Author: Heloise Merlin

Hirokazu Koreeda: Maboroshi no Hikari

“Maboroshi no Hikari” translates literally as “Light of Illusion” and I am tempted to read this as a reference to my favourite film by Eric Rohmer, Le Rayon Vert (i.e., “The Green Ray”). It is however fairly unlikely, seeing as the two film do not have all that much in common – although it has to be said that both figure a young female protagonist who is somehow out of synch with her surroundings.

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Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone et al.: The Witch Who Came In From the Cold, Season Two

I posted a couple of brief reviews on several (not all) episodes of the second season of the ongoing e-book serial The Witch Who Came In From the Cold; and while each of them is too short for a blog post, I was thinking that maybe it might be of inerest to someone if I posted the whole bunch colletively (which is either a desperate attempt to scrape out the bottom of the barrel to scratch out a new blog post or a clever way to go meta and imitate the serial / omnibus structure in my post – your pick).

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Matthew De Abaitua: The Red Men

trtoPretty much every single review of Matthew De Abaitua’s debut novel The Red Men which I have glanced at has compared him to one or two or several other authors and I am feeling that almost irresistible urge myself. Maybe comparison to others is unavoidable with this author – not because he is in any way derivative, but for precisely the opposite reason: His novel is so brilliant and original that it leaves readers bewildered and helpless, groping for the comparison straw just to have something familiar to hold on to.

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Luo Guanzhong: The Three Kingdoms

First, I should point out that I am writing this post six months after finishing the novel; and while I took some notes when reading it, details are starting to get a bit hazy and I apologise if what follows is even more vague than usual. As with the previous Great Chinese Classics, both date of composition and author of The Three Kingdoms (also known as Romance of the Three Kingdoms) are not known with certainty. It is generally assumed that it was written by Luo Ghuanzong (who also may have edited and maybe even written parts of Outlaws of the Marsh) and assumed to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century, but neither of those appears to be quite uncontested.

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Pu Songling: Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio

Classical Chinese literature obviously does not consist solely of the Six Great Novels, and I wanted my reading project to also include some shorter (but not necessarily minor) books. Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio was my first attempt at a canonized work which is not a several thousand pages long, and overall I enjoyed it, if not quite as much as the novels, which I strongly suspect is due to more getting lost in translation.

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