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Lattes and strange research results
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I'm feeling much better and happier today, mostly because I slept for a full 12 hours last night. Waking up with the unusual experience of actually feeling rested (though still a bit tired) made me realize just how exhausted I'd been for the past week! Every time I get that tired, I get depressed. Sorry for the whiny last journal entry!

We're taking today easy, but we had a lovely long trip to Borders where I did lots of research for my Unnamed Novel. I love doing research. The facts I find out are always weirder than anything I could have made up! For instance, under the 19th-century reign of Emperor Francis I of Austria,

Books would often be licenced for sale only to those who carried a certificate guaranteeing their impermeability to new ideas.*

Wow! Can you imagine getting one of those certificates? What tests would you be forced to pass first? :)

I also read a wonderful story about the Austrian playwright Franz Grillparzer, whose statue is now prominently displayed in the Hofburg Palace's Volksgarten. He had a real struggle with

his first major play, Koenig Ottakar's Glueck und Ende, which was submitted to the censor in November 1823. Two months later he received notification that it "had not been approved for publication". No reason had been given, and he told his friends, "No one can understand why." Fortunately, also in January 1824, the Empress received a copy of the manuscript and read it with pleasure; with her support the censorship was revoked and the play granted a licence. It was first performed to full houses in August 1824. Later Grillparzer met the censor responsible, a most amiable and intelligent person who greeted the author warmly. Informally, he assured the playwright that the ban was only a precautionary measure. When Grillparzer asked him in a most friendly fashion what he had found so disturbing in the play to warrant its suppression, the censor replied with some animation, "Oh, nothing at all; but I thought to myself 'One never can tell'."*

Much fun was had, not to mention horrified giggling over my notebook.

And in very good news, our friend Justina, who is an awesome science fiction author as well as just a generally cool person, has finally joined the blogging world. Hurray!

P.S. (added later): And I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier this week (a sign of just how frazzled I've been!), but I've had excellent news: Shawna liked my revisions to Masks & Shadows, and she's sent the novel off to the first round of publishers. Fingers crossed!


*Both quotes from Andrew Wheatcroft, The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire

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