Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I stopped watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for about two years, and I've started again this season. Now I wonder how I ever could have stopped. The reasons I love Buffy, and the reasons why Anya is one of the great supporting characters in TV history are summarized by this quote fro last night's episode: (Context: She's telling a potential slayer why she should be happy about this new calling.) "Now you're part of something larger. It's like being something larger."

I finished Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian earlier today. This is one of those books where you can feel its greatness even while you are completely distasteful of the experience of actually reading the thing. This book falls solidly in the revisionist western genre; no one wears a white or black hat, everyone's racist, everyone's violent, nobody's likable, and most everyone dies. The body count of this book is astronomical. This is not one of those books that reverses dichotomies either--the Mexicans and Indians are no worse, but no better than anyone else either.

I love the revisionist Westen movie genre--some of our truly great movies are films such as Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. And the New Western History is a significant development in American historiography. This book is very much in that vein--though as literature it's also very flowery and ponderous--but I wouldn't recommend it unless you really want to devote your undivided attention to it for a while, and you have no squeamishness about constant brutality.

Starting tomorrow I'll be teaching my first GRE class for Kaplan; wish me luck...

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