Dear Readers,

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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Combining Two of My Favorite Things

Jane Austen and media incompetence (if only I could fit feminism in here somehow):

Check out this correction in the Washington Post:

A Dec. 16 Book World review included an incorrect name for a character in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." His name is Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Judd Apatow; The Sexist Emperor Has No Clothes

Fellow-ette and her fellow, via gmail chat,respond to this horrendous "conversation" between Judd Apatow and his doormat wife Leslie Mann.

It would be hard to argue for JA not being a misogynisty doofus at this point, no? If you need more convincing, see my former posts on the subject. (And Katherine Heigl agrees, natch).
Anyway, this is a conversation that reveals how men and women can converse in non hierarchical-stereotypical-social-roles-prescribed-ways. Who'd a thunk it?

that apatow/mann article was sick
Her Fellow: right?
F-ette "look at us playing our gender roles!"
Fellow portrait of an abusive marriage
F-ette sad
Fellow yeah but i really felt bad for her
she wasn't even being that shrewish
F-ette: i know me too
he came across like a huge arsehole
Fellow you could tell he tried to force her into that role
1:36 PM
"it'll be great - you nag me, and i'll say funny things!"
F-ette: like he thinks it's all so funny
Fellow yeah
such a prick
F-ette: yeah
but she doesnt
Fellow nope
F-ette she wants to KILL him secretly
Fellow: clearly
F-ette: hahaha
Fellow also she is right about all of those things
those are sheisty presents!
F-ette: YES!
Fellow they all involve him controlling her
F-ette: its so obnoxious to get her a trip to italy
1:37 PM F-ette: they should be deciding together!
Fellow without even talking to her about when/where she wants to travel!?
F-ette we agree!
Fellow he clearly sees her as property
haha true
F-ette yeah
we are the same


It's that time of year again

Dar Williams sings her "holiday" classic, the Christians and the Pagans. Aww.
And remember folks... let's put the Sol back in Solstice!

Yours in humbug,


Friday, December 21, 2007

The Golden Compass vs. Harry Potter. Smackdown!!

I picked up this YA fantasy novel hopefully, in anticipation of the film. Well I never saw the film because the reviews were just so totally dismal, but the book was fantastic. The most affecting part, as everyone says, is the relationship between the humans and their Daemons--or animal manifestations of their souls. So believable and well-drawn! I also loved Iorek, the ice-bear, and the warm gyptians and the cold but kind witches.
With all that happy praise out of the way, Phillip Pullman, you are no JK Rowling. As much as I adored this book, I neither rushed out to buy a sequel nor would have been more than a little miffed if I'd been interrupted. If it were a Harry Potter book my eyes would not have left the page. The difference is that JK Rowling taps into something in our core humanity that very few writers in any genre are able to.
Still, I'm going to pick up the Subtle Knife one of these days, and devour it greedily.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Jennifer Weiner, author of much loved she-centric (not chick-lit) fiction, has a blog, and it's funny, interesting and super egalitarian. She bashes privilege like a pro! Rock on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daniel Deronda--reviewed and re-Jewed.

I love me a sexy Hebrew.

Greetings readership. It's been a long time, as they say, and there's much to catch up on that will never truly be caught up upon, because time is ephemeral and stuff. (Again, what I've been doing.)

To prove my mettle, I return to you with a full-on discussion of Daniel Deronda, a very wonderful and complex work by George Eliot that helped me get through the December blahs. And of course being an egalitarian bookworm chick, I followed up my dense reading with a dense viewing of the obligatory Andrew-Davies penned BBC miniseries, which wickedly sexed up the villain to such an extent that he may qualify as the worst. husband. ever., even for a BBC miniseries. Which as we all know is saying a lot.

As all the critics like to remind us, Deronda is a novel with two parts, the connecting thread of which is our eponymous hero, Daniel. Said critics also agree pretty unanimously that the "Jewish" half, wherein the gentleman/prince Daniel, like Moses, discovers his true identity and redeems his people, is not nearly as well-written or brilliant as the half which narrates the bitter redemption of beautiful, selfish, Gwendolyn Harleth and her journey among the aristocracy. Write what you know, as they say. While Eliot is able to perfectly illuminate the miserable lot of women by using real characters (Gwendolyn might be the most psychologically astute portrait of shallowness in literary history), when she gets to the Jooz, she's so busy trying to portray them as exotic and wise and sinless and mystical that she forgets to make them people.

I was almost more enamored of her stereotypical depiction of the somewhat "common" Cohen family and their silver shop than by the exalted Mordecai and Mirah. This conundrum, not coincidentally, really reminded me of Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Stowe and Eliot were correspondents), with its pure, sinless oppressed blacks, and its solution of sending them to Liberia, just as the sainted Deronda and Mirah go off to Palestine. All this is complicated stuff-- there's more than a lot of unintended racism in both novels, which use the innocent "other" to throw into relief the corruption and decay of their societies. However, Stowe and Eliot are also responding to the bigotry of their peers and may have felt they didnt have room for nuance.

It's tempting to say that the moral of Eliot's literary failing is that art shouldn't be sacrificed for politics. However, we can't deny that public reaction to these novels was much stronger than it would have been to op-ed pieces because people were moved by them.

Anyway I'm glad I tackled this book. George Eliot may be the most formidably intelligent of the 19th century novelists, and the novel has enough redemptive literary qualities that one can enjoy it both as a work of art and a relic of its time-- (AND a retort to the Trollopes and Dickens' of the world who put nasty Jewish characters in their book.)

But on to the BBC version... it was just so gorgeously well-done. Nice work, Andrew Davies. Hugh Dancy is a very pretty man, and he captured sensitive Daniel Deronda perfectly while Romola Garai was also an excellently spoiled Gwen. I really enjoyed seeing six degrees of Austen adaptations. Amanda Root (aka Anne Elliot--Persuasion) was a simpering Mrs. Davilow. And of course the actor who played Henleigh Grandcourt (Mr Rushworth---Mansfield Park) was perfectly sinister. And lastly, slimy Lush was played by David Bamber (Mr. Collins--Pride and Prejudice) to creepy, obsequious perfection. Another fun factoid-- Jodhi May, who played Mirah, was bitchy, plain Cousin Grace Stepney in The House of Mirth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Murphy's Law

states that whenever I wear rainboots, it dries up, and whenever I wear suede cowboy boots, it friggin pours.

Readers fair, tomorrow is the final day of my internship/project. I shall be back to blogging in full force shortly. Aren't you excited? I am.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tell Your Friend Veronica...

Happy [C]hanuk[k]a[h] readership fair. Hope your dreidels land on gimmel every time!

I know it's been like forever and a million gazillion days, but what can I tell you? In two weeks I'll be back to my layabout freelancer ways, with a major project under my belt and other battle scars galore to show, and I'll have more time to devote to EBC. Plus, I'm reading the Golden Compass and if I have any free moments at the moment, I'd rather be chillin' with Lyra and Pantalamion than blogger and sitemeter, to be honest.

In the meantime, as I said before, check out my sidebar buddies.

And if you must must read fellow-ette-penned claptrap, this is what I've been doing (as of the last week in September) and has been keeping me so busy. And please do comment on this Huffpo piece that I put up tonight about gender roles in Disney's Enchanted.

Oh, also, I passed a milestone of sorts on sitemeter sometime recently, while I wasn't paying attention. 20,000 unique hits or something like that. As I always say, for a personal, irregularly updated, barely-focused and poorly promoted blog, it's not bad. SO THANK YOU FOR VISITING. I love you, I really do, and don't lose faith!

So drink your gin and tonica
and smoke your marijuanica
&c &c &c

the faithful