Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Medievalism and War of the Worlds

The medieval market was grand, as expected. It was more fun than I had thought, especially when we sat together at night and just talked. Definitely the most impressive market I've been to so far. The weather was nice, except for some rain on Sunday. There were loads of different shops and a quite good program, with lots of variety, so usually there weren't too many people at the different events (since they were repeated frequently throughout the day and since there were many different artists having their show at similar times). We didn't see all shows, but we saw what we wanted to see most, and for the rest we just couldn't get enough energy anymore. Lots of walking around.
I liked Commedia dell'armi most. It was some kind of medieval musical with weapons, even though the artists probably give it a different name. It was funny and impressive. The songs were mostly modern and the artists picked just the right songs for the death and rejection scenes. Seeing it purely as a fight show, it was also one of the most interesting ones. The artists didn't seem like they held back to not hurt each other, as it often happens. That was nice. I wasn't surprised to hear later that they are professional actors. Their acting was fully convincing, which made part of the fun.
I was also impressed by the shops. Usually anything at medieval markets is quite expensive, especially jewellry. This time I found lots of stuff that was cheaper than in normal shops downtown. Needless to say that I bought fairly much. Among it was a nice fibula, something that I had been looking for forever. We also bought a box of mead, since we discovered that the German shop Zwergenschmiede again sells it. It's the best mead I've found so far, except for a certain Dutch mead. About a year ago we ordered roughly 20 bottles from Zwergenschmiede, and right after that they stopped selling mead (we never got the bottles). So we are quite happy to once again have Zwergenschmiede mead.


Comedia dell'arme.

Another sword show. The artists showed original medieval fight techniques which were recovered from medieval plates.

And naked people who used the public bathtub (with warm water!) on Sunday morning. We only realized they were fully naked after we went to them and chatted a bit.


I finished reading The War of the Worlds today. Haven't seen the film, because the trailer looked like it would be a horror-thriller flick with no interesting story or characters. On the last few pages of the book a sense of joy and relief came over me. I'm still not sure if that was because I was glad that the book ended (I was!) or because of the cheesy ending. The ending wasn't bad, I just expected a less happy one. When reading the third to last chapter, I got some cynical joy out of wondering how Hollywood would certainly not make the girl die and have some kitschy reunion between them all. Then, the book provided that. Oh well. I prefer books with bad endings, because they touch me more and are less common.
All in all, it probably isn't a bad book. It's a classic, and that sums it up quite well. Classics, like Lord of the Rings, have a tendency towards a nice story or background concepts (thus why they became classics), but usually also have a less interesting style, because they are usually quite old. I'd have prefered some more dialogue in the book. The parts with dialogue were good, the rest got a bit exhausting after a while.
But, as I said, the concept is nice. And it's the concept that Wells, and other SciFi writers, are famous for, and it's what is the most important part of SciFi. So I guess, despite the style, War of the Worlds is a successful SciFi book.

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