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Friday, November 21, 2014

Gutenberg (No. 1400)
I love James Spader. He obviously doesn't know I exist, but I have spent countless hours the last few weeks under the covers with him binge-watching the first 22-episiode season of The Blacklist.  Every time he appears on screen, I swoon; so enamored am I of his wry, twisted smile, and the sardonic way he softly sucks a tooth, as if savoring one last morsel of a gourmet lunch as he plays Raymond Reddington, a nefariously nasty, egotistically vile character, loving the way he – James – off-handedly laces his dialogue with little-known erudite euphemisms and unabashed displays of heart-felt emotions tinged with rays of irony.

I first met James in 1994 when he played a nerdy young scientist in Stargate, the hokey 1994 Sci-Fi flick about space travel through an ancient Egyptian portal. That started my crush on him, which grew to blatant love in 2005 watching Boston Legal. It wasn’t until The Blacklist and his role as the president’s adviser in Scandal that I have recently come to realize he is, for now, not only the love of my life, but one of our most talented actors. I am one of his most ardent fans, especially since I just found out that James is not on a ego trip as so many other celebs are. The fact is, James takes his art not
quite so seriously and acts “solely” to make enough money to pursue other, as he says, “more important and more meaningful” ventures in his private life. If nothing else, you just have to admire his forthright honesty.

Which at first thought has nothing to do with Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie, an historical novel set in the 15th Century and centered around the discovery of moveable type and the first mass-produced edition of The Bible. Well, on second thought, maybe there is a connection. You see, as Christie points out in her erudite fictional rendition of what probably really did happen, Gutenberg was not really all that history has cracked him up to be. Nope, he wasn’t nearly as altruistic as we think and/or led to believe. Matter of fact, he was “inventing” the printing press purely, it seems, for the money. But unlike my dearest James, there was nothing admirable or even likeable about him. Especially when we are told that Gutenberg was not the talented, dedicated inventor at all but, well, as the title suggests, his apprentice was.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the author’s exhaustive (and exhausting) research isn’t turning more than just a few heads in the wider literary world as well as that of erudite, scholarly historians as more and more readers delve into her first novel. It certainly widened my eyes, as I explained in my November 20th review of it for www.authorexposure.com.

So, as you make your way to the site and read my comments, I am on my own way to my DVR to watch the second season of The Blacklist. Hmmm…if James as Reddington were to go back in time to the 1400s, would he have put Gutenberg on his list? I wonder…

 

2:43 pm est          Comments


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June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:

the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Forty-Thirty 
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast

Bethlehem

Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood

 

 

Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her fourth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
and 
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA
.

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,