Showing posts with label Hilary Mantel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hilary Mantel. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

AIL Day 63: milquetoast (j)

Today's word is...


A milquetoast is one who has a meek, timid nature.  Yes, it is pronounced "milk-toast." Oxford Dictionaries indicates that it is the name of a 1930s cartoon character.  Online Etymology indicates that it might be a form of milksop, a 14th century term for "an effeminite spiritless man," and also used as a reference to the infant Christ... literally a piece of bread soaking in milk, mild baby food. 

This was not as nice as I would have thought.  I'm pretty sure I saw this in either Wolf Hall or Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel's historical fiction novels about Thomas Cromwell... which means it is slightly anachronistic (unless Ms. Mantel used the word "milksop" instead).  Nonetheless the term was used by Anne Boleyn's ladies in waiting to describe/deride the quiet Jane Seymour. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whimsy on Wednesday (Jillian)

A little literary news reel for you:

  • On the Telegraph, British author Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize for her novel Bring Up the Bodies, a sequel to Wolf Hall, which follows Thomas Cromwell at the court of Henry VIII.  Bring Up the Bodies details the Anne Boleyn scandal and her unhappy end.  Ms. Mantel is one of two authors to have won the Man Booker Prize twice and the only woman to do so.  This is a great testament to the power of fiction written well... and historical fiction at that.  Hers is the only Tudor-esque novel out of the hundreds that exist that I want very badly to read. 
  • Ian McEwan, also a Booker Prize winner, has said recently that the novella is the perfect literary form.  He might be right but that's quite a difficult thing to accomplish.
  • NPR has a lovely article on the 60th anniversary of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.
  • National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November.  Writer Unboxed has several posts on preparing for the project.  I am considering participating in it this year, if only to maintain my sanity during this time of the Sisyphean synopsis.  I think it would be a good way to churn out a first draft of a novel, intense though it may be. 
  • Publishers Marketplace had an article on Ann Patchett interviewing JK Rowling.  One tidbit I found interesting: "I find that discussing an idea out loud is often the way to kill it stone dead.  They all sound rubbish," she said. I find this to be particularly true.  My ideas for stories or little nuances in my novel must be kept inside - let out too soon, even in private dialogue with oneself, and the idea evaporates or turns to dust. 


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