Monday, January 28, 2008
Some questions remain though: The people who adopt the boy at the end...were they following the man and the boy? It seemed to be suggested that they had been, as I assume that the little boy that The Boy had seen was the same one that was with the family. Also, what was up with The Boy being "The One"? Is it supposed to imply that he is a type of messiah (second incarnation of Jesus)? The novel was good overall.
So, now I'm back to trudging - grudgingly - through A Dance to the Music of Time. Did I say that I detest this book? But, I determined to get through it, as it is in the way of my goal of reading the Modern Library's Top 100. I hadn't read a word in it since the first week in January, so I'm a bit lost, but I did find the following websites to help me through it:
www.anthonypowell.org.uk/dance/dancesum.htm and http://www.andover.edu/english/jgould/dance/home.html.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I also got Wide Sargasso Sea in movie form and watched it this weekend. What can I say… the wimp that they chose to play Mr. Rochester (Nathaniel Parker) was very disappointing, especially after the strapping version presented in the recent production of Jane Eyre (Toby Stephens). He (Parker) was a skinny, little weirdo with very nearly a uni-brow. Bertha/Antoinette was decent, though I imagined her to have a darker complexion, given the description in JE. It also really annoyed me that while in JE, she is called Bertha, but in WSS (the book), she is Antoinette until Rochester starts to call her Bertha. (I did notice in the film JE, she is called “Bertha Antoinette Mason,” which I didn’t recall from the book). In renaming her, Rochester is essentially removing her identity and heritage, as there is a great deal of issue made that she is French, and not an English woman…I guess because the French are wild and passionate, and the English are the pillars of civilization. Anyhoo… in this movie, rather than call her Bertha, he starts to call her Nettie, which is (in the movie at least) what Antoinette’s mother was called. This was extremely annoying. So, the movie for me was a flop. I was encouraged by the fact that the DVD came with the R rated version and the NC-17. I opted for NC-17, hoping it would live up to the rating. It didn’t. I think that the one view of Nathaniel Parker from the front was probably what gave it that rating. Not something I really wanted to see.
Onto better things… I’m really enjoying The Road. I’m on about page 90-something, and they just found the people in the basement of the house. How creepy! And he dropped the lighter! That’s where I stopped. It goes quick, it’s straight forward, well written, with lots of breaks. It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a while...though there’s still a lot of time and potential for this to go downhill.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'm also reading Austen's Emma. I like it, like I like all Jane Austens. Except Mansfield Park. I wasn't crazy about that. Austen is my form of "lite" reading. In addition, I'm still "reading" Dance to the Music of Time, though "reading" isn't exactly a true statement, considering that I haven't opened it in two weeks. I really don't care.
The next book that I'm going to start is The Road, which was loaned to me in November (or was it October?) by one of my mothers-in-law (because I get two! - it's really not so bad though). I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. It's also the book to be discussed at the library book club in March. I was supposed to be at book club tonight discussing The Sea but didn't finish it in time to go. Shawn (my husband) said I should just read the last page and be done with it, but that wouldn't have worked - I would just have been confused. But back on track, The Road appears to be short. I just hope that it isn't dense. I really just want to finish what I've got on my plate for January and move forward to Sister Carrie and I, Claudius in February.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
So we have Antoinette. Her mother is her father's second wife. her father dies. They had been slave owners but slavery was abolished. The mother, Antoinette, and her brother (who is mentally challenged or something) are dirt poor, living in Jamaica, surrounded by their former slaves. Her mother withdraws and starts to go "crazy." Is she organically crazy or reacting to her surroundings? I don't know. What categorized a woman as "crazy" in the early 19th century is vastly different than what we would call crazy today.
Then her mother marries Mr. Mason. The former slaves burn their house down, killing her mother's parrot (very disturbing). The brother dies, and the mother finally really goes crazy. Later, the Masons fix Antoinette up with Rochester. They are married less than a month after he arrives. Then her possible (disgustingly characterized) half brother tells Rochester about the craziness in the family. She starts to act a little out of sorts at time, then he takes her back to England and locks her in the tower.
The voodoo practicing caretaker - Christophine - very interesting. Antoinette is going to her to make Rochester love her. Is this a cause for her madness? Did Mr. Rochester have an affair with Amelie? It was suggested that he did. Who wouldn't be crazy being locked up in the tower? Rochester renames her Bertha - taking her identiy. The marriage wasn't what either of htem expected.
This short novel, for some reason, reminded me of Charolotte Perkins Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." It wasn't until after she was "treated" for being crazy that she went crazy.