Archive for July, 2011

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A Point of Dispute

July 27, 2011

Wait a second…you like Villette?

I can’t help but wonder, at this point, if we are in fact reading the same book. Remember that time we were book-clubbing Cranford and you were all, like,* “Dude, this book is super-duper boring**, it’s like reading one long list of names and addresses.***” And then it turned out you were actually reading the phonebook.

Well, this time I feel like I am the one reading the phone book. To carry this phone book metaphor a bit further, I seem to be mired in the D’s somewhere between Dorrick and Drebdowski. (I am a master of creating fictionalized names!)

Now one point I am confused about:

Does Lucy love Dr. John? (Does she even like him?) I feel like this is the obvious plot development, but right now these two are the Victorian equivalents of Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini in From Justin to Kelly…

Yes, I saw that movie. I shall give you a moment to judge me.

Ok, finished?

Only Dr. John and Lucy don’t have peppy yet forgettable pop numbers to liven things up between the awkward romantic interludes. (But, lord, sometimes I wish they did.)

Apologies for the extended blog silence a rather hectic travel schedule and, well, a lack of motivation kept me quiet. But, no longer, I am making progress in the book.

Justin

 

*I’ve adopted the parlance of Pretty Little Liars to make this portion of my post a bit more mentally digestible.

**I feel at this point it’s fairly obvious that I have never actually seen Pretty Little Liars.

***You’re welcome.
 

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Pretty Little Liar

July 20, 2011

I spent this entire evening watching a full five-episode disc of Pretty Little Liars.  Why?  Because I wanted to send the disc back to Netflix in enough time to get the fifth and final disc to watch over the weekend.  Why am I even watching this show?  I have no idea.  But what I do know is that there damn well better be some resolution after I’ve devoted 22 episodes worth of my life to this show.  I want complete resolution–A’s identity revealed, all the girl’s cleared of murder charges, and the end of the highly inappropriate love story between Aria and Mr.Fitz (ew)–everything resolved.

But anyway to end an unnecessarily long story…after devoting such a large chunk of my evening to the aforementioned TV watching, I needed to do something different to wind down for the evening…and what could be more drastically different from watching that melodrama-laden soap opera, than revisiting our favorite snoozefest Villette. (I actually like Villette…but a compelling read, it is not.)

Unless of course you consider Lucy Snowe to be a prototype for Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily.  Which, by the way, I don’t.  Sure Lucy’s a liar (at least a liar to herself–admit it Lucy, you love Dr. John!) but pretty?  Let’s take a look at Lucy’s description of her first encounter with a the mirror:

No need to dwell on the result.  It brought a jar of discord, a pang of regret; it was not flattering, yet, after all, I ought to be thankful; it might have been worse.

I can’t get a read on whether Lucy is really plain or if she just suffers from a Victorian era version of body dismorphic disorder.  She does not seem overly fond of herself. 

Also while reading I enjoyed this little exchange that occurs a little later on when Dr. John returns Lucy to Madame Beck’s pensionnat.  He says, upon leaving, “Keep up your courage, Lucy.  Think of my mother and myself as true friends.  We will not forget you.”

…um…again?  We will not forget you again.  Did you mean?  Because I’m pretty sure you completely forgot her once before.  You remember…those months when you saw here nearly every day and never put together that she was that mousy girl that used lived with you?  For years.  I say “Be sad, Lucy!  Out of sight, out of mind with this one.”

So…um…Justin.  Ah…how’s the book coming?  Haven’t heard from you in a while.

I can keep talking about Pretty Little Liars if you’d like…

Jon

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Powering Through

July 11, 2011

Silence.  Lots of silence on this blog.  Silence like the relative audio tranquility produced by a geothermal heat pump (as opposed to other forms of manufacturing energy).

My excuse has been work.  Work that has been forcing me to read through reference guides on energy sources.  So my brain is afloat with interesting factual tidbits about all things energy right now.  At least I think they’re interesting…after living in those books all day, I’ll admit my frame of reference may be skewed.  I’m going to try to leave that behind as I type this post but please excuse me if I get waylaid by an extended metaphor employing switchgrass fuel as a referant for Lucy’s affection for Graham (or John or Isidore…pick a name and stick with already Currer!)–It’s a pipe dream!  Or is it?!  It’s preposterous…or not.

I have been reading more and I think I understand what you dislike about this book.  You don’t like the fact that this book has no real plot.  Or it has a plot but it moves at such a glacial pace that it may as well not exist.  Well rest assured–I feel your pain.  I was reading through and trying to decide what I could post on and I came up with nothing.  Dr. John and Lucy have a spat (yawn), Lucy would rather look at the scandalous painting of Cleopatra than at the paintings of idealized, cliched womanhood that M. Paul thinks more appropriate (I get it, she’s a Feminist)…but no huge plot developments (in fact no real plot developments at all).

I enjoy reading about Lucy subverting the paradigm, refusing to let men define who she is based purely on her secondary sexual characteristics and I think it’s still an important theme for today (some would say its importance is analogous to the head in a microhydropower system…i.e. very important).  But I go could for some dynamic plot action as well.  Maybe fisticuffs or that ghost nun…they could do some really spooky stuff with that ghost nun!

Well I should get back to my energy work…the turbine of my brain has ceased to generate new electrical ideas.  But after the energy reading it’s Villette full speed ahead!  So get reading.

Jon