Ad “A magical love affair”

Sun 16 December 2018

(my comments on “A magical love affair” by charmed9292)

I have to admit reading of this story was an exercise in frustration for me. I think the general idea of Petunia and Severus crying over one another’s shoulder is a great. Both of them are nicely complicated and somehow tragical persons, so they provide great opportunity for writing a good story. Also, the beginning of the story (Petunia waking in a bad mistaking Severus for her teddy bear) is great and actually pretty neatly written. However, the moment they open their mouths, the execution falls down completely, which is sad given this is mostly a dialogue story. I see couple of reasons for this:

  1. Language. There is just no way how two teenagers under the influence whiskey both in the middle of mental breakdown talk to each other in the long multi-clause compound sentences using words like “albeit”. Get yourself a long swig of whiskey and before writing each sentence down, pronounce it loud. I think the only sentences you are allowed to use are something like “You broke her heart, you bastard!” and even that is too complicated. Runaway sentences, sentence fragments … those are structures you should prefer, not long complex statements you have.

    I know that English is probably not your native language, neither it is mine (hello from Prague!), but English really doesn’t work well with complex complicated compound constructs. Make it more simple, make it more simple, make it more simple. KISS principle (keep it simple stupid!). Full stop is your best friend in the world!

    Language issues relate to

  2. Too fast reconciliation. I just don’t believe that they would overcome their issues so fast and easily.

    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    -- W. H. Auden, 1. September 1939

    Exactly because how broken and wounded they are, they are more likely to hurt each other, to spew their prejudices over each other, they will fight, and only after long struggle they may forgive each other. And only through their eventual mutual forgiveness they may find some path toward each other. You fell in the trap of every other author: you want to have them together so fast, you make it too easy for them. And I, as reader, punish you by not believing you. I just cannot accept they would pour out their hearts to each other so easily. They are generally horribly wounded and in result rather awful and pathetic persons. Only through forgiveness and asking for it, they can find a way towards each other. At least for at least half of what you have written so far they should misunderstand each other, distrust each other, and they should be rather nasty to each other. Only in the last two chapters (when they fight about their attitude towards Lilly) they begin to be at least slightly believable (ignoring horribly convoluted language, see 1.) Which relates to

  3. Show, don’t tell. Again, I don’t believe that so broken and damaged teenagers would be capable of so deep introspection and self-reflection. I don’t want them talk about how much distrustful they are to each other, I want them to show it. They are on the edge, or beyond the edge, of loosing their control, they have no hope for their lives (perhaps they are even a bit suicidal?), they cannot talk like Sigmund Freud next to his analytical couch. Don’t bother me with their psychological self-analysis, show me what state of mind they are in.

I am sorry for harsh words, but reading of this story made me really frustrated. There is so much opportunity, such great idea, parts of the story are brilliant, and yet in the end the result is falling far far short of what can be achieved. What Michael Crichton wrote:

Books aren’t written - they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.

Category: faith Tagged: review harryPotter blogComment


Harry Potter and Aristotle

Thu 15 November 2018

Aristotle in the seventh and eighth chapter of his Poetics writes:

Now, according to our definition, Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude … As therefore, in the other imitative arts, the imitation is one when the object imitated is one …

Category: faith Tagged: review harryPotter


Read More

Evangelium království

Sun 29 July 2018

(kázání pronesené ve sboru ČCE Praha-Braník, 29. července 2018)

Po Janově uvěznění přišel Ježíš do Galileje a hlásal evangelium Boží. A říkal: „Naplnil se čas a přiblížilo se Boží království; čiňte pokání a věřte evangeliu.“

—Marek 1:14-15

Když se zeptám křesťanů na to, co je evangelium, většinou dostanu celkem …

Category: faith Tagged: sermon czech


Read More

Convert RHEL-7 to CentOS

Wed 02 May 2018

I have tried to suggest update of Migration Guide for RHEL7→CentOS7 migration, but apparently after CentOS was bought by Red Hat, there is not enough desire to document such migration, ehm ehm. So, just recording this for posteriority:

cd …

Category: computer Tagged: linux


Read More

Loving Vincent

Thu 22 March 2018

Movie “Loving Vincent” is certainly an experience worthy of the tickets to go to the cinema. The main idea of it is to make “animated” film by painting endless number of quality oil paintings in the style of Vincent van Gogh about the painter himself. I have been warned that …

Category: faith Tagged: review film


Read More

Pokud nebude hnutí ANO trvat na účasti A. Babiše ve vládě, měli bychom …

Wed 07 February 2018

(odpověď v interním dotazníku KDÚ-ČSL)

Podle mého „na jednání o naší případné účasti ve vládě přistoupit“. Zde je můj komentář (který se do formuláře nevešel).

Zároveň zcela souhlasím s tím, že lidovci (a každá politická strana) vstupovala do voleb s tím, že jsou ochotni se zasazovat o správu věcí veřejných …

Category: faith Tagged: politics KDÚ czech


Read More

O panu Drahošovi a ozbrojení obyvatelstva

Wed 24 January 2018

(komentář k diskusi na Facebooku k včerejší diskusi prezidentských kandidátů panů Drahoše a Zemana)

Byl jsem z té včerejší diskuse upřímně nešťastný (tedy z pěti minut, které jsem vydržel sledovat).

Ne, proto, že by novinář Primy byl neschopný minimální novinářské práce a jenom se snažil přivést diváctvo co nejvíce do …

Category: faith Tagged: blogComment czech politics sociology cultureWar criminology policing


Read More

On Lying

Sun 07 January 2018

(a comment to the blogpost by Robert O’Callahan)

I think the truthfulness among Christians is overrated. Here, I said it.

OK, before saying anything else, I have to say that it is very important, and I know what I am talking about. I had my brush with an addiction …

Category: faith Tagged: blogComment conscience theology


Read More

Podpora kandidátů na prezidenta

Thu 14 December 2017

(z emailové diskuse)

K obavám z roztříštěnosti:

Pokud v prvním kole bude mít Zeman více než 50% hlasů, bude zvolen. Pak je úplně jedno, kolik hlasů dostane Drahoš a Fišer. Pokud v prvním kole nedostane více než 50%, a předpokládejme, že do druhého kola se dostane, pak záleží na kandidátovi …

Category: faith Tagged: politics czech blogComment


Read More

Design notes on plan9-for-vimspace

Mon 04 December 2017


The purpose of this paper is to document any possible ideas, which could be salvaged from the Acme text editor of Plan9 fame, and reuse in vim.

(This is still a bit a work in progress, any comments and suggestions are more than welcome).

When I have seen for …

Category: computer Tagged: vim plan9 ACME GUI


Read More

Úvaha postvolební

Sun 22 October 2017

Co jsem napsal dnes ráno jednomu kamarádovi na IM:

Tak já Ti nevím. Jsem hodně nešťastnej z té včerejší post-volební diskuse předesedů vítězných stran. Kromě toho, že jsou morálně radikální názory dost neuctivé k milionu a půl našich spoluobčanů, tak efektivně dotlačili Bureše k tomu, že v této chvíli jediná …

Category: faith Tagged: politics czech cultureWar conservatism


Read More
Page 1 of 9

Next »