&#039The Mountain Of Kept Memory&#039 Is A World To Get Lost In

The Mountain of Kept Memory

We live in an fascinating era exactly where the genre of fantasy is getting restlessly reinvented by a fresh wave of revolutionary, trailblazing authors. But an individual neglect to tell Rachel Neumeier that. Her most current standalone novel, The Mountain of Kept Memory, chugs along with blissful conventionality, as if the last couple decades of evolution in fantasy by no means happened. The essential word here, though, is blissful.

Oressa and her older brother Gulien are the princess and prince of Carastind, a kingdom in the midst of turmoil. A rival realm, Tamarist, is exerting its influence over their homeland in a way that borders on outright invasion. The siblings — she’s clever and headstrong he’s thoughtful and protective — fret more than the possibility of forced marriages for the sake of peace-keeping expedience. When the political circumstance starts to boil over, Gulien undertakes a quest to speak to the Kieba, a cryptic, godlike figure who lives in the heart of the only mountain in the otherwise flat land of Carastind. Meanwhile Oressa requires a path that leads to the gathering storm of a military campaign, exactly where she realizes she’s far more than just a cloistered princess.

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At very first, it is tough not to view Carastind’s geography as an unintentional symbol for the book itself. It gets off to a quite featureless start. Mountain does not overhaul, deconstruct, or even noticeably shake up the well-worn tropes of high fantasy — not counting a thread of science fiction that Neumeier beautifully, subtly weaves into her swords-and-magic milieu.

‘The Mountain of Kept Memory’ chugs along with blissful conventionality, as if the final couple decades of evolution in fantasy in no way occurred. The key word here, even though, is blissful.

But as Oressa and Gulien, estranged from their father and drawn deeper into the secrets of the Kieba, struggle to save their kingdom, the book requires off. The slow pace and all-as well familiar terrain gives way to a richly built world. Neumeier packs her setting with luscious detail, from the dye market that feeds the economy all the way up to the dead gods whose vestigial power nevertheless holds sway. Carastind has been beset for centuries by a host of supernatural plagues, and that tragic backdrop lends the story a poignant gravity — and it ties into the enigma of a trauma-stricken world that is forgotten considerably of its past.

The connection amongst Oressa and Gulien is even far more compelling. It’s a familiar formula, but for a reason — it operates. There is a lot of emotional depth as effectively as lighthearted repartee between them, and it is underpinned by a broader, if equally familiar theme: The power of the gods can be a double-edged blade. Neumeier knows how to spin myths and archetypes, and Mountain oozes them. Aristocracies vie for influence. Artifacts are keys to hidden energy. Magic is a true but mysterious force. It really is nothing that veteran fantasy authors like Guy Gavriel Kay, Raymond Feist, and Patricia McKillip haven’t completed a million occasions just before. Then once again, that’s sturdy company to be in.

To be fair, Neimeier is far from the only author nowadays writing resolutely conventional fantasy. And there’s practically nothing inherently wrong with doing so, specifically when it is done with as a lot consideration and enjoy for the genre as she clearly has — and when the current, significant climate of fantasy calls for some relative lightness here and there. Her world is intricate and immersive, and her characters really feel like home. It’s okay that the pace isn’t precisely pulse-pounding, although Mountain does have its gripping moments of action, suspense, and shattering revelation. This isn’t the type of story to race by means of. It’s 1 to linger more than, and a planet to get lost in.

Arts &amp Life : NPR

Receiving Lost Just Got A Lot More Exciting Thanks To T-Pain

Living in New York City, I practically by no means drive. Since I almost never drive, I do not usually know exactly where I’m going when I do. Since I do not generally know where I’m going, I want someone or anything to tell me. Simply because occasionally we deserve nice items, that someone can now be T-Pain if that some thing is Waze.

The navigation service and the singer announced on Thursday that there’s a new setting in the app that permits you to decide on T-Pain as the voice directing you to make that left in 200 feet. Adhere to these steps to have T-Discomfort join your next commute: Menu → Settings → Sound → Voice Language → T-Pain.

From now on, when you miss a turn and get re-rerouted, there’s practically nothing to be upset about, because who can get mad at T-Discomfort?

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&#039The Lost Neruda&#039 Can Now Be Found In &#039Then Come Back&#039

Chilean writer and poet Pablo Neruda, after being awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Chilean writer and poet Pablo Neruda, right after becoming awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. STF/AFP/Getty Photos hide caption

toggle caption STF/AFP/Getty Pictures

Back in 2014, archivists had been combing through Pablo Neruda’s files when they came upon some previously unpublished operates. These writings by the Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet will soon be released in English in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda. Forrest Gander, the Brown University professor who translated the poems into English, likens the discovery to discovering a trove of new sketches by Michelangelo.

1 of the poems was inspired by a check out to the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. Neruda got to meet Soviet cosmonauts and wrote a poem about space travel. Here’s an excerpt:

It occurs to me

that the light was fresh then,

that an unwinking star

journeyed along

cutting short and linking


their faces unused

to the amazing desolation,

in pure space

1 of the issues that made Neruda so beloved was that he wrote exquisite poems about grandiose themes like the cosmos and human nature, but he also discovered wonder in the mundane. He penned odes to a tomato, wine, a pair of socks. Gander says Neruda was deeply influenced by the accessible poetry of Walt Whitman.

“Whitman’s sense of democratic poetics is extremely influential,” says Gander. “And in Neruda’s private library he has several copies of Leaves of Grass and other Whitman titles.”

Then Come Back

The other poems in the book come down from space to delve into far more earthly topics, like Neruda’s really like for wife and muse, Matilde Urrutia. This one particular, handwritten and dated 1959-1960, is committed to her. Here’s an excerpt:

Never ever alone, with you

over the earth,

crossing by way of fire.

By no means alone.

With you in the forests

locating again


stiff arrow,

the tender moss

of spring

With you

in my struggle,

not the 1 I chose


the only a single.

The last line of the poem ends with a comma — which tends to make you wonder regardless of whether it really is really a perform in progress. And that raises a larger query — one particular that usually comes up when perform is published posthumously: Did Neruda want these to be read by the globe? Gander says when he initial heard about the new poems he believed they had been going to be terrible. Then he study them in Spanish and changed his mind.

“They are actually terrific poems,” he says. “I imply, he was a great poet. So even the drafts and unfinished poems are actually thrilling.”

Gander thinks Neruda was so prolific, he simply lost track of these poems. They can be found once again in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda, which comes out on May 1.

Arts &amp Life : NPR

The Deeper Meanings Of A Leg, Lost And Located — And Fought More than

John Wood had to have his leg amputated after a plane crash in 2004, during which his father died. He wanted to preserve the leg as a memorial to his dad.

John Wood had to have his leg amputated following a plane crash in 2004, throughout which his father died. He wanted to preserve the leg as a memorial to his dad. Courtesy of The Orchard hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Orchard

Years ago, in the little town of Maiden, N.C., a man named Shannon Whisnant purchased a storage locker, and in it he discovered a grill. When he took both of them house and opened the grill, he discovered one thing he hadn’t been expecting: a mummified human leg.

Most men and women — 1 presumes — would’ve have wanted to get rid of the leg as soon as achievable. Whisnant, nonetheless, wanted to hold it. Trouble is, the original owner of the limb, John Wood, wanted it back. He’d had to have that leg amputated years earlier.

As you may possibly think about, what followed was a bizarre battle, a media frenzy — and, now, a new documentary named Finders Keepers.

Filmmakers Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel tell NPR’s Arun Rath they wanted to dig deep and get the story behind the spectacle.

“Yes there’s this moment of hilarity of two guys fighting more than a leg,” says Tweel, “but then how does the rest of it play out? And exactly where do their lives truly go following the media interest maybe actually dies down? And that’s type of, for us, where factors began to fill out, and we really started to feel like we had a feature film on our hands.”

Shannon Whisnant always craved the limelight. When he found the leg, he thought he'd stumbled upon his big break.

Shannon Whisnant always craved the limelight. When he found the leg, he believed he’d stumbled upon his massive break. Courtesy of The Orchard hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Orchard

Interview Highlights

On Shannon Whisnant, the man who found the leg

Tweel: Shannon is a type of self-made man, an entrepreneur of sorts. He bargains in kind of located goods and trying to resell them for a profit and he is usually searching for a way to turn a buck. … I feel what occurred was, he saw that the local media took to the story so speedily, and it gave him this kind of sense of fame and sort of power around getting on camera that he so longed for. He did a really good job, and it started receiving on nationally syndicated radio shows and sooner or later international and national Tv.

On John Wood, the man to whom the leg as soon as belonged

Carberry: John Wood was sort of the wealthy kid of this little town. Everyone knew John he was the cool kid, he was the rebel. He’s had 13 close to-death experiences … electrocuted twice, a couple out of body experiences. … John lost his leg in the very same plane crash where he lost his father’s life. And John was the co-pilot that day, type of took home some guilt from that, even if it wasn’t his fault. And so I think all of that sort of got tied up in his wanting to hold onto this leg.

On how the leg ended up in the grill in the storage locker

Carberry: [John] attempted a couple of things. No. 1 was placing it in the freezer. When his power got reduce off, he even took it to a buddy who worked at a Hardees. They place it in their freezer till the manager located it. His buddy worked at the mortuary so he borrowed some embalming fluid and did it himself at house. He soaked it in the embalming fluid, put it in a possum trap and put the trap in the tree in his front yard to sun dry and right after six months it was mummified. When he got evicted, it went into his grill in his storage unit.

On what inspired the directors to make the film

Tweel: I consider our job was then to continually to dig deeper and get to the heart of what makes these folks tick and they had been unbelievably trusting of us and much more truthful than a lot of men and women are on camera. So that permitted us to go to these locations that we didn’t initially expect.

On what the subjects thought when they saw the documentary

Carberry: Shannon had two notes. A single was that it could have been a little longer, and B., he believed there need to have been a small far more of him in it. …

Tweel: John has observed the film now numerous, many occasions. He genuinely likes it. He says he cries at a distinct portion at nearly each screening. My favorite point I’ve heard as a reaction is Marion, John’s sister — she felt like she’s been watching this story by means of a knothole in a fence, and she feels like we knocked the fence down for her. For us, as documentarians, that’s such a fantastic compliment.

Arts &amp Life : NPR