Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Sundries, 94

1. GSOTW (Good Samaritan of the Week): I was stuck near a busy intersection, could not get out into traffic; a woman stopped, waved me out in front of her. GSOTW!

2. Friday night we saw The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino's most recent (and 8th) film. It's been out for a few months--gone from most theaters--and we were regretting that we'd not seen it (we've seen all the others). So I was surprised to see that the theaters in nearby Solon were offering a 6:30 showing. So off we went, joining only two other people in that particular auditorium.

If you know anything about Tarantino, you know that Buckets of Blood will tip all over you at some point--but with his work, for some reason, it doesn't really bother me: I just enjoy the journey to the Buckets so much, I guess. There were allusions to his earlier films throughout (much of Reservoir Dogs, his first, takes place in a closed room; ditto here), and I was glad that we'd seen a recent stage production of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None--because there are numerous similarities (everyone gets offed; poison, hanging, shooting in both). I don't think I've ever seen a film in which every character dies. And I mean everyone. Everyone--major, minor--whom you see alive you will eventually see dead. (Am I sick? It made me laugh.) (trailer for film)
One thing I've always liked about Tarantino: He brings back to the screen some folks you haven't seen in a long time. Here, it's Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, and others. Oh, and there's Walter Coggings from Justified. Nice to see him again.

Mostly talk in this film ... until, of course, the Buckets tip.

3. This week I finished Joyce Carol Oates' most recent novel, The Man Without a Shadow (2016). I loved it. But I've loved pretty much all her work since I first read her back when her National Book Award-winner them was published in 1969. I've had the opportunity to review several of her books over the years for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and I wish I could have done this one. It's the story of a young scientist, a woman, who (beginning in 1969) begins working on a research project involving a man with amnesia--a man they call "E. H." We watch her work with him throughout the years--all the way to his death and the pinnacle of her career (she becomes a very celebrated, revered researcher).
But ... Oates is Oates ... so there are ... problems. Although he can remember well up to the day of his injury (he's 37--and, in his own mind--always is), he can remember only about 70 seconds of what's been happening in his present. As a result, of course, he meets Margot (the scientist) anew, every day.

She is a lonely woman--and has a rich interior life. And Oates very soon is dealing with the issue of whose mind is, well, normal?  A relationship of a different nature ensues between them.

As always, I was so impressed with Oates' ability to inhabit the minds of so many different kinds of people. Her skill at weaving a story (it's principally Margot's point of view--but we get his from time to time, also).

Flawed human beings. Dark secrets. Skillful and surprising writing. Joyce Carol Oates.

4. Some final words: Interesting words from my various online word-of-the-day providers.

  • Amaranthine  \am-uh-RAN-thin, -thahyn\  adjective (dictionary.com)
    1. unfading; everlasting: a woman of amaranthine loveliness.
    2. of or like the amaranth.
  • handraulic, adj. Pronunciation: Brit. /hanˈdrɒlɪk/,  U.S. /hænˈdrɔlɪk/, /hænˈdrɑlɪk/ (OED)
    Etymology:Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: hand n., hydraulic adj. <  hand n. + -raulic (in hydraulic adj.).
     Chiefly Brit.
      Of motive power: provided by the hands or by human energy; (of a system, device, etc.) operated by hand as opposed to automatically or by machine.
  • macrosmatic, adj. Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌmakrɒzˈmatɪk/,  U.S. /ˈˌmækrɑzˈmædɪk/  (OED)
    Etymology:Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: macro- comb. form, osmatic adj. <  macro- comb. form + osmatic adj. (see quot. 1890). Compare microsmatic adj.
      Having a well-developed olfactory apparatus or sense of smell. Also fig.

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