About Daedalus Lex

Favorite painting title: A Hair Pursued by Two Planets, Joan Miro Favorite English word to say out loud: lilliputian Favorite Spanish word to say out loud: pipas Favorite album: Abbey Road Favorite zoo animals: elephant, anteater Favorite advertising slogan: "Drink Barqs. Its good."

Don’t get stuck with nothing to read

Goodbye, Maggie now at La Librería Guanajuato & Quimby’s Chicago (+ online).
Also arrived at bookstores in NYC and Austin but down with the virus.
So best to beat the home-alone boredom with a cheap Kindle copy ($3.99).

Share, enjoy, write reviews!

       

Phil’s life becomes a fiasco of misdirection when his charismatic brother shows up with the news that he has murdered someone and asks for sanctuary.

Amazon link here.
Author site here.
Facebook link here.

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Teaching Dickens: Hard Times

Hard Times is not one of the greatest novels in the language like Dickens’s Great Expectations. It is far too taut to showcase Dickens’s strength, that luxurious attention to character and prose style. This is perhaps because it was written as a weekly serial instead of the usual monthly serial. In any event, it is a novel built more on ideas than on vivid, complex characters, and hence not on the best foundation for Dickens’s peculiar kind of literary edifice.

Hard Times, however, has several advantages in the undergraduate classroom. (Great Expectations might more interesting than Hard Times at the upper or English majors only levels, with its surface plot resting on layers and layers of symbolic strata.) For the general survey, Hard Times brings the political and thematic climate of Victorian England into focus more quickly and more sharply than the other novels: Captains of Industry (Adam Smith/Bounderby) vs. Marxists (Slackbridge) vs. Bourgeois Liberals (Gradgrind, ultimately). Other players like Sissy and Harthouse and Sleary are worthy of book-length analyses in their own right, but that basic tripartite political backdrop is a great introduction to the historical forces of the century. And Hard Times is more than adequate to introduce stylistic markers of Victorian realism (partly reflected in and partly invented by Dickens), although they may come to fuller flower in Dickens’s other novels. Hard Times is certainly better than the oft-taught Oliver Twist as an introduction to the stylistic and historical markers of the dominant genre of the time, and is probably better in terms of its sharper focus for undergraduates than the more luxurious Great Expectations or Tale of Two Cities.

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Goodbye, Maggie in Chicago

Goodbye, Maggie now at Quimby’s in Wicker Park, Chicago (and online).

Share, enjoy, write reviews!

In a culture of health nuts, gurus, quacks and seekers, Phil’s stagnant life collapses when his charismatic brother, Magnus, shows up with the news that he has murdered someone and asks for sanctuary. Thus starts a dramatic comedy of rollicking misdirection, as Magnus disappears – with Phil’s girlfriend, Hermia – and Phil lands on an uneasy road trip through small town Louisiana with Gus, another rival for Hermia’s attention. Phil and Gus, white and black, find racism, madness, and unlikely friendships as they roll through the bayous and into New Orleans.

Amazon link here.
Author site here.
Facebook link here.

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Gary’s favorites

Looking back over my travels, I came up with a few favorites to share.

Favorite coffee shops

  1. Café Tal (Sangre de Cristo), Guanajuato, Mexico
  2. Café Kittel, Aachen, Germany
  3. The Spider House, Austin TX
  4. Phil, Vienna, Austria

Favorite restaurants

  1. Taberna Maceiras (Las Huertas), Madrid
  2. Sante Fe, Tivoli NY
  3. Ciro’s Coté Sud, New Orleans LA
  4. Restaurante La Catarata (taco stand), Uvita, Costa Rica

Favorite place for pictures

  1. Freiburg, Germany
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. Varanasi, India
  4. Fez, Morocco

(For more curious favorites, see my “About” page 😊)

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