Monthly Archives: April 2015

Profound and/or profane

The Scoop

The recent row involving Happy Madison’s latest production, “The Ridiculous Six” and the charges of cultural insensitivity levied by the native actors who walked off the set has inspired me to address a few things.

  • If you take the time to read the excerpts of the script available online and you were raised with any shred of manners and decency you’d fully understand why those actors decided to walk away from the project. The dialogue is rife with “caveman” speak and that, my friends is neither funny nor original. In fact, it pinions Indigenous people as both backwards and unintelligent.
  • Netflix has come out as defending the project citing the fact that the word “Ridiculous” is right in the title and that the people who are being parodied are meant to “be in on” the joke. The film is supposedly meant to lampoon stereotypes in Hollywood westerns of yesteryear. It…

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Language of the Gods trilogy, Dennis Vickers (2015-201?)

William 001I have a solid draft of Only Breath in the hands of editors/reviewers and, while they do their work, I’m sketching illustrations and outlining the second and third novels in the Language of the Gods trilogy. The premise binding the three novels together is this: in very ancient times, humans spoke a common language, thought by some to be the language of the Gods, thought by some to be useful for conversing with animals, thought by some to be free from deception because it was made up from primordial sounds understood by all. Here’s a brief interview with Dr. H. Dean Brown related to the subject: Brown. My three novels approach (will approach) this idea from different angles, as represented (somewhat enigmatically) in the guiding line for the trilogy:

Although they are only breath, these are the only words we have, and so our only hope.

The first novel in the series, Only Breath is described so:

Only Breath: A Ghost Story by Dennis Vickers (2015)

A century ago, cement magnate Luca D’Angelo retrieved corpses from the morgue and put them to use in a macabre ‘lost-wax’ process as he cast the statues that adorned his mansion’s grounds. Decades later, the statues are home to angry ghosts and the park is a dangerous place. Visitors are driven insane, knocked unconscious, in one case struck blind. When William Kepler attempts to calm this unrest, he uncovers a century-old murder. Marci Moore (uninhibited, high-spirited, world-wise) and Lisa Hart (insightful, witty, careful) compete for William’s attention as they vie to help resolve the mystery, bringing fire and wit to the undertaking. Will this unlikely trio discover what has so upset the ghosts and bring peace to the park?

The second novel, Only Words, takes up with many of the characters in Only Breath, but quickly flashes back to prehistoric times and a parallel set of characters (ancient ancestors?) who create and bury a rune stone that will be unearthed by their descendants several millennia later. What will they write into this message for posterity?

The third novel, Only Hope, will pursue further how our language shapes our perception and both limits and expands our imagination, very Wittgensteinian. In fact, I’ve been rereading Wittgenstein in preparation.

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Most read Magical Realism Books?

book birdDepending on how broad you cast the definition net, a relatively broad or relatively narrow collection of books find shelter under the Magical Realism umbrella.  My purpose today isn’t to find the edge of that umbrella, but to determine which books you’ve read and recommend. I picked a number of books below for this little poll. Please check those you’ve read and recommend. I’m interested in your observations about the list, too. Are there books you read and don’t recommend? Books I should add to the list? Please add comments below and thanks in advance for your input.

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