Time was when readers kept commonplace books. Whenever they came across a pithy passage, they copied it into a notebook under an appropriate heading, adding observations made in the course of daily life. Erasmus instructed them how to do it.
… They broke texts into fragments and assembled them into new patterns by transcribing them in different sections of their notebooks. Then they reread the copies and rearranged the patterns while adding more excerpts. Reading and writing were therefore inseparable activities. They belonged to a continuous effort to make sense of things, for the world was full of signs: you could read your way through it; and by keeping an account of your readings, you made a book of your own, one stamped with your personality.
”—Robert Darnton, ‘The Mystery of Reading’ (via thesephrases)
So I saw this in my notifications. Boy did it get me worked up!
I genuinely don’t understand why people dislike Sally Donovan. Mostly because I’ve had premeditated assumptions about what type of people would like BBC Sherlock enough to have strong opinions on the show, such as the dislike of a character:
the viewers are sharp, or at least critical, or at least maybe a tad observant
they’re keen enough to know most actions have rational motives
they understand that, independent of John Watson, Sherlock Holmes is a dick
I assume these mostly because appreciating narratives always lends to something inspirational in one’s own personal life, and the show’s display of Sherlock’s brilliance and critical thinking is, I thought, something most people could at least pick up a bit. And so it baffles me why people would dislike Sergeant Sally Donovan, and most times passionately so.
WORD TO ALL OF THIS. I like to think, too, that the show is written in such a way that one could, if one wanted, take any character and have an fascinating and layered story if you look at each episode from his or her POV. We’ve gotten small but extremely interesting personal bits for each of the main recurring characters, and nothing makes me happier than when people take those bits and run with them. Because it’s ALL RIGHT THERE. And I don’t think it’s by accident.
Fuck it. Maybe I’ll just write my own Sally-verse.
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi— Brilliant YA futuristic dystopia that actually examines interplay between race/class/power; heterosexual male protagonist and rest of cast all POCs, brings critical lens to current USAmerican —> global institutionalized inequalities with many thrilling action sequences
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore— action/adventure fantasy novel all about gender and power. Fabulous white, heterosexual female heroine, like Katniss, is bad at feelings, good at killing; unlike Katniss, her entire book is a study of her agency, and she thinks extensively on whether she wants a romance and ultimately makes that decision, too.
Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler— not YA, but the best dystopia ever??? Yes. Heroine & most of cast are POC, explores race & gender in futuristic unraveling of USAmerican society & one incredible woman who manages to build something new in the rubble; she is, like Katniss, logical & determined, and unlike Katniss, in charge.
Octavian Nothing, by MT Anderson— YA historical duology about a heterosexual African American boy during the American revolution. The author explicitly plays on the popularity of YA fantasy dystopias to interrupt the reader’s expectations of a traditional fantasy narrative with the reality of US history— like Hunger Games, grim adventure that doesn’t traditionally conclude, unlike Hunger Games, explicitly about race
Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce— white werewolf hunting sisters in contemporary USA; older sister is focused, protective, and genuinely asexual!!! while younger sister has a perspective, agency, and doesn’t die. The entire book is about their difficult changing healthy A+ relationship.