Post theme song:
Someday this video will cease to be funny. Thankfully, that day is not today.
While you enjoy the music, here’s what’s going on with me lately:
1. I have finished The Years. Truthfully, this novel lost me a bit in the middle. It began spectacularly: it set me up to follow an extended family through their growing-up years. In the middle, though, everything seemed to break down. No one was finishing sentences or thoughts and the most intriguing aspects of the characters (set up in the first third) ceased to be mentioned. It was still a fascinating look at the replacement of Victorian values and virtues with post-war notions, but not so fascinating as I anticipated. I suspect, however, that a reread in a few years will improve it for me.
I’m going through the introduction now (I always read it last so that my reading of the novel is not shadowed by other people’s opinions). Interestingly–so the introduction informs me–Virginia Woolf originally intended The Years to be what she called a “novel-essay,” in which bits of novel would be interchanged with essays on the changing economic/social lives of women. Unfortunately, Woolf discovered while writing this new genre that it simply wasn’t going to work. That two such different genres could not be combined smoothly and coherently. It caused her quite a bit of anguish, as one might imagine.
More favorite lines from the novel:
“It was as if she still believed with passion–she, old Eleanor–in the things man had destroyed. A wonderful generation, she thought, as they drove off. Believers … ” (314, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008 edition).
“We cannot help each other, he thought, we are all deformed … and we who make idols of other people, who endow this man, this woman, with power to lead us, only add to the deformity, and stoop ourselves” (361).
“She opened [the book]. He’ll say what I’m thinking, she thought as she did so. Books opened at random always did” (364).
“And there against the window, gathered in a group, were the old brothers and sisters” (410).
2. My next read is a reread: The Giver. I’ve probably read it three or four times, but since a movie is being made, I thought another go-through would be timely. Tis the season for movie adaptions, isn’t it? I also have to read The Hobbit, Ender’s Game, The Book Thief (another reread), and Catching Fire (reread). Woe is me!
Note: I am apprehensive at best about T-Swift’s role. I am overjoyed at worst about Meryl and Jeff’s roles.
3. I’m planning to see 12 Years a Slave this weekend. I’m reluctant, because I know this movie will destroy me. But that seems to make it all the more important that I go. I’ll be sure to get a big bucket of popcorn to cry into.
4. Ruby just came up to me hopefully, as if for a pat on the nose. Once her face was within inches of my own, however, she let out the loudest burp I’ve ever heard from a dog. It smelled of kibble and a certain unmentionable. Thanks for that one, pal.
5. Minnesota is under winter weather advisory for tomorrow evening. Six inches of snow may accumulate. And so it begins.