"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë
still figuring this place out - Jen W
Over the past two days, I've been noticing friends reading Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, one of my favourite novels and one I haven't read in years.
Both ko and kinga have inspired me to pick it up and re-read it. I have a really cool hardcover that was my father's from his school days ... omg, strike that.
I just pulled it off the shelf and checked inside the cover, and it was not my father's: it was my Uncle Bill's.
Not to be maudlin or overshare or anything, but he died just this past Tuesday. He was the last of that generation; my mother's only brother. A class act; a really interesting, kind and generous man. He left Canada in the 60s and moved to L.A., where he sold Volkswagens in Hollywood - "to movie stars", we all believed! hahaha
His funeral is tomorrow in Atlanta, and I am unable to go. I am thinking about him and remembering his life, and then here is this book - making an appearance on two threads in as many days, here at booklikes and on gr too.
If that's not a sign from the universe about what to put on my reading list next, I don't know what is.
Rest in peace, Uncle Bill. You were loved.
Wow, a day concentrating on it has improved this thing immensely!
I am picking up some definite Shakespearean influences, e.g. (Osmond to Isabel):
"My envy's not dangerous; it wouldn't hurt a mouse. I don't want to destroy the people--I only want to be them. You see it would destroy only myself." p. 288
And then: "Women--when they are very, very good--sometimes pity men after they've hurt them; that's their great way of showing kindness," said Ralph, joining in the conversation for the first time and with a cynicism so transparently ingenious as to be virtually innocent."
"with a cynicism so transparently ingenious as to be virtually innocent."
That is such a fantastic line - and kind of sums up a main theme, yeah?
"Isabel saw them arrive with a good deal of assiduity at her aunt's hotel, and pronounced on them with a trenchancy doubtless to be accounted for by the temporary exaltation of her sense of human duty." p. 200
Must not read before bed ... must ... not .... (c'mon now, you really must agree that's a terrible sentence)
But this Isabel, she is a wonderful character. Watching her being played like a puppet by some (whose intentions are as yet unclear), and worn away and broken down by others' cynicism, and by her own fatalistic drive for independence and - it seems? - melancholy, is heartbreaking.
"She was intelligent and generous; it was a fine free nature; but what was she going to do with herself? This question was irregular, for with most women one had no occasion to ask it. Most women did with themselves nothing at all; they waited, in attitudes more or less gracefully passive, for a man to come that way and furnish them with a destiny. Isabel's originality was that she gave one an impression of having intentions of her own. "Whenever she executes them," said Ralph, "may I be there to see!"" p. 59
I don't see where to create a reading progress post?
So I'm faking it - let me just say, 100 pp. in a month is bad even for me. Every now and then there's a flash of something about this Isabel Archer ... but then a whole bunch of words and England v America and they walk on the lawn and lots more words.
<<<<<<<<< it makes me feel like this
I really wonder where this is going. I hear the ending is a doozy, but I might not make it there.
Beloved, I felt, at one point, as though you were flaying me – repeatedly striking me with the details of Sethe's story, as they were revealed in layers, by her, by others. Each lash landed from a slightly different angle; each one dug a little deeper into my flesh.
I’ve read novels about slavery, and also non-fiction. Not much of the physical or emotional reality of the slave’s life was new to me. But somehow, in her presentation of it, Morrison took me deeper. She pulled me into Sethe’s mind – a confusing, terrifying, possibly insane place – and into each of her characters’ situations, with a ferocious, unyielding veracity that I’ve never felt with any other novel. Lots of literary reasons: devices of narration and imagery that I suppose I could unearth and analyze – and that could, perhaps, be used by other writers. But not like this, none with this effect.
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Wheat Belly's insulting, belittling, disrespectful tone and a holier-than-thou author attitude caused me to skim. But a CBC radio interview with Pelmutter on Grain Brain - and a Thanksgiving weekend stuffed with carbs coinciding with increasingly frequent incidents of a complete inability to find a .... a...... a..... NOUN! when I most needed one, kept me thinking -- muddled and confused tho' I might be.
Weight gain, a complete lack of energy, and a desire not to become a fat, sick, old lady add to the mounting, and compelling, argument that it's time to change my eating habits radically.
Cold turkey - and I don't mean in a sandwich - seems to be the most recommended modus operandi for quick results and minimal withdrawal.
And a side of getting off my ass and away from the internet.