Years ago, telling ghost stories at Christmas was as much of the holiday as crass commercialism is now. It makes sense that James set one of his stories during the Christmas season.
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Posted by: Mark | September 21, 2020

M.R. James Review: An Episode of Cathedral History

Is “An Episode of Cathedral History” a vampire story? (After haunted curtains, a vampire is about as strong a contrast from unconventional horror to conventional as James could get.)
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Posted by: Mark | September 20, 2020

M.R. James Review: The Diary of Mr. Poynter

Shockingly, James wrote another story of an antiquary who discovered an old book, a diary written by another antiquary. He further discovered a pattern of cloth from the diary which he used as curtains for his aunt’s house
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Posted by: Mark | September 19, 2020

M.R. James Review: A Residence at Whitminster

This was an odd and complicated story, told in multiple time periods that seem to flow together. It had strong images but could have used more impact in the conclusion.
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Posted by: Mark | September 18, 2020

What Number Is This?

After yesterday’s cheap “300th post,” I realized that I hadn’t written down “297 posts” in my resolution update on Wednesday, but “294,” meaning that even after cheating, I was still short.

This is post 299. I’m not going to mention the real 300. If I only put this effort into losing weight, I’d be a lot more healthy.

Posted by: Mark | September 18, 2020

M.R. James Review: Mr. Humphreys and His Inheritance

After Mr. Humphrey’s uncle died, a character claimed the old man could be summed up on one word: “valetudinarian.” Not knowing what that one word meant, James’s vaulted vocabulary wasn’t particularly helpful. Even after looking it up, I wasn’t sure–there are two definitions 1) someone in poor health; and 2) someone deeply concerned about his health aka a borderline hypochondriac.
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Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2020

Post 300!

Finally! I’m behind my goal for posting this year but I made it to #300!

Yes, this was cheap but, given the year, I needed something to prop me up.

To be on the track to post 425 times this year, I should be at 301 today. Compared to my other resolutions, that’s not so bad.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2020

Post 300!

Finally! I’m behind my goal for posting this year but I made it to #300!

No, wait. This is only 299.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2020

M.R. James Review: Martin’s Close

The first thing many readers think of when they hear the name “George R.R. Martin,” is his proclivity towards killing characters. I was surprised to learn that a George Martin was killing characters in fantasy stories decades before our George was even born.
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Posted by: Mark | September 16, 2020

Resolution Update 38

I’ve never had a bad back stay so bad for such a long time. The fishless doctor’s office did prescribe three medications that are making it feel better but I wonder if they’re just masking the pain and the damage is getting worse.

Resolutions definitely could have been worse.
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