there’s lots of good nonfiction out there, it might just honestly be I’m tired of the same six or so I re-read a lot because I teach them. This latest batch is refreshing and I might incorporate them into what I assign.
The piece I mentioned above about Elmore Leonard went up at The Means At Hand and I’m proud of how it came out, and I’m also excited about both what I’m working on for Patreon as well as a possible other fiction thing. More on that as I get closer to an idea of where it’s going.
I’m trying to get writing done even with a bunch of teaching and grading, but I’m trying had to keep the balance as well as maintain some personal sense and personal space for movies and time with my loved ones. I keep meaning to do a list of all the movies we’ve been watching and rewatching, but I’m trying to watch more movies and less TV so we’ll see how that goes.
Kim Shattuck of the Muffs passed away and in a just and righteous world, the Muffs could have been and should have been bigger than Green Day.
So I guess it’s National Poetry Day, whatever that means, go read some poetry. That’s it for now kids, I’ll be seeing you around.
“A sword rang as it was drawn. ‘Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'” – JRR Tolkien