Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Christmas List

My mom asked for my Christmas list, so I'm posting it here. Ever notice how these things kind of turn into personality tests?

1. The new Tom Waits album Glitter and Doom
2. Soul Kitchen by Poppy Z. Brite
3. The four Doctor Who episodes from this past year. Hm. Looks like those two are the only ones out on DVD yet.
4. The Complete Ray Bradbury Theater tv series on DVD!
5. The few things by Alan Moore that I don't already own. The absolute V for Vendetta would be awesome. The price explains why I don't own it already.
6. Well, for my book club I'm going to need a version of the Divine Comedy by Dante. I own the Mandelbaum translation which is the one I read before, but I'm not sure if it's the best (or most readable) out there or the one I would prefer. This one interests me, but I'm not sure if when I read it I would actually be reading Dante or the dudes who adapted it. Here's the Penguin one which is, after all, our friends who inspired the book club. As for poetry there's a translation by Longfellow (which I haven't heard the best things about) and one by Robert Pinsky (whose work I've liked quite a bit in the past.) Maybe some reader of this blog could suggest a translation.
7. The Oscar Wilde action figure.
8. As for opera this year, it would put me over the moon to have the best available version of Wagner's Ring Cycle to listen to and play over and over until the CDs were but tiny nubs. Laurie would probably like to see the whole thing on DVD with me and I'm inclined to agree as it is a theatrical form. James Levine is almost always the way to go. I would like a good recording of Mozart's The Magic Flute. I hear the Abbado version is phenomenal. Although, of course, it would be great fun to have the James Levine version on DVD to watch with my wife.
9. The Red Book by Carl Jung
10. a winter coat and winter socks are ALWAYS a good gift.
11. Laurie informs me that "presents for my wife" is a good thing for my list.


  1. In addition to Pinsky and Mandelbaum, I have Anthony Esolen and the Hollander's translations. I don't care for Pinsky -- for one, it's just the Inferno. Mandelbaum is the most cost efficient as it's all in one volume, and his translation is good and I recall the notes being okay. Anthony Esolen and the Hollanders are both Christians as well as scholars and that is evident by the lack of a cynical re-reading of Dante in their notes -- Pinsky's notes are rather arrogant and condescending and an distant observation from outside on such a one as Dante in his time and place and theological bent. The Christians treat him both historically and from within the context of the continuity of the Christian faith. I can't recall who's translation I liked best, but remember having fun comparing the various translations. Mandelbaum would be the safe translation, but adding Esolen and/or Hollander would be quite complimentary to it.