Archive for November, 2005

We wind up The Shepherd of Hermas with more rural parables about the Church, its members, and the dire need for repentance. It’s been a really interesting look at what kind of thoughts and feelings were floating around the early Christian community, and what sort of problems were common among them. The danger of betrayal and the attraction of denial to folks living in an anti-Christian world is very evident.

Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
2 hrs.

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Blog Announcements

The third part of Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour is now up.

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This week, the honor of the name demands that I begin to read Fitz’s creepy Christmas chronicle of bloody Romany revolution on the sidewalks of New York — by magic!

I’m torn about this story. On the one hand, there’s no denying that it’s a very clever and scary little urban fantasy. It deals with contemporary issues (nationalist revolution), and uses traditional figures of legend alongside unused ones, like organ grinders and American birds. Furthermore, it weaves in real Romany legends and beliefs very cleverly. On the other hand, it also makes use of European stereotypes, including those against the Romany. And that whole rant against “Christians” doesn’t make sense, for example. Rom who live in Europe and America are usually Christians, though they also hold their own beliefs. (Against gaje (non-Romany), you maybe could see the rant. I suspect editorial interference, myself.) Still, it’s a good story as long as you bear the truth in mind, and includes a very unusual romance.

So don’t give this one to the kids, okay?


Section 1: “Golosh Street and Its People”
Section 2: “A Bottleful of Souls”
Section 3: “Solon”
45 min.

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I wasn’t able to get this 1859 Thanksgiving story out last week, but I wanted to put it up before starting on Fitz-James O’Brien’s Christmas stories. So here’s the tale of two men, a woman, a bad cold, and an old-fashioned Connecticut Thanksgiving.

Sadly, Alice B. Haven died in 1863. She must have had a good bit of popularity as a writer, since, as the link points out, a memoir of her life came out in 1865. She was apparently primarily a novelist.

Anyway, the story is complete in one part. I swear. It’s also available at Cornell.


“An Armistice”
31 min.

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Since I didn’t have time to finish up The Shepherd of Hermas this week, I’ve given you a little early Christian hymn for your first week of Advent needs. (This is also subject to the whims of archive.org, of course.)

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If and when my latest part of Surtees shows up on archive.org, it’ll be here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be out of touch, so see you next week!

Chapter 13: A New Scheme
Chapter 14: Jawleyford Hall
Chapter 15: The Jawleyford Establishment
Chapter 16: The Dinner
Chapter 17: The Tea
Chapter 18: The Evening’s Reflections
71 min.

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First, my strep throat slowed me down. Then going back to work slowed me down. And now hundreds of people rushing to upload before Thanksgiving have slowed archive.org down. (Surtees is up; check my catalog link to archive.org if it doesn’t get up in time for the morning.) But all the same, Clan Honor must be served.

“An Arabian Nightmare” is a cute little story about a medieval Arab merchant who travels on business to Russia, stays the winter, and ends up having an interesting encounter with beings straight out of the Arabian Nights.

For those who are keeping score, the latent moral of the story is perfectly appropriate to those of us Christians about to celebrate Thanksgiving. (Heh!)

“An Arabian Nightmare”
18 min.

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