It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
This is a sequel. I think it would be quite difficult to follow without knowledge of the previous play - provided here by the editor's notes.
An excellent book cataloguing an exhibition of contemporary silver work held by the Worshipful Goldsmith's Company, which appears to be a major patron of works of precious metal. It should be noted that this is all silverware, not jewellry. All the artists are resident in Britain, though many are natives of other countries.
The photography is top notch, revealling the play of light, shadow and reflection on the surfaces of the objects, an aspect of their beauty that cannot be understated. The objects themselves are also top notch. The average standard seems extremely high and I was delighted by most of it. Very few pieces did I actively dislike. This was something of a revelation in that previously, most of the silverware I'd come across I found to be either boring or gaudy.
The range of applicable techniques is enormous and still growing, with some of the artists represented applying modern technology, not just to the design process but to the creation of the finished article. Others rely solely on hand crafting and traditional techniques. The versatility of silver as a material proved remarkable to me and I was delighted by what can be acheived in terms of fluidity, texture and finish.
Typical Reynolds, typical Revelation Space Reynolds at that: Memory and identity issues, gruesome Gothic elements, psychopaths. Also the usual slow pace initially with a gallop through the final third or so. The main thing holding my interest was the mystery, which was more than sufficiently mysterious.
Norse cultural influence from colonisation had a last gasp at the time of Shakespeare. Nearly 200 yrs later, Icelandic literature is re-discovered by the rest of Europe.
The Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois:
A long opening scene establishes much. Bussy was murdered (in a previous play). His ghost has incited revenge (off stage). The current regime is corrupt, self-serving and immoral. The "good" guys (bent on revenge) are distinguished from the bad, with some additional character development and motivation added. A bunch of Classical moral philosophy is expounded.
The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel
Quite the pagan Celtic tale from Ireland! It starts off cryptic and convoluted but leads to the King of Eriu breaking all his geiss (taboos) in one night and facing death during a huge battle, described only briefly but preceded by a huge description of all the heroes who will fight at the battle. So huge it tried even my patience for such things. There's a great modern fantasy tale to be told from adapting this story to contemporary narrative conventions. Could work well on film, too.
The range of techniques seems to be huge (and still expanding). I dunno what most of the terms really mean.
Tolkien's Barrow Wights have clear ancestry in the Icelandic family sagas where treasure seekers find people living in burial mounds. Never knew that, before.
The list of heroes goes on. One of the more remarkable is a supreme juggler, able to keep swords, shields and apples in the air at the same time, but don't let that deceive you - he's still expected to kill "three nines" of enemies in the coming battle and escape alive, though wounded. Not bad for the king's trickster!
There's no certain archaeological evidence of a temple building dedicated to any member of the Norse pagan pantheon!