Sunday, November 23, 2014

Savannah, Georgia

I am in Savannah, Georgia for a day and a half visiting my brother Charlie and his wife Deanna and their kids. My dad and mom are also here, visiting longer and staying over Thanksgiving.

Saturday, Charlie and I had a good time walking around the old downtown of Savannah, by the river, and riding on the old tram (now just used by tourists like me):

We also toured the Owens-Thomas House which was very interesting.

We stopped in to visit the Catholic church for a while:

And a few streets over there was this unusual storefront display:

Today after church Charlie, Deanna, and I went to the cemetery and spent a lot of time in the Jewish and Greek sections:

This couple's gravestones had a verse from the Song of Solomon, split over them so they're both needed together to read it, which I think is a romantic way to show it:

On the Greek headstone on the right, the name Savannah is transliterated in Greek as ΣΑΒΑΝΝΑ, though GA. is left in Roman script, and the headstone in the middle leaves both in Roman:

I was excited to see this one which Charlie found and told me about some months ago. It's for an Armenian born in Tbilisi, Georgia (the other Georgia!), with the name also in Armenian script. We only found one like this!

The tide was low, revealing lots of junked headstones that had been thrown away there:

A short but sweet visit. Plenty more to see here next time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

I've dipped my toe in the pool of vampire popularity with the Twilight series (liked the first one and it was downhill from there), Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (loved them), The Vampire Diaries (gave up in season 2 or 3; too soap opera-y), and just a couple of episodes of Being Human (both UK and American versions; too graphic for me), plus The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (pretty good). I thought I'd try the book that sort of started the vampire craze anew, recognizing that vampire lore has been around for hundreds of years and is nothing new. Maybe I should say that Interview with the Vampire started the sexy/moral vampire as part of pop culture.

I expected it to be gripping and suspenseful and maybe more graphic and sexy than I'm used to. Not at all. I struggled to finish it. The story wasn't bad, but I really disliked the way it was narrated. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find that it's actually written as an interview, one that lasts many hours and has very few questions or comments from the interviewer. So Louis the vampire narrates the whole thing and manages to make it really boring. At least in my opinion. It's possible that it has lost some of its originality in the years since it was published in 1976, especially with the Twilight-inspired rise of the paranormal section in every bookstore, a section that didn't exist before a few years ago, as far as I know. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm pretty sure that I liked Twilight partly because it was a new take on the vampire, and Interview with the Vampire must have had that same advantage years ago.

Anyway, Louis seemed whiny and moody and sort of pathetic to me. There are some moments of excitement, but the narration manages to remove the reader from the action so it's not that exciting anymore. I really didn't like it. Looking at my list above, maybe I just need some comic relief with my vampires. Although I loved Dracula by Bram Stoker, and that's not funny at all.