Dear Readers,


I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How Many Books Did You Read in 2008?


Librarything is down so I did a little sleuthing to find out my number.

The total is 38 Books. Broken down:

14 books reviewed for Publishers Weekly
1 book for Venus Zine (American Wife)
And ~23 Books for Pleasure (reviews here) including:
  • The latter two His Dark Materials Books (read Golden Compass in Dec. '07)
  • All Four Twilight Books
  • A re-read of all 3 LOTR Books
  • 1.25 Books for my Bitch article on Jane Eyre and Rebecca (A quarter of Madwoman in the Attic and Daphne)
  • .75 of Little Dorrit (gonna finish it this weekend!)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • The Historian
  • Scarlet Feather
  • Good in Bed
  • A Freewheeling Time
  • One-Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Great American Hypocrites
  • Sula
  • Cranford
  • .5 of The Gathering
  • The Terror Dream
  • .5 of He's a Stud She's a Slut and It's a Jungle Out There

How many books did you read? Ballpark it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Solstice

...From me and Dar Williams.




I've really been enjoying my time in the northern part of our most liberal state, Vermont, braving sub-zero temperatures and various forms of precipitation to get amazing ski runs in and of course, bond with the nuclear fellow-ette family. But I'll be looking forward to returning to my urbane life and my life-partner in a few days. And to eating latkes. Hope you and yours are safe and happy during these darkest evenings of the year. More EBCing to come soon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Sunday De-Lurk: What Are You Reading?

Greetings from a nook of the Hudson valley, where we have been snowbound for about eight hours, stalled on our way to Vermont.

So I finally finished the first book of Little Dorrit, all 450 pages of Victorian prose. I had to pause around page 200 to read/review a humorous novel about therapy and self-help novels, among other topics. Now I have to pause again to read/review a historical fiction about Jews during the Civil War, which seems pretty cool to me.

Little Dorrit, is great, interruptions aside. It's not David Copperfield-level breathtaking amazing Dickens, nor is it Hard Times level didactic Dickens. It's somewhere in between, and I love it. My favorite Dickensy characters so far are the effusive Flora Finching, the enigmatically angry Mr. F's Aunt, and the Society-mindful Merdle clan.

So, just like last time... let's have at it! My favorite lurkers, tell us what are you reading! And what are you planning to read over the holidays? How do you like or dislike it?

I wrote an end-of the year book wrap up for WeNews and a gift guide for RHRC if you're looking for ideas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Thoughts on Obama's Choice of Reverend Rick Warren

...expressed, once more, through chats with my brother (we are both procrastinating).

For those who don't know the background, woman-hating, gay-bashing, creepy pastor Rick Warren is giving an invocation at the inauguration. ERGO my away message: "WTF barack??"

[bro]: why wtf barack?
me: rick warren is delivering the invocation at the inauguration

37 minutes
5:52 PM [bro]: saddleback boy?
me: yeah!
[bro]: fatty?*
no on prop 8 boy
FATTY MCFAT*
5:53 PM [bro]: that is disgusting
screw obama
dawkins is right
why do religious people get a pass on everything
hate is hate
whether the hater wears a collar or not
***
[bro]: god i'm reading some stuff
warren is despicable
hopefully a haggard scandal breaks
where he's doing meth with some gigolo
9:57 AM me: yeah he believes wives should submit to their husbands!
nice man, that
me: atrios says people should turn their backs when warren prays
[bro]: nice
10:02 AM god hates bigots
10:09 AM [bro]: im researching hate speech
warren is an idiot




*UPDATE. We are referring, of course, to his fatty bulbous SOUL gorged on self-importance and not loving his neighbor. Making fun of people's appearances is never okay unless I feel like it their ugly souls happen to be reflected externally. Which I believe qualifies in this case.


My evening

I went to an Oasis concert tonight. It was free, and I was a teenage fangirl once so I had to go. I had a blast. Here is an account of my evening as chatted to my brother just moments ago.

me: it was fun
they played some crappy new stuff
but then at the end they killed it with wonderwall, dont look back in anger, champagne supernova etc etc etc
they filled all of MSG! i couldn't believe how many people actually paid $ to see them
i mean i wouldn't have!
12:36 AM ALSO
as we were walking out
there were some obnoxious drunk guys chanting something
and we get on the escalator
12:37 AM and i say to [boyfriend]] "you know who's probably here, [group of high school boys I once knew who went to every Oasis concert that I did.]
And then I turn around at that very moment and lo and behold, there are [member of said group #1], [member #2] [and member #3] right behind me!
they were the chanting douchebags!
all along.
ain't life grand?
12:38 AM brother:
those guys are huge herbs

The moral of the story is, sometimes it can be fun to go to Oasis concerts!

Also, feel free to wake yourself up with this song, which was the best of the night.

Quick Link: Stephen Colbert is a Janeite

The breakdown of Stephen's best Austen-moments over at No Fact Zone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Poem: Happy Birthday Jane Austen

A Letter To Lord Byron by W. H. Auden


"... There is one other author in my pack
For some time I debated which to write to.
Which would least likely send my letter back?
But I decided I'd give a fright to
Jane Austen if I wrote when I'd no right to,
And share in her contempt the dreadful fates
Of Crawford, Musgrove, and of Mr. Yates.

Then she's a novelist. I don't know whether
You will agree, but novel writing is
A higher art than poetry altogether
In my opinion, and success implies
Both finer character and faculties
Perhaps that's why real novels are as rare
As winter thunder or a polar bear.

... I must remember, though, that you were dead
Before the four great Russians lived, who brought
The art of novel writing to a head;
The help of Boots had not been sought.
But now the art for which Jane Austen fought,
Under the right persuasion bravely warms
And is the most prodigious of the forms.

She was not an unshockable blue-stocking;
If shades remain the characters they were,
No doubt she still considers you as shocking.
But tell Jane Austen, that is if you dare,
How much her novels are beloved down here.
She wrote them for posterity, she said;
'Twas rash, but by posterity she's read.

You could not shock her more than she shocks me;
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle-class
Describe the amorous effects of 'brass',
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society..."

Monday, December 15, 2008

I network, socially... (part ??)

I'm twittering. Here is my official freelance writer twitter. And here is my fellow-ette ranty twitter.

And here is my friendfeed.

FUN TIMES, y'all, fun times.

Friday, December 12, 2008

JKR + JA Appreciation time

Sometimes I get down about stuff, you know, like life and modern society...and then I think about the fact that JK Rowling is the most powerful living writer in the world. And Jane Austen is probably the most powerful non-living novelist in the world.

And that is just awesome.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I like the teevee

I've been meaning to write a "cultural consumption" post full of inelegant reviews to catch you/my up on everything I've been consuming since the 'oliday season came upon us... but the only thing I've really been doing is watching (excellent) TV. My reading of Little Dorrit has been suspended by a book review I had to do, and my vow to see a lot of movies is on hold til the vacation--which incidentally, couldn't come sooner.

So I've been watching True Blood (the whole first season) Friday Night Lights (the new season that's airing on directv now and will be on NBC soon) and Mad Men (starting season 1). They are all so so so excellent.

FNL is definitely my favorite because the characters--a bunch of Texas teens-- have become so beloved in my life. The show makes me cry and laugh in every single episode and this season it's gone back to being about the dramas of everyday life. It's lost all the desire to be soapy, and managed to stay gut-wrenching because life is gut wrenching. I can't recommend the show enough.

True Blood is stylized and gory. Very gory. But it's a lot of fun once you get past episode 4. The heroine is way more empowered than Twilight's, but the appeal is the same. Dark, undead hero who falls for our heroine because he sees her oddity as a special gift. Heroine torn between desire for hero and fear of his powers. Second love interest who is "safer" + also supernatural but less sexy. Think of it as Twilight for the non-mormon, non pre-teen set. Aside from the primary romance, the supporting characters are interesting and three-dimensional and very profane :).

Mad Men, the 50s ad-world drama, is really mesmerizing. The characters and scenes are totally stuck in my head after only three episodes of tense meetings, endless cigarettes, bed-hopping and the kind of sexual harassment that used to be called "banter." I can't wait to catch up on more. I have a theory about Don Draper being like a beautiful woman in a classic adultery novel (a.k.a a male Emma, Anna, or Hester, but I have to chew on it for a bit.) Also, I can't believe my parents grew up in that era! It really explains the 60s.

I really think TV has eclipsed movies these days in terms of the number of really really high-quality offerings. Thanks, David Chase!

[That being said, the Twilight movie was awesome. Campier than the book, a less zombie-ish heroine, a romance that didn't feel quite as disturbing and wrong. ]

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday Song Lyrics: RIP John Lennon edition



ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as
they make their way across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of life
are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which
shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva


We miss you, John

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Vampires

So this is a bit late due to Thanksgiving and the subsequent shock of going back into work full steam ahead with a turkey-hangover, but here's a piece I wrote about the literary/cultural history of vampires as symbols of socio-sexual anxieties.

With immortality, a killer instinct, and a life on the fringes, Vampires are a perfect conduit for musings on the human condition. "Vampires have long served to remind us of the parts of our own psyches that seduce us," writes Salon's Laura Miller (in a superb analysis of the Twilight books). But the metaphor is often less existential than that, as the vampire bite is easy shorthand for sex. Vampirism allows consumers to take vicarious pleasure in rule-breaking couplings, while also justifying phobias about sex-because the seducers do have lethal fangs, and their condition is quite contagious.

It was reprinted at Huffpo + Alternet and generated quite a bit of fang-tastic discussion (sorry) at the latter site and pickup around the web.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Evening Britney Break! JUST LIKE A CIRCUS

If my feminist ravings are the "egalitarian" part of this blog, and my many Austen + Bronte musings and book reviews qualify for the "bookworm" part, then I guess my interest in the world of troubled young pop stars and their adorable ex-boyfriends would explain the "(Chick?)" slice of the formula. So be it! Until the record label yanks this off youtube, enjoy an awesome cut off the indomitable (except by her evil controlling dad and managers ) Mizz Spears' new album. Brit's uptempo ditties are sure helping me get through my work and my solstice-season Malaise.

UPDATE: here's the official vid. aww yeah.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Romeo + Juliet still does it for me


When I was 13, Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet was that teenage crack that Twilight is now. We all saw it multiple times in theaters and hung posters up and squealed and listened to the soundtrack so much that we actually gave the Cardigans a mega-hit.

The film was also an awesome tool when I taught the play in my public school classroom (which was the first of four years in a row I taught the play as a teacher/tutor... the exact number of years I've been in the game!).

But this teen sensation really holds up as a film, as I just reaffirmed once more while watching the last hour tonight on HBO. Shakespeare's plays are so robust and perfectly-worded that modern and innovative adaptations endure and never seem weird or blasphemous to me. That's why they tend to be my personal favorites, my deep appreciation for Kenneth Branagh's gorgeous film-making (and ability to commune with Will Shakes' spirit) notwithstanding.

Here, in no particular order, are my personal most-adored onscreen Bard adaptations. This isn't about objective quality AT ALL, or which adapt my favorite plays , but rather about which Shakespeare films I'd gladly sit down to watch for enjoyment like a favorite TV show. Which are your favorite Shakespeare films? Feel free to leave in comments.

Romeo + Juliet '96--perfect.

Hamlet (2000)--a re-imagining of the tale in modern day NYC, which is cool. But what really intrigues me about it is the re-imagining of Hamlet himself from angry, talky, thwarted heir to existential 20-something in a goofy ski hat whose moribund thoughts are his madness.

Much Ado About Nothing '93-- Back when Branagh and Thompson were a pair. Sumptuous, hilarious, emotional: it reminds us that the Bard's comedies have a depth and profundity which are sometimes hard to pick up from a straight read.

Throne of Blood. Kurosawa's dark, black and white version of Macbeth in Japanese is devastating, even without the poetry of the original text. I hear "Ran" (Lear) is even better.

10 Things I Hate About You. Ridiculous, I know. But if you've seen the film, you understand.

Honorable mention goes to the very mixed-bag Midsummer Night's Dream, only because it features a lovely, amorous Christian Bale before he got SO SERIOUS, and a perfect Michelle Pfeiffer + Rupert Everett pairing as Titania and Oberon.

Previously: song adaptations of R+J (appropriate now that Taylor Swift has this big hit)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday Morning Poem: Thanksgiving Reflection Edition

Those Winter Sundays
Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?



This is one of my favorite poems of all time, and particularly appropriate for this season of family gatherings and cold weather. It fulfills the "blow your mind" requirement of good poetry in a quiet, devastating way.

NYT Follows Lucy Honeychurch through Florence

Even though this is an idea I (and every other overeducated bougie tourist in Firenze) already had, and wrote about, I forgive the NYT the style-pimping because it's such a perfect topic. A Room With a View is perhaps the most site-specific piece of literature, and the best literary tour-guide, out there. And the piece is very well-done (although it gets boring towards the end). Here is the best bit:


ENJOYING “A Room With a View” is easy. A love story that begins and ends in Florence, with complications in England sandwiched in between, it's short, cheerful and delightfully sly. Besides, there are two excellent and generally faithful film adaptations, the classic 1986 Merchant-Ivory production starring Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day-Lewis and a PBS version released just this year with enticing shots of Florence and a weird, unwarranted twist at the end. Once Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson have kissed in a field of violets in the hills above the city (near Fiesole, about which more later), you know (spoiler alert) you're going to hear wedding bells at the end, no matter how many plot twists the crafty author engineers.

Enjoying Florence ... takes more time and more effort. But if you have with you your copy of “A Room With a View,” you'll find it easier to get along. Forster's supple, forgiving irony, his ability to satirize lovingly, combined with his firm but regretful insistence on not confusing art and life, is exactly what you need if you plan to share this intensely urban town with tens of thousands of sightseers for the five or six days it will take you to do just like them and see the sights.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Times Gender Ratio Improves

As y'all may or may not know, I have beef with the stuffiness of the NYT Book Review. I've written a bunch about the gender imbalance and anti-feminist bias in its pages.

This year, though, I counted 33 out of their 2008 100 notable books as authored by women, with 15 out of 48 novels. And that's a definitely an improvement, if a small one (last year, only 13 of their 50 top novels were penned by ladies; that list comes later in the year I think). Of course, part of this was because so many powerhouse, un-snubbable female authors wrote books this year, from Germaine Greer and Jane Meyer to Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, Kate Atkinson, Annie Proulx and Curtis Sittenfield. It was a banner year for prominent female writers strutting their stuff, so the Times only gets partial credit. Still, some sort of ackowledgement is due.

In other numbers, four of the top fiction books were reviewed for one outlet or another by yours truly :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This is Why You Need to BUY BOOKS As Holiday Presents

The industry, like many others, is in trouble. Serious trouble. The best thing you can do to to help is use your shrinking pile o' $ to buy books for others and yourself.

On the writing side...that proposal you were working on for a coffee table book on elephants of the world? Might want to shove it back in the drawer. The only people getting book deals these days are Laura Bush and Joe the freaking Plumber. Sigh.

On the other hand, it might be a good time to dust off your SCREENPLAY-writing skillz...movies were, like, the only industry that flourished during the depression, 'cause everyone was so, well, depressed and needed a cinematic escape.

h/t Wendy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Evening Poem

MEETING AT NIGHT

by: Robert Browning (1812-1889)

THE gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Twilight Reviews


And by Cullen, I think they like it.
This is my favorite line from Dana Stevens' (who is always-worth-reading) review;
"As a life lesson for teenage girls, Twilight (excuse the pun) sucks. As a parable for the dark side of female desire, it's weirdly powerful."
True.

UPDATE: Manohla Dargis is less amused. Quoth she:
"Faced with the partially clad Bella (who would bite if she could), Edward recoils from her like a distraught Victorian. Like Ms. Hardwicke, the poor boy has been defanged and almost entirely drained. He’s so lifeless, he might as well be dead — oops, he already is."
Previously: Feminist analysis of Twilight @ Huffpo, my review of Twilight.

Happy reading/watching.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Roundup in Bookish World

Some truly amazing links today in the world of literary pop culture.

First, Twilight-mania continues:
  • Jezebel uses Twilight to look at the teenage trend-follower vs. stalwart trend-ignorer phenomenon:
    "For every group of girls screaming at a mall appearance, there's an equally fierce group of deliberate trend-buckers, defining themselves by their scorn for what's popular."
'Tis true. There's not much room for nuance in the early teen years. Of course, some of us didn't fall on either side of the dividing line, but quietly lusted after teen idols (I think Leo DiCaprio was the Rob Pattinson of my era) while remaining somewhat buttoned up about it. In other words, no posters, no screaming, no obsessive re-watching. Just dreaming and heart-fluttering.
  • EW covers the "Twilight" premiere madness quite well. Read the insane comments for a laugh.
  • Speaking of books beloved by teenage girls (but somewhat ignored because of the fangirls' skin color) USA Today interviews Sister Souljah, author of The Coldest Winter ever about her new bestselling prequel, Midnight. Souljah refuses to call herself an "urban lit" writer. She says
    "Shakespeare wrote about love. I write about love. Shakespeare wrote about gang warfare, family feuds and revenge. I write about all the same things."
    Still, whether it's categorizable or not, Coldest (with some help from Zane) kicked off a hugely popular genre. Urban lit is an undebiable phenomenon that owes a lot to Souljah. My students loved this book, and I definitely want to read it myself. Check out the sidebar for her wicked response to the phrase, "Sister Souljah moment."
  • Jeffrey Goldberg puts George Eliot at the top of a silly but funny list of Philo-semites--a topic near and dear to my blog-heart. I nominate fictional characters Sir Wilfred Ivanhoe and Annemarie, from Number the Stars, in the category of "imaginary philo-semites."

The Writing Life, part 1 bilion

So I'm currently working on four pieces: a profile of a prominent academic and writer, a reported story on reproductive health issues in the Obama transition process, a news story about school zoning on the Upper West Side, and I'm sowing the seeds on a piece on vampires in pop culture as repositories for socio-sexual anxieties (just guess which one I'm most excited by?). Anyway, it's funny because I have all these documents open, and I keep getting phone calls and depending on the identity of the caller, having to shuffle frantically between pages with phrases on them like "playground facilities" and "working parents" and "democratic party platform" and "black women's experience in America" and "Lestat." The combination is giving me quite the absurdist outlook on all these topics.

On deck, along with Lestat and Buffy and Edward Cullen, is a profile of a prominent children's theater. Coherence much?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NaNoWriMo

So I'm doing NaNoWriMo. There's absolutely no way I'll make it to 50,000 words by next Friday as I'm only just over a tenth of the way there, I didn't start til the 11th, and I'm not 100% committed to my project. I have another writing project that is more polished, and needs more polishing, and then selling, but I don't want to have all my eggs in one basket. Plus!! it's fun to put some of that post-election creative energy into something, well, creative.

My novel takes elements from Edith Wharton and sets them in a NYC prep school. It's totally depressing, but also kind of a fun exercise, and also an exorcism of those prep-school demons that DO get in the way of other literary endeavors for us grads of such traumatizing institutions. Unless we're named Curtis Sittenfield.




As you can see, there's a widget here and on the side of my blog showing my meager progress. If anyone wants to be my buddy, this is my page.

Happy writing!

The Historian

The Historian The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

A bestseller of recent years, The Historian piqued my interest because I've seen it compared to The Thirteenth Tale and The Da Vinci Code, both of which I really enjoyed (suck it, haters) and also because it's about vampires, and it's the season of the vamp.

Unlike the Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight craze of today, though, The Historian is old-school in its treatment of the undead. In fact, it's kind of like a sequel/companion to the under-appreciated Stoker Dracula,, in that Kostova's description of the Count is totally similar to Stoker's (and similarly creepy: the hairy, long fingers, the musty smell, the slight nausea felt by those near him. YUCK) and Stoker is referenced through the book as someone who wrote ficton, but got his vampire anthropology eerily right.

The reasons for the Dan Brown and Setterfield comparisons is that The Historian's a historical mystery, one solved through discovering manuscripts and clandestine visits to ruins and late nights reading. The Da Vinci Code parallels are obvious in the characters' endless criss-crossing of Europe, going to chapels and libraries and tombs to decipher their hidden pasts. The Historian also shares this new "women+their books" obsession with Daphne + The Thirteenth Tale. The romance in these tomes is not between the lady and the Vampire, but between the lady and the page, musty, yellowing, and full of secrets.

The actual mystery in Kostova's book is the whereabouts of Vlad the Impaler's (aka Vlad Drakyula) tomb, a mystery passed on by mysterious means to a set of scholars over the centuries. None have been able to solve it, yet. But what's even more unsettling than the mystery is what solving it might reveal: that Vlad doesn't rest in his tomb, and instead he still walks among us to this day! Cue menacing peals of laughter. The protagonist, a budding historian, and her father, are caught up in the chase, and she stands to learn some things about her family and self in the process.

So did I like the book? At times it was thrilling, and creepy, and beautifully written. It is much more literary and serious than Da Vinci, with a more interesting set of characters and a slower pace. That being said, it's a really lengthy, studious read, and considering that it doesn't reveal much about humanity, it's kind of paradoxical: a detailed, careful thriller, a laborious beach read, a chase that's also a meditation. But for serious, committed bookworms who love the vampire legend and want more, I'd say read it, and skim with impunity.


View all my reviews.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Austen-mania says: "Rumors of my demise have been most unfortunately overindulged"

Who said Austen mini-serieses and films were finis, stepping aside to give the dark romance of the Brontes and the comical commentary of Dickens their moment in the mini-series sun?

Austenblog reports on the rumors that there's a new BBC Emma in the works. I hope so, because neither the Kate Beckinsalee "grumpy" version nor the Gwynneth Paltrow "ditzy" version totally work as adaptations of the novel's esprit. Clueless is the best film version of Emma so far.

The Austenblog community is starting a campaign to get Richard Armitage, aka the smouldering hero of North and South cast as Mr. Knightley, thereby consummating a union devoutly wished by Austen-fans throughout the world. Also rumored to be screenwriting is Sandy Welch, who did both the admirable Cranford and the wonderful Jane Eyre and is fast becoming the new Andrew Davies.

It's a very exciting development, if it's true.

Bruce Rumors Substantiated

As predicted, there will now be a Bruce album for every major event in our decade's history: The Rising for 9/11, Devils and Dust for the war, Magic for the Bush Era, and Workin' on a Dream for Obama's first week as president.

Word to that!

Monday Morning Poem: A Day

A Day
by Emily Dickinson

I'll tell you how the sun rose,
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
"That must have been the sun!"

........................
But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Twilight'-Mania, redux, has officially begun

I'll try to keep up with some of the insanity this week... my feelings about the series are on the record...

The LA Times goes to Forks, Washington, (a town Meyer never visited but picked because it's the rainiest place in the continental US) to discover the world of Twi-tourism cash-ins:


Many locals have played along with the themes in the Twilight books -- and business has boomed.

"It's not that hard to put [Twilighters] over the edge," said Julie Hjelmeset, the inn's manager. She transformed the double-queen bedroom in the otherwise run-of-the-mill hotel by swapping the white linens and towels for racier black-and-red versions and resting imitation long-stemmed roses on the beds. Bella's Suite fetches double the rate of a regular room -- $149 a night versus $74.

The driving force behind the town's resurgence is the Forks Chamber of Commerce.

It was the head of the Chamber who reached out to the owners of a house to see if they'd be willing to place a "Home of the Swans" sign in their lushly landscaped yard. According to homeowner Kim McIrvin, thousands of visitors have since stopped by the two-story blue bungalow to snap pictures and to imagine Edward sneaking in through the upstairs window.

Following McIrvin's lead, another Chamber member offered to transform her bed-and-breakfast into "the Cullen house." The door to the large mailbox now reads "Cullen," along with the Miller Tree Inn wording that's been there for years, and a sign on the front porch is updated with daily messages from the fictional family's matriarch, Esme.


And Salon sits down with film director Catherine Hardwicke, who totally sidesteps the feminist questions. Personally, I would remove the F-word when asking Meyer/Hardwicke/others about the books, and talk instead about the absolute pathetic weakness of the main character.

But that's me. Here's the most interesting thing Hardwicke said:



From a teenage point of view, there's also the metaphor that the vampire has all these hormonal feelings and desires to want to kill their victims. It's in your body. It's pulsing through your veins. You become a teenager and you suddenly have this surge of new feelings that you're not supposed to act on. You're really not supposed to attack every girl you see and try to have sex with her -- or with every guy. Edward is fighting his natural animal impulses, as a lot of teenagers are.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stephen C. on Jane A.

Starts around 1:45.

Stephen get a tip of the EBC hat for mentioning Jane, and a wag of the EBC finger for doing a little bit of the Joe Wright/Becoming Jane Bronte-fying of Austen that makes us most seriously displeased.




H/T to Mags for reminding me to post this--I got all excited when I saw it last night but distracted by laundry and deadlines this morn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What the Dickens?

Have you heard the literary news? Dickens is totes the new Austen, except he's usually 500 pages longer, more exaggeratedly satirical, and more angry about social ills such as (try and read these to yourself in a cockney accent): industrialization, sooty streets, orphans, corporal punishment, factories, workhouses, debtor's prisons, ridiculous court systems, layabout youths (Richard Carstone, ahem) thieving Jews (you gotta love Fagin), indifferent upper class snobs and diffident bureaucrats.

Also, pseudo-proto-feminist bitter old virgin-brides who are living embodiments of dried-up lady parts.

Oh and ALSO...tyrranical schoolmasters who are coincidentally named... wait for it... wait for it... MR. CHOAKUMCHILD. Subtle, the man was not. But he may have changed society more than any other novelist save Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Wherefore this stream of confusing Dickens-trivia, you ask ? Because Romancing the Tome tells us that Masterpiece Classic is airing an "incomplete Dickens season" this year, featuring Little Dorrit, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and The Old Curiosity Shop.

I'm personally a huge fan of the Dickens mini-series: the 90s-era Martin Chuzzlewit and Our Mutual Friend are the genre at its absolute finest, and inducted me into the cult of 19th century adaptations. I wish they would re-air those. 2006's Bleak House was also deservedly hyped.

I also happen to be a big fan of the man's books: I've read five, two of which were among the best books I've ever read, three of which were difficult but ultimately rewarding. I'm going to tackle Little Dorrit next, to prep for the mini-series which airs in early '09. It will be my major 19th century project of the year, and I hope it's more like David Copperfield, which took me two weeks of ravenous reading, and less like Bleak House, which took me three and a half months of sheer willpower.

Waking Up

I'm still euphoric about our new American promise, and I do think things are better, but my whole "American Is Better than Europe Phase" may be drawing to a close. A day of reading the internetz can be sobering: homophobic idiocy, conventional wisdom hawkers stating that unions are hurting the economy and need to be broken, and when I turn from the comp---rainy weather.

But it's good in a way to keep in mind that we fiery activist types still have a lot of work to do. I'm going to use these liminal* days to energize myself for the next round of fightin' for justice and so on.

On another note entirely, does anyone know whether the proper term for the hat Ms. Jolie is wearing is a "cloche"? As a fan of hats, I am curious.
*Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"[1]) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious state of being on the "threshold" of or between two different existential planes,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

EBC link'o'the day: Rebecca Traister on Michelle Obama

I'm going to try and do more of these linkage thingies. I don't really have the time to analyze every interesting literary and feminist and leftist article that comes my way, but I'd like to at least highlight my favorites.

So this is, so far, the most important recent article on the Jackie-fication of Michelle Obama: the reduction of an Ivy-educated hotshot to a fashion plate and mom. I wrote about this after Michelle's speach at the contention. I'd only add that both of the Obamas are experts at choosing substance over image. What I mean by this is, they are willing to make superficial compromises if it helps them achieve their goals. Only time will tell what their actual actions and policies look like. So before we freak out about the bondage of Michelle, let's give her a chance to do things her own way.

That having been said, it's important to consider the media's willing complicity on this:


But why have so many people who should know better so readily accepted this incomplete image of the future first lady? It is possible, I suppose, that some have forgotten that Michelle Obama is more than a pair of ovaries with a commitment to organic food and the sales at J. Crew. But there is also the distinct whiff of relief in the momification of Michelle, and in the regress to Camelot. It's as though the American media -- exhausted after the progressive exertions of having to be respectful and not misogynist about two women running for political office -- has loosened its belt and is relaxing back into a world in which all you have to do is write about what they wear and how they mother.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If you visit one site today...


make it http://rahmfacts.com for hours of joy.

Rahmfacts.com: taking "that dumbass shit that all the conservative college students amused themselves with during the darkest years of our nation's modern history and reclaim[ing] it for the new age of hope, reason, and truth."

Monday Morning Poem Excerpt: "Let America Be America Again"

by Langston Hughes
[This is the last few stanzas. Read the full thing here]

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Maureen Dowd hath problems, part ???

From her column today. Not only is she racist in a really appallingly obtuse way, but she misquoted EBC favorite author, Toni Morrison.

(H/t)
I heard my cute black mailman talking in an excited voice outside my house Friday, so I decided I should go ask him how he was feeling about everything, the absolute amazement of the first black president. If you don't count what Toni Morrison said about Bill Clinton, that is.

But should we count it? Was Barack Obama the first or the second black president, or alternatively, the first half-white, half-black president?

I eagerly swung my front door open and joined the mailman's conversation.

"Are you talking about the election?" I said brightly. "How do you feel?"
He shot me a look of bemused disdain as he walked away. I suddenly realized, with embarrassment, that he was on his Bluetooth, deep in a personal conversation that had nothing to do with Barack Obama.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

January 20th, 2009

Obama's inauguration is gonna feel like this.





Because I wanted to the the first to start this meme.

The hobbits, BTW, are all of us.

Stumble It!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Well, It Took 450 pages...

but The Historian has finally gotten un-put-downable. I'm definitely going to finish it this weekend! (the whole thing is 700 pages.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I've been on the Obama train longer than I thought

Looking back through my Obama entries because I want to savor this moment, I'm embarrassed that I complained about President Elect Barry-O a lot on this blog at the beginning of the primaries... but in my defense, just because he wasn't being enough of a badass for my hopeful tastes. Still, he's changed a lot as a candidate and again, somewhere along the way I became utterly besotted. Plus, the history of this blog reveals that I've long had a soft spot for him. Here are my fave Obama posts.

  • In March '07, I blogged about how much I liked his book and how impressed I was with him, even though his writing left much of his personality guarded. I think I understand now that that is his personality: he is a consummate listener, a peace broker by nature, not design. I'd imagine this very presidential personality trait has a lot to do with his dad's abandonment, his long separation from his mom, and his biracial identity, and I'll leave the rest to Freud :) It's a lovely book, folks, and now is the time to relax and read it. A president who's a great writer and required no ghost-writer or co-writer to pen his books? Awesome.
  • I kicked off my Monday Morning poem segment with Claude McKay's brilliant The White House, which now seems [partially] a relic of another time. It's funny how literature--from this poem through Tupac, reveals how much a black president has been a particularly potent symbolic dream.
  • BRUCE + Barack = progressive woman's fantasy come true:) And now we hear that the Boss is releasing a new album in time for the inauguration? Too awesome. If this is true, and the album is good, then The Rising+Magic+Hopeyhopeful album #3 will be this amazing trilogy that sums up the entire decade in song. Damn.
And that's it, folks. Back to book-blogging (and reading, and watching TV that's not cable news, and not tripping over my own two feet) next week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Night Celebration in Harlem

I've never seen so many people on the steets, save when the Yankees used to regularly win the world series. Except this time, it was like TEAM HUMANITY won the world series of LIFE.

125th street celebrates the victory of Barack Obama.

The whole street was closed off. (note the Apollo in the distance)

Barack on the big screen.

The sidewalks were crammed.

People watching CNN.

[more photos of canvassing in Philly, Halloween and election night towards the end of this facebook album for those who are my virtual amies]


YES WE DID!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted, Did You?

I was so proud to cast my ballot/pull my lever for Barack Obama today.

I boarded the Obama-train early (my college buds and I were obsessed with his 2004 speech. We smoked out of our homemade water-pipe, barack obong-a, and then listened to the speech on repeat. We were real cool), but was an Edwards girl in this race at first as a healthcare/poverty issues, coif-loving thing. I was initially disappointed by how cagey and stolid Obama seemed. Then I was enamored with Clinton when the media started beating up on her, and then... her camp started race-baiting and I voted for Obama a bit unenthusiastically.

I don't know when I started to love him so much. But I sure do now!

I think that looking back on the primary, Obama has adopted some of both his opponents best qualities. He's become more populist and his healthcare plan is more progressive, thanks in part to Edwards. He's become tougher, calmer, lost a little of his snarky edge, thanks to Hillary. And he's built an incredible ground game and gained experience thanks to the long, hard-fought primary.

I just love him so much these days, for his grace, his somewhat dorky sense of humor, his human side which he's shown more recently, his obvious intelligence and thoughtfulness, and his strong, unabashedly smarty-pants wife. I'm proud of our party for nominating him and proud of our country (fingers crossed) for embracing him. I won't agree with much of what he does, but I will agree with the choice. He is a huge step forward for our country.

This has been more than an election: it's a movement. I've never seen my politically wonky family and friends more involved: my mom and brother have gone to Ohio. My brother took his fifteen year old mentee to knock on doors in NH. I've been to NH and Pennsylvania with my partner and our close friends. My dad organized a massive fundraiser for the organized labor/legal community in NYC. My boyfriend's family have been manning the compu-phonebanks nonstop and connecting with voters everywhere. It's incredible! This campaign has inspired and moved so many of us... I hope it's enough. I've got my fingers crossed while I obsessively putter around the house for the few hours until we KNOW something.

YES WE CAN!!!

feel free to share your vote/campaign stories if you too want to kill time.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday Morning Poem: for Barack

one day to go...

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Me as Sarah Palin

Those are my companions, Joe the Plumber and Russia, whom I can see from my doorstep.

doing my foreign policy hw so I can be ready next time Katie Couric tries to zing me.

Joe sure hates taxes!
(Ignore the sign behind him, we were at the house of some un-American folks. They were of the Hebrew persuasion, if you know what I mean.)

with my field-dressed moose at the Halloween Parade in Fake America, the bastion of the gotcha liberal media. You betcha!

Funny thang. There were 9 other Sarah Palins there, and 11 other Joes-the-plumbers! I also saw my daughter Bristol with my son-in-law Levi and my adorable disabled anti-choice prop son Trig.

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN


I'm going as Sarah Palin. Pictures tk.



Scary, right?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lord of the Rings: The Great Re-Read


So here it is, at last. My thoughts on my Tolkien-reimmersion...

I thought I'd start by giving you the Tolkien backstory with my family. Like Senator Obama, who read the whole Harry Potter series to his daughter, my dad read The Hobbit and LOTR out loud to my brother and me when we were kids--the Hobbit when we were 6 or 7, LOTR a year or so later, because we were initially skeptical of any related story that did not star Bilbo front and center. (cute, right?)

The LOTR read-aloud took us over a year. I remember listening to it in our old apartment, in the room we shared, and on the beach in Rhode Island during the summer. By the time we were done with the saga, the Ring was destroyed, the Shire scoured, and the Havens sought, my brother and I had offically outgrown being read aloud to. So a family tradition that began with Mike Mulligan and Dr. Seuss and went through Eleanor Estes and E. Nesbit, ended with Tolkein.

Since then I've re-read the series at least three times, possibly four. Once was as a moody 16 year old. Once was the fall of my freshman year, right before the first film came out, and once was right now. There may have been a middle-school re-read too... but I've blocked those years out:)

So why the seven-year wait for this fourth read? Because Peter Jackson did such an amazing job with the films that for a while I didn't feel like I needed the books. The films had all those new additions: silly one liners and iconic speeches and stunning visuals, and they 100% captured the heart of the books. Occasionally I've flipped through favorite scenes to remind myself. But this last time watching the films, I started getting curious about some more of the arcane details of the books, and also eager to see if my childhood images of the characters had been erased by their onscreen incarnations. So I plunged in.

I'm happy to say the childhood images were still there. The hobbits were much older, wiser, hardier and less childlike in the text, and my earliest imagined images of them came back. So did my somewhat sunnier and less severe images of Galadriel and Elrond. While Fellowship, with its adventures in Tom Bombadil's house, the Old Forest and the Barrow-downs, read like a pleasant nostalgia-trip and took me two weeks, by the time the Company got to Lorien I was having a hard time putting it down, and I zipped through TTT in a few days and ROTK in a single day. The atmosphere really builds up to this all-encompassing crescendo. I started seeing all these Middle-Earthy images in my mind before I went to sleep and I began thinking in sentences that, in their very structure, I fear, contained far too many excess words, and indeed, a Tolkienish rhythm most particular. I also realized again how crucial Tolkien's geekiness was, with the languages and massive history of every Middle Earth race and region, and how effective that makes his world within the fantasy genre: it's 100% believable as another world, more so than any other fictional realm ever created. (Take that, Narnia!)

The funny thing is, what first impressed me about the films was the storytelling. But what also astounded me about Jackson's accomplishments after re-reading the books was how perfectly he shot all the scenery. I mean nothing he shot was actually more frightening, dramatic, or stunning than Tolkien himself described it, from the almost-vertical road in Dunharrow to the creepy black stair, to the lonely mound of Edoras. Jackson really nailed it. The script, which often changes Tolkien's exact words from character to character or place to place, was also ingenious.

The characters, on the other hand, are a bit different, and that's for a reason. In the books, everyone is more brave and good and generally kickass, while in the movies Jackson has each character struggle deeply with him/herself. Tolkien never had Aragorn doubt his calling as king. Legolas was never afraid of battle. Frodo never ever ever abandons Sam, and Merry and Pippin know full well what they are getting into from the beginning: in fact, they have guessed the entire story of the Ring before they set out from the Shire. Obviously, it was extremely effective filmmaking to have each character go through a crisis and/or a conflict and come out of it, but it's also fun to read the books and just enjoy the courageous badassery of men, hobbits, dwarves elves and wizards who just want to get their defeating-of-evil on.

It was a fabulous re-read, and the saga remains so much in my heart. It's so impressive that the films and books each stand alone and also complement each other. The only other adaptations I can think of that do that are the 1995 trio of golden-age Austen adaptations. So here's to you, Peter J and JRR T, for giving Egalitarian Bookworms reason to be entertained, enlightened, and impressed.

And now, for something completely different...

...John Cleese (aka Basil Fawlty!), Ode to Sean Hannity (h/t TPM)

Ode to Sean Hannity

by John Cleese

Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity
Hannity

So many poetic devices... truly evocative similes and metaphor, deceptively simple meter, unexpected rhyme scheme... a truly dazzling literary coup.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Afternoon De-Lurk


To my regular, but oft-silent readers: leave a comment! What books are you reading right now, and/or what book do you want to read when your life next allows you the leisure?
Or, if there are any websites or magazines you're reading obsessively instead to check poll numbers and punditocracy, what are they?

I'm reading The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. It's quite creepy and very long, so it will be a while before I can review it. Meanwhile, my websites du jour are fivethirtyeight.com, talking points memo and then the entire lefty blogosphere.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LOTR Remixes

So my next book review is going to be a long one on the experience of re-watching all three LOTR extended edition DVDS and then re-reading the entire LOTR saga. I finished ROTK about ten days ago, completing the epic adventure!

This is a project whose seed was sown on a dark, dark, August night, when Sarah Palin gave her Sauron-esque acceptance speech and I was all like "I'm craving some good defeating evil right now." But since I'm on deadline, and it's rainy, I thought I'd give you some silliness and cheesy, ridiculous, internetz lols instead. Here are two LOTR viral remixes; be warned, they're catchier than you think...






(see mashedtaters.net for more of this one)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Morning Poem: One Week Til The Election

This is the place they hoped before, by Emily Dickinson
This is the place they hoped before,
Where I am hoping now.
The seed of disappointment grew
Within a capsule gay,
Too distant to arrest the feet
That walk this plank of balm --
Before them lies escapeless sea --
The way is closed they came.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

There Is No Chance of Taking A Walk Today, So Donate Your Money to Some Good Causes

It's a rainy day and windy, too, here on the Eastern Seaboard.

The election is coming up fast. A lot of things hang in the balance, like the fate of our nation, and our rights and such.

And you know what? All fall, I've been craving a new pair of flat, slouchy suede boots. Yeah, I really want those boots.

But reader, I didn't buy them and I won't until this election is over. Instead, I've been giving my equivalent money and time in trickles, so I can have as big an impact as I can 'afore the election.

Here are some ideas for where to donate YOUR shoe-money this fall.


That is all. Enjoy your Saturdays, and hope you don't run into Cousin John Reed whilst you're endeavoring to read your book behind the red curtains.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Brrr...

It's freezing in NYC, readers. I don't mind the winter as much as some, mostly because I love the snow, but it's a huge adjustment when the weather drops this way.

We've got to get used to that feeling of being freezing on the streets--pink noses et all-- and then sweating on the subway platform as the layers that a moment ago felt inadequate now oppress us.

Or perhaps it's getting into our bed all a-shiver, snuggling beneath the blankets, and then waking up at 2.a.m to hear the glug, glug, glug, whissssshhh of the radiator (that's for those of us in pre-war buildings) and feeling our skin begin to dry out by the second as the heat skyrockets.

Sometimes I think living in the temperate Northeast is an exercise of severe masochism. Between sweltering summers and wet, dark winters, we are rarely comfortable.

Or perhaps it's a lesson in hope and endurance. We withstand harsh weather for those beautiful clear days when the changing of the season fills us with sublime contentment at a white blossom or a scarlet-orange leaf.

It depends on how you look at it, I s'pose ; ) Still, to return to cynicism for a moment, I can't wait for daylight savings to end, the sun to set at 5pm, and my SAD to kick in hardocre! W00t!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disney Princesses and Feminism



Holy "once upon a time"! There is so much chatter right now in the blogosphere about the world of "pink toys and princesses" for little girls and whether/how we feminists should strike back.

It's a quandary I think about a lot, I must confess, because I freaking LOVED the pink aisle in the toy store as a child. Yes, even though at the age of 8 or so the boys in my class were already calling me a feminazi (no joke) I was still playing with Barbies AND I was besotted with Aurora, Belle, Jasmine and the gang. In fact, the much-maligned "Disney princesses" line sounds to me like a fantasy concocted by my friends and me as we swooshed around the living room in castoff long dresses, hoping for adventure/princes to sweep us away: Wouldn't it be great if all the princesses got to be together? *(That being said, I had a twin brother and I also played with he-men and transformers,)

But just because one can transcend a girly childhood and live a full-feminist life doesn't mean we can't critique said childhood's frilly trappings. After all, fairy tales were invented to control women's behavior to begin with. In Gilbert and Gubar's breakdown of Snow White, for instance, the pricked finger=menstruation/sexuality which turns the virginal young queen into the evil stepmother, the magic mirror=voice of the patriarchy turning women against each other and telling them they're never good enough, and the glass coffin has some other dope significance I forget.**

As Sarah Haskins points out in the Target: women video below, the Disneyfied versions of these stories send a pretty similar, if somewhat more simplistic message. And she doesn't even mention that the "spinsters"/witches are vagina dentatae.



I think hiding this stuff from our daughters or nieces or sibs or mentees or forbidding it will only make girly-land this enticing sparkly world that they experience at their friends' sleepovers or whatever. And we don't want that. So while we should reject the consumerist aspect of it (ie limit the amount of princess swag we purchase), we should by all means let the young ladies in our lives swirl about with a long train and an imaginary prince. But also give them stories about tomboys and read them Roald Dahl's "Revolting Rhymes." Encourage them to write sequels where the princesses save the princes, and teach them how to be critical observers of their society from a young age, while still enjoying imaginative movies and stories.

Easy as pie right? And we'll all live happily ever after! Insert trilling song here.


[As for this other gender-normative crap, the sweet lily palace castle and rose petal cottage ... That stuff just utterly stinks and has no imaginative value whatsoever, so don't buy it for your daughters. Tell them to go slay a dragon or a vaginal old witch instead.]

*Incidentally, I never went for Cinderella or snow White or Ariel that much. My faves were far and away Belle cause she was a nerdy bookworm like me, and Aurora because when she's sequestered in the woods as Briar Rose, she wears the below outfit, way cooler than her pink/blue dress:

** I just looked it up. According to Gilbert and Gubar, the coffin turns Snow White into the patriarchy's ideal woman, an "it," an object, passive behind glass. Ergo the prince loves her at first sight. Also, the dwarves domesticate Snow White and prepare her for a life of female servitude.
As the "Gs" write of the classic tale's so-called happily ever after: "Surely, fairest of them all, Snow White has exchanged one glass coffin for another." (p. 42) In other words, she's now trapped in the same passive life that drove her step-mama (who is really a sexualized incarnation of her real mama) CRAZY with her poisoned combs and apples and stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Poem: Autumn Edition part 3

THE FALLING OF THE LEAVES

by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

      UTUMN is over the long leaves that love us,
      And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
      Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
      And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.

      The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
      And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
      Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
      With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.