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What happens after that?!!! - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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What happens after that?!!! [Jul. 23rd, 2009|03:55 pm]
[Current Mood |mellowindulged]

Back when Charles Dickens was writing his books, the chapters appeared in serialized form in weekly or monthly magazines. This was a common way to first introduce the public to a book - Dickens was certainly not alone in this form of publishing - because a ripping yarn pumped up sales and bound books were still something of a luxury item.

Fast forward to today, and we not only get most of our books in bound volumes (the occasional Stephen King notwithstanding), we can even buy entire seasons of television shows in a box and watch the story over a course of hours or days rather than months or years.

But there is still something pleasurable about serialization, particularly for a novel. And particularly when that novel is as evocatively written as Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

If I had the whole, finished book in my hands? I would have gobbled it up by now. Torn through it, cover to cover, and gorged myself on the words.

Instead, it is being parceled out, bit by delicious morsel, every Monday (with the added glee of a surprise short chapter the past Wednesday that's following a different character and that I hope will occasionally be dropped in as an extra frisson of loveliness). And because I am presented with these single truffles of exquisite writing, I am not racing through them. After all, when I reach the end of this one, I must wait a whole week for the next.

So I am lolling in them. Rolling them around me like a soft expanse of chinchilla. Holding them against my palate to breathe in their essence like a well-aged port wine. Sinking into them like an eiderdown quilt.

There are 6 chapters, plus one interlude, available now, free for the reading with only the request of donations. You owe it to yourself to catch up so that you can savor each one. If you can donate a few dollars, so much the better. But whether or no, come with us to Fairyland. You won't regret it.

[User Picture]From: ladiefare
2009-07-23 10:52 pm (UTC)

I have recently discovered EBooks

they have become my guilty secret pleasure.
Not that reading is a guilty pleasure, I read un-ashamedly.
But I have discovered that I can put a book on my Cruzer and take it to work and plug it in and read while I am constantly on hold ( or at lunch or on break) without anyone ever knowing *grins*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-07-24 03:34 am (UTC)

Re: I have recently discovered EBooks

Oh, man, it's one of the reasons I adore my iPhone - I'm never ever without a book anymore.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2009-07-24 01:58 am (UTC)
I spent the last year or so working my way through Dickens' novels. The editors for the novels would signify the breaks in how the novels were originally serialized by putting an asterisk at the end of the segment, usually after two or three chapters. I mused at various times that from a psychological POV, it was probably a lot less intimidating to read a couple of chapters once a month rather than having an 800-plus novel dropped in your lap, which can be intimidating to start! Although I loved Dickens, when I would start yet another really long Dickens novel, I would feel dismayed, even though I knew it was kind of silly to feel that way since I was going to read something every day no matter what.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-07-24 03:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, I have that reaction to long books with small print when I first start them, too.
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[User Picture]From: ohhjuliet
2009-07-24 04:12 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing story! Thanks for pointing me in this direction! xo
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-07-24 06:50 pm (UTC)
Glad to have pointed you to it.
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