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December 22, 2004

Marlowe in Action... But is it Christopher or Phillip?

The Queen of Misrule opens this winter solstice's formal entertainment at the Seelie Court:

Making Light: Marlowe in action: ...a formally declared amusement for the holiday season. Last year we did Tolkien as written by other authors, with points for identifying the author being imitated, and applause for a good imitation...

The rules are the same as last year: One point for a correct identification. No points if the identification is phrased as a suggestion or guess. No points for figuring it's so obvious that everyone else will have guessed already. Universal admiration is awarded for a good pastiche--which this year shall be Raymond Chandler's subject matter in another author's style, or another author's subject matter in Raymond Chandler's style. There will be minimal penalties for substituting Dashiell Hammett for Raymond Chandler...

You may take it as a meta-rule that sufficient grace will always trump the rules proper.

And here are three notable early entries:

Kip Williams: Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep as written in the style of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus:

For long and weary hours, I bored myself
Counting the old, tired webs of spiders
In my narrow office. Just then I heard
A ringing sound from the bell out front,
And in my dismal garret I beheld
A wench who made a good first impression
To my eyes. Her face, I thought could launch
A thousand or so ships, her eyes burn down
A hell of a lot of topless towers.
I took in her form and her tear-streaked face

She beseechingly asked, “Mister Marlowe? I’m in trouble. They told me you could help.”

Teresa Nielsen Hayden: Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as written in the style of Raymond Chandler's Red Wind:

There'd been a drought in March, and enough rain in April to raise false hopes, but that night there was a desert wind blowing--one of those hot dry Santa Anas that can wither tender crops in a single night. They come roaring down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. It's a good night to sleep with your eyes open. Small foolish men with their veins full of liquor pick the kind of fights that end with a bunch of cheap flowers on a cheap wooden coffin. More respectable citizens look for any excuse to go on pilgrimage. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks--then hastily book themselves into a weekend religious retreat where the murder victim is a holy blissful martyr, and the police will never turn up asking questions about him.

Alex Cohen: Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queen as written in the style of one of Robert Parker's Spenser novels:

The kid had the equipment, I'll give him that. The armor was class-A, better than the stuff I had worn when I was in the service. The shield was silver, and had seen plenty of action. But the kid -- well, my guess was that he hadn't wielded any arms in his time. And underneath that cheer, I could tell there was something pretty sorrowful. I thought I should get him to talk to Susan.

"Look, Mr. Spenser, I don't need your help. I'm not afraid of the Dragon."

"Don't be an idiot. That Dragon would eat you alive. Literally ingest you. In the mean time, you need something to eat."

We headed into the kitchen, and I started a wine sauce for the chicken.

Posted by DeLong at December 22, 2004 10:22 AM

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U.S. Cutting Food Aid Aimed at Self-Sufficiency

WASHINGTON - In one of the first signs of the effects of the ever tightening federal budget, in the past two months the Bush administration has reduced its contributions to global food aid programs aimed at helping millions of people climb out of poverty.

With the budget deficit growing and President Bush promising to reduce spending, the administration has told representatives of several charities that it was unable to honor some earlier promises and would have money to pay for food only in emergency crises like that in Darfur, in western Sudan. The cutbacks, estimated by some charities at up to $100 million, come at a time when the number of hungry in the world is rising for the first time in years and all food programs are being stretched.

As a result, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services and other charities have suspended or eliminated programs that were intended to help the poor feed themselves through improvements in farming, education and health....

Ellen Levinson, head of the Food Aid Coalition, said the best estimate for the amount of food that was not delivered in November and December was 'at least $100 million.'

The administration attributed the recent cutbacks to the huge demands from food crises this year, especially in Africa, and the long delay in approving a budget.

Posted by: anne at December 22, 2004 11:01 AM

I saw you goofig off over at the Queen's place the morning and thought to myself that you should be either grading papers, preparing for new classes or bloging about some insanity of the b adminstration,

Posted by: dilbert dogbert at December 22, 2004 04:01 PM

There are no ships to launch, and her seeing eyes make no judgments.

Posted by: cloquet at December 22, 2004 07:03 PM

The title of this post reminds me of the greatest move of all time, "Spinal Tap", where David St. Hubbins is listening to tapes of celebrities reading literary works written by authors with the same last name. There's Danny Thomas reading Dylan Thomas (appropriately for the season, "A Child's Christmas in Wales"), and then the kicker: "...shorter works of Washington Irving, read by someone called Dr. J."


Posted by: Dave at December 23, 2004 08:01 AM