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Quentin's Weeknotes 9/15/18-9/21/18

This Week

  • I finished Rebecca Roanhorse's debut novel Trail of Lightning. Roanhorse is an award-winning Ohkay Owingeh (pueblo) author and sets her novel in a post-climate change Dinetah (the Navajo homeland), walled off from the chaos of a world that has mostly drowned. This event also re-charged the supernatural forces of the Dine/Navajo, and the world is thus populated with monsters, gods, and people with astonishing powers based on their clan membership. Roanhorse wrote a wonderful essay on Indigenous Futurism which is well worth your time for its re-configuring of some standard sci-fi tropes:

 the landing of Columbus is no longer the discovery of the New World celebrated in children’s songs and on national holidays, but the start of an earth-shattering zombie apocalypse

  • I watched Frances Ha, the 2012 movie directed by Noah Bambach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig (who also stars as the titular character). I had really mixed feelings about it, the same way that I felt about the characters in Martin Amis's legendary 80s novel Money. Both works feature entitled, relatively priveleged characters whose bad decisions and poor relationships are held up for both criticism and humor. Unlike Amis's book, Frances and her friends actions mostly harm themselves, not other people. And because Gerwig is frankly magical and charming as the lost and rootless Frances, it is easy to find relatable and human moments in the movie, despite the smugness and entitlement that pervades it.

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