12 July 2010

Apocalyptica: Little, Big

I've been collecting and reading books on the coming collapse (aka the Long Emergency, end of Civilization, Transapocalypse, or XVI = The Tower).  Most of these are nonfiction and fairly obvious, but send a note if you want titles.  More surprising are fiction and occult titles that address the same issues. 

Little, Big, or The Fairies Parliament is a long fantasy novel by John Crowley published in 1981.  My feeling on reading it is along the lines of : Where have you been all my life?  It's amazing that I missed it, but wonderful because there's so much more to ready by this author.   Little, Big is a sort of family epic focused on an extended family that traffics with Faery.  It's located in a space similar to upstate New York and NYC and covers approximately the 20th Century.  The plot is slow and meditative, with much interior rumination by the characters, and conversations often full of pauses and omitted information. 

The latter part of the action takes place in a nation that is falling apart, under the sway of an incompetent dictator, a lost medieval Emperor who presides over a collapsing economy, communication grid, and energy systems.  It has nothing to do with the Collapse we now face, but the specific details of life under the Lecturer Eigenblick are all too relevant, like the block of formerly-elegant New York townhouses converted to a small farm , with the facades and front rooms of the buildings encircling the crop rows, and goats housed in the former garden apartments.  A beautiful, transporting book.

Garden Update

This blog was meant to be all about bees and the garden and happy stuff like that, but that line of thought has been a bit derailed by the ongoing Disaster of Macondo and my growing sense that the collapse of civilization is no longer merely optional but is definitely on the menu.

The garden is doing fine, now that we've had some proper sun and heat.  We are eating lovely peas which I can hardly keep up with harvesting, the zucchinni are making their little namesakes, and some of the broccoli looks quite respectable.  Half the tomatoes have the curl-leaf thing going, which doesn't seem to kill them but does slow them down.  Something dreadful happened to a pile of compost I made last year and it ended up dry and not very broken down, and full of bugs.  I foolishly piled it on the bed anyway, and now the beans are tortured by ants which nibble on their leaves.  Or something.

This organic gardening is No Joke.  Children, don't fall asleep during compost class; you'll be needing that information.

The poppies and pea flower are looking especially fabulous in various shades of purple and red.  I am a fool for poppies and let them grow in the beds even where they fight with vegetables -- the rainbow chard is over shadowed by a crowd of poppies about the bloom -- apparently I prefer the poppies.