Curiouser Curiosities

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The Obligatory Introductory Post

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I started this blog to have a semi-public place to park my thoughts about steampunk and neoVictorian texts and culture.  I started reading steampunk . . . when did The Difference Engine come out?  . . . but it’s only in the past year or so that I’ve been conscious of the broader subculture that’s grown up around this “future that never was.”   If you’re unfamiliar with steampunk (which means you’re probably reading this because you know me), it’s an aesthetic with its origins in nineteenth century science fiction.  But it’s far too complicated to explain it in a sentence or two:  take a look at some of the blogs I link to and you can get a broader sense of the many things that steampunk can mean.

I did my Ph.D. on the nineteenth century novel at Columbia, so I’ve  had a fairly intense immersion in the culture and literature of the period which gives steampunk its origin.  I’m fascinated by ways that 21st century popular culture addresses the 19th century: what do we find interesting?  important?  what do we feel the need to revise, and what do we explore and critique?

I thought it might be useful to have a place to review books, note down passing thoughts, and otherwise start working through ideas.  I’d love it if people read this blog and had comments;  certainly I don’t expect everyone will agree with everything I have to say, but I would love to hear from you in any case!

Oh, and certainly not least important — thanks to the wonderful luis_mw for the Alice manips — I think Tenniel would like what you’ve done!

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Written by Catherine Siemann

September 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

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  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

    Mr WordPress

    September 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  2. I look forward to reading more from you! I find this all very interesting because of my love/hate relationship with Victorian literature. I like the poetry and the more sensational works that most people consider escapist and without any real literary value – Sherlock Holmes, for example. Even Conan Doyle didn’t think much of his Holmes stories, as compared to his other, less famous works, but I consider Conan Doyle a master of the short story and an unflinching commenter on human nature. However there are quite a few Victorian writers – George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and WM Thackeray in particular, along with some essayists like Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin – that I just can’t seem to read even a few pages without falling asleep. So I look forward to learning more by reading your blog 🙂

    Rachel

    January 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm


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