Tuesday, April 13, 2010

LMM: Round 2, Part 3! Joyce! Gaiman! Woolf! Dickens!

OK - So I've made some important decisions. The three final first round ties are gonna be broke thusly: Waugh beats Baum because I really want to see how a second round match between him and Virginia Woolf will shake out. Rowling beats Pullman because, as much as I loved His Dark Materials, I just don't think you can ignore the massive cultural and literary influence that Harry Potter has had on this generation of readers and writers. And, finally, I'm giving Sherman Alexie the upset win over Henry James. Even though, in my heart of hearts, I believe that James is the superior novelist, Alexie is beloved. More people ought to read him, and if I can do my own, small part to make that happen, well, than that will be a good thing.

Upwards and onwards! Today we have James Joyce and Art Spiegelman engaged in a match that's not quite as apples and oranges as it first appears. I think that Spiegelman and Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are both concerned with how a man becomes bitter and angry with the world, and under what circumstances that might be an acceptable response. After that we have Tim Burton's favorite match in Lewis Carroll versus Neil Gaiman. Acid trips in the English countryside for all! Then Evelyn Waugh takes on Virginia Woolf, and I realize: I think that Emma Thompson wins for most appearances in film adaptations of novelists in our tournament (Sense and Sensibility, Brideshead Revisited, Harry Potter, Angels in America, Howard's End... anything else?). And the night-cap: Dickens versus Rowling in a battle of cute little orphans Oliver Twist and Harry Potter. Why is Roald Dahl, the master of placing adorable English children in horrific situations not in this tournament? Because I suck.

Joyce v. Spiegelman

Carroll v. Gaiman

Woolf v. Waugh

Dickens v. Rowling

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