If you haven’t read Deathless you’re missing out. I’m not sure I can cleanly articulate why but for me -
it was like drinking clean water and coming back to understand why I studied what I studied, why the important things stick and bite down into your soul
how even the domovie had to form committees to remain relevant how even these creatures who could rule homes had to watch their words and swallow them down. can you imagine reinventing your language in a moment’s notice? words that you were free to speak were no longer available to you (if you wanted to stay free) truth was no longer available to you (if you wanted to stay free) but the trick here is that no one was free
how this book references all the great Russian authors, specifically of that time period but also looking back. when you’re reading about Marya’s great feast you should be thinking of Gogol’s great love for describing food (but remember that he starved himself), when you read about the wartorn streets and Marya’s drawn face looking over her men remember Babel and the dead goose, when you read about Marya in love remember Margarita, who made a deal with the devil and would burn down the world for her lover
but remember too that this book is not about the aesthetics of Russia or Marya’s love, but is the story of Russia’s bloody history through folklore, specifically Russian folklore, which is soaked in blood and hope. Baba Yaga sits in her house and she’ll swallow your soul in a moment if you don’t treat her right. the thing is to know how to navigate your world (remember Solzhenitsyn in the gulag, he walked through death and came through but you don’t come out unchanged. remember that prison narratives are stories about the underworld).
Everything in this book maps. It is meticulously researched. The language is evocative of Russian speech, the images are dark and beautiful and rend like the broken hopes of the poets who dreamed the revolution would bring something good. Have you read Mayakovsky? He shouts because he’s afraid no one would hear. He killed himself. Have you read Bulgakov? He told the truth, and he died. Have you read Babel? He died. Have you read Blok? Esenin? They died they died they died under the heel of terror, under a system who knew full well the power of literature and art and how dangerous it is
and this book, Deathless, is a love letter to all of them, to everyone who died, to the culture that was murdered, and to the beauty that still remains.
So if you read this book, and all you take away is Marya dressed in red with Koschei her lover, and the power of makeup, and ruling with an iron fist, I understand, because these are strong and powerful images, but I beg of you to dig deeper than that. This book is offering a very accessible window into Russian culture and literature, and if you ignore it you’ve missed the point.
You trick your lovers
That you’re wicked and divine
You may be a sinner
But your innocence is mine
Renowned Feminist John Green
[Reblogged by Hank on 3/10/2014 in a Twenty Funniest and Most Adorable John Green Quotes post?????]
Haven’t we reached a pretty unanimous consensus that you shouldn’t sexualize breasts when talking about breast cancer?
Cause you know, breast cancer is actually not about your boner John?
Ughhhh what’s it gonna take for men to understand WOMEN’S ENTIRE EXISTENCE DOES NOT REVOLVE ABOUT YOUR BONER?
Just the organs. Not the actual people who have to deal with it. We just care about the breasts, not the people attached to them. Good job. A+ way to make this about him. I didn’t think it could be done.His fiction skills are truly beyond mine.
The fact that this was considered one of his “most adorable” quotes is like… what.
Breasts aren’t organs, they’re glands.
I saw some people crying the age old, “But this quote was taken out of context!” Which… this doesn’t even need context, but I watched the video anyway just to hear it “in context”. Now I can officially say the context doesn’t matter. It’s just like his quote about nerd girls as “resources”. UGGGGGGH.
Biloela — Wild Cockatoos, Leila Jeffreys
Avengers Meme ; Two Places
(1/2) Asgard: “And here we remain as the beacon of hope, shining out across the stars. And though we have fallen into man’s myths and legends, it was Asgard and its warriors that brought peace to the universe.”
What would I have been if I had never seen the birds? I am no one; I am nothing. I am a blank paper on which you and your magic wrote a girl. Just the kind of girl you wanted, all hungry and hurt and needing. A machine for loving you. Nothing in me was not made by you.