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wrul (they, iel, etc)

Joined 5 months ago

Nairm & Birrarungga, Kulin biik
Reading mainly in Englishes and Frenches.

Most of this account is designated “followers‐only”, for the cosiness.

  • If you’d like a better sense of subjects and style before deciding whether to dip in, consider a bounce around the informal lit‐talk of BREYDON’s been reading. As well as there, book‐readin of the (long) 2022 appears on my pre‐huddle profile,
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My user avatar is a rainbow lorikeet feeding on orange gum blossoms — photographed above a suburban nature strip, on Boon Wurrung Country.

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wrul (they, iel, etc)'s books

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quoted Data Farms

Data Farms (EBook, 2022, Open Humanities Press) 3 stars

What is at stake in naming data centres as data farms? These installations are essentially …

The territory of data centres includes not just the geography of cables, servers and clients that spans their operations; it might also be understood in a more diagrammatic sense as consisting of institutional and commercial elements or entities and their capacities brought into relation. Such a notion of territory suggests a more flexible comprehension of time and space that can be termed territoriality.

Data Farms

From the essay LAND AND WATER by Brett Neilson & Ned Rossiter (pp5-11)

Content warning flagrant blogging

This Life (Paperback, en-Latn-US language, 2018, Profile Books) 3 stars

If this life is all there is, what should we do with it? Join Swedish …


3 stars

It's several books in one, slighted overlapped.

The philosophical treatise is nothing special. The theological critique is illuminating. The final wind-up to an economic manifesto is incisive. The political blueprint leans a bit too hard on Haegglund's least substatiated claims around subjective relationships with time and mortality, but remains workable. The whizz through MLK's latter phase of activism blends well, as a piece of political biography.

And yet, as a single volume, This Life crawls along in repetitious circles. It's as though every passage expects to act as ambassador in isolation for the entire work. This leaves much of the writing --- including the thesis as a whole --- feeling disproportionately shallow, underdeveloped, or simplistic, for its length.

However, one stream (constituting the front of Part Two) really would warrant a wide readership in excerpt (and runs thicker, too):

The call to reconsider, reject, and replace the capitalistic understanding of …

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling (AudiobookFormat, en-Zxxx-AU language, 2023, ABC Audio) 4 stars

A compelling young adult story about growing up in a migrant Asian family with a …

a power dumpling of the surprising good

4 stars

Wow. If it weren't for the clunky splices and slight under-rehearsal (the latter maybe just nerves) ------ no, even with those, this was about as inviting a place a long, prerecorded storytelling can become. The narrative is at once earnest, confronting, and pleasantly pop. The characters are, for the most part, convincingly knotty without looming distractingly so, and all of them gently charming, even at their least!

The biggest takeaway from listening in on this audiobook, is that Wai Chim both writes and reads in a discerning style, with an incredible emotional generosity.

Content warning coupla major plot points depicted in the 2008 parts of Greenwood; reference to suicidality, macho-ablism

Females (Paperback, en-Latn-US language, 2019, Verso) 4 stars

funny, vague, clever

4 stars

That was all I’d jotted down as a review of this, last year: “funny, vague, clever”.

Vague? I meant it, strangely, as a compliment. The declarations are bold. From the first page, Andrea Long Chu arrays her arguments on a sweeping, jokey surge: “Everyone is female […] There are no good female poets, simply because there are no good poets.”

For a short book, Females is dense with points. Much is blunted in the rush. Beats are firmly met (or, if hard to pinpoint, are kept to), yet transition is a constant; text supple within constraints, and still its reach broad or deep or precipitously high, in the manner of a (complex) wave. It can’t sustain itself at the extremes (and doesn’t try to, hovers without overstaying, inertia impelling), but supports itself up there, however insubstantially.

Greenwood (Paperback, en-Latn-CA language, 2020, Scribe) 5 stars

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood …

a little bit monumental?

5 stars

A noticeable boundary arose, a couple of months ago, in the items delivered to me by the home library service. Sharp as between the rings of a trunk. Somebody new had started selecting loans for me.

Since that moment, Greenwood was the one I looked forward to most. Like many of its bagmates, I hadn’t heard of it, or its author, but the blurb held startling promise. I cored a few sentences from its heart, at random. Yes. They were striking. I would save this one, savour it.

Aside from the back third or so lacking the structural fullness of most of the novel — a slow and then hastening collapse which the format, together with the thematic content, primes the reader to anticipate, anyway — Greenwood did not disappoint in the least. Though not without occasional irritant (the typical occasion being an (at first glance?) unconvincing blow to …

Everything Feels Like the End of the World (Paperback, en-Latn-AU language, 2022, Allen & Unwin) 1 star

Everything Feels Like the End of the World is a collection of short speculative fiction …

well‐boring, yet not penetrating

1 star

The conceit of this being a collection of short stories may have served the writer well in maintaining funding, an audience, and industry connection throughout its composition, but fails the book as an artwork. Its abundance of redundant chapters would betray careless curation, an unwarranted, greedy completionism, were these genuine standalones, containers each of a story. Their emptiness, as even those chapters exceeding a couple of paragraphs remain bare vignette; the dogged homogeneity of concept; the consistent chronology along which they are all chained, the flicker of more‐than‐the‐sum‐of‐its‐parts integration; though, belong to a novel. Or an attempt at a novel.

The speculative urbanism approaches a cool. Some thought, maybe even research, has gone into redesigning an ever more inundated Birrarungga, to fashioning successive layers, up, down, and out, of future Old Melbournes and proposing emergent cultures around these. The evolution of increasingly coastal towns to the east is infinitely …

Clan (Hardcover, en-Latn-AU language, 2013, Allen & Unwin) 3 stars

Clan explores the world of Bangarra Dance Theatre and the extraordinary Aboriginal and Torres Strait …

mere flex

3 stars

[12 Jan 2023]

Dancers communicate so profoundly with the mere flex of a foot or hand, a shift of focus, the roll of a head, the transfer of weight within their body.

⸻ Stephen Page, opening page

Yet considering all that is going on in the images which fill almost the entire book, Barrett’s photography (as paired with Page’s art direction?) tends to be rather lifeless. Murky, flat, depleted of momentum, almost clinical, for all the heavy‐ink, gloss and phenomenal energies gone in.

I couldn’t help but contrast the pronounced underwhelm at a first glance through 21st century, prestige project Clan with my memory of alternately squint‐goggling at a juddery, blurred few‐second clip of anthropologist–choreographer Pearl Primus’ 1950 solo dance Spirituals, rolled and buoyed and awash with awe, utterly.

Like [Isadora] Duncan, [Primus] danced with — not against — gravity, but in her case the gesture tied …

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Gaucher.ère contrarié.e (Paperback, fr-Latn-CA language, Éditions L'Interlignex) No rating

Les trajectoires paradoxales des treize personnages s'entrelacent comme les fils d'une tapisserie humaine bigarrée, toutes …

Je peux me cacher derrière les langues « étrangères ». Mais toutes les langues sont des langues étrangères au Canada, n'est-ce pas ? Sauf le cri, l'inuktitut, l'ojibwé, anishnabe, haida gwai, mic mac, cri des plaines, dakota, blackfoot, montagnais, dene, atikamek, bella coola, oneida, tlicho, le mitchif… Il faudrait que je demande à mon sensei.

Gaucher.ère contrarié.e by 

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Gaucher.ère contrarié.e (Paperback, fr-Latn-CA language, Éditions L'Interlignex) No rating

Les trajectoires paradoxales des treize personnages s'entrelacent comme les fils d'une tapisserie humaine bigarrée, toutes …

Je ne savais pas que le français est toujours une langue exotique, au Canada anglais. Si on parle français, les gens sont impressionnés. Et ils croient qu’on a appris la langue en France. Ah, oui. Le vin français, l'accent français, la bouffe française, «ils sont tellement cultivés», les Français. Si eux, ces gens, parlent français, c'est parce qu'ils ont voyagé en France, bien entendu. J’existe dans un désert linguistique, en 2014 il n’existe plus de librairie francophone à Toronto. Toronto est-elle une ville désignée bilingue ? Alors, ça va ? Le statu quo ? Je peux acheter les livres en français en ligne, sans parler à un vendeur. C'est génial, parce que je n'aime pas le monde. Ou je voyage à Ottawa, ou dans une grande ville québécoise pour feuilleter, toucher les livres directement. Un objet tangible ne vaut rien ces jours-ci. Les gens aiment leurs livres numériques. Et c'est peut-être mieux. Personne n'a touché la version électronique, alors, il n'y a pas de germes.

Gaucher.ère contrarié.e by 

地球星人 (Paperback, ja-Jpan-JP language, 2021, Shinchōsha) 4 stars


Truly the longest of shots, as I don’t know that one’s been produced, but would anyone happen to have a spoken edition of this I could borrow?

(It’s Earthlings in the original Japanese).