Dear Readers,

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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gone With The Wind: Insta-Poll

There's a new book by feminist writer Molly Haskell that explores the cultural significance of Gone With the Wind. According to the NYT, (which gives the book a thorough and fairly positive review) here's what she says about Scarlett:
“Scarlett embodies the secret masculinization of the outwardly feminine, the uninhibited will to act of every tomboy adolescent, here justified by the rule-bending crisis of war.”
My guess is a lot of you are like me, which is to say guilty Gone With the Wind fans. I chalk reading GWTW in 5th grade as one of my formative reading experiences. God I was a nerd, sitting in the back of my classroom reading about 17-inch waists and the burning of Atlanta while my classmates traded snap bracelets and chewed gum. I remember all of Scarlett's men: her wimpy first husband, the pragmatic second, and then of course the towering duo of Rhett and Ashley. Sigh.

So ANYHOW, despite its weird southern pride fetish and really racistly-rendered plantation full of compliant and cheerful slaves, I can't cross this book off my favorite list. Even though I'm a yankee through and through.

No, I'm too enamored with Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Melanie. I hope I am forgiven for this in the non-afterlife. I figure the fact that I love a lot of really anti-semitic books gives me some cred on this issue, but not enough.

So what about you guys? Are your Tara-philes like me or do you turn up your nose at this crowd of confederate characters?

Gone With the Wind: Redeemable, or Disgusting?
Redeemable--it has literary merit!
Disgusting. Ashley Wilkes and Melanie 4-eva. free polls

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

rating: 4 of 5 stars. Score 1 for the Pulitzers!

Oscar Wao is the summa cum dork, the extreme end of all us dorks' worst secret fears about ourselves: slothful, virginal, living in a fantasy land of comics and movies. To make things worse, his is a dominican in working-class NJ, a community where even garden-variety dorks are a rarity unto themselves.

But what starts out as an exploration of a quirky protagonist's coming-of-age ends up being a family saga, going back generations to the Dominican Republic under the brutal Trujillo. The family, it seems, is cursed. It's a saga of violence, rebellion, resilience and unrequited love affairs, and I found it uplifting despite its march towards tragedy.

I adored the pacing and linguistic style Diaz brought to the tale, as well as the many many Lord of the Rings references. It's a rare read: quick, engaging, profound, and clever all at once.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good Dickensy News for Us Tri-Staters

David Copperfield is airing Sunday, March 9th and presumably, the following week. Here's their description:
Charles Dickens's beloved novel gets all-star treatment in this encore presentation of David Copperfield. The cast includes Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen, Bob Hoskins -- and an irresistible ten-year-old Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) as the young boy making his way in the world. (Part 1 of 2)
Yes, this is the role that caught the eye of the HP casting folks. I would add that EBC fave and Potter veteran Imelda Staunton is also in this series. So what to expect? I checked out the reviews on Imdb. Even though a lot of the commenters are Radcliffe fangirls (I mean, who isn't?) the general consensus seems to be that it's a lovely and well-done adaptation and we're going to go bonkers for it.

I've blathered on about this before, but David Copperfield is by far my favorite Dickens book, the only Dickens I'd put in my top ten of all time, and it was also the author himself's favorite. Although it has much of Dickens' trademark quirkiness and darkness, it's also a complete character study with growth and redemption and a really interesting message about romantic love that's as close to feminist as the guy got ("Don't marry someone just because they are pretty and charming, look for a friend and partner" kinda thing).

So, in, sum, I am extremely eager for this film and I look forward to discussing it here!

Join this blog's "community!"

Hey readerly readers.

I just discovered that, due to the growing power of the google-ocracy, you can join my blog's "community" now if you have AIM, gmail, OPEN ID, or a yahoo account! you don't need to be a blogger, or on blogger. Pretty nifty. You can also befriend each other and access profiles, so it's kind of like a weird mini-networking thang.

Whether this will join some genius google ideas or crap ones I canna say. But give it a try.

Just scroll down to the "followers" widget on my sidebar, or even better, just click this link! (let me know if this doesn't work). And of course, if you are a website proprietor, I will follow you back. I already follow all my followers on twitter and blogger, cause why the heck not?

Want to be annoyed? Insta-media-critique

CJR takes on the ridiculousness of the the Times devoting a good deal of space to Michelle Obama's arms, including the phrase “Rippled and gleaming."


Literary Linkage

Catchin' up on stuff in the bookish world:

Via the ever-reliable Mags at Austenblog, news of the Marvel Comics Pride and Prejudice AND an Israeli-update of P+P. (Commenter Maria suggested it be called "Chutzpah and Chuppah." I'm thinking maybe "chutzpah and hummus"?)

USA today has a really interesting roundup of all the new historical epics hitting shelves.

Some guy won some award.

Blah, readers, blah. I am so mentally ready for spring break ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick Link: Elaine Showalter's New Book

Salon's Laura Miller takes a look at Elaine Showalter's authoritative new history and analysis of American women writers, A Jury of Her Peers. It's basically an American counterpart to A Literature of Their Own, which focused on the british ladeez and was a seminal brick in the foundation of feminist lit-crit.

I think that delving further into Showalter's writing is a good project for me--a good way to fill the time created by the black hole of journalism and publishing :(

Here's Laura:

Every few years, someone counts up the titles covered in the New York Times Book Review and the short fiction published in the New Yorker... and observes that the male names outnumber the female by about 2 to 1. This situation is lamentable, as everyone but a handful of embittered cranks seems to agree, but it's not clear that anyone ever does anything about it. The bestseller lists, though less intellectually exalted, tend to break down more evenly along gender lines; between J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer alone, the distaff side is more than holding its own in terms of revenue. But when it comes to respect, are women writers getting short shrift?

The question is horribly fraught, and has been since the 1970s. Ten years ago, in a much-argued-about essay for Harper's, the novelist and critic Francine Prose accused the literary establishment -- dispensers of prestigious prizes and reviews -- of continuing to read women's fiction with "the usual prejudices and preconceptions," even if most of them have learned not to admit as much publicly. Two years before that, Jane Smiley, also writing in Harper's, alleged that "Huckleberry Finn" is overvalued as a cultural monument while "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is undervalued, largely because of the genders of the novels' respective authors; the claim triggered a deluge of letters in protest....

Although American women scribblers aren't as exalted as their British peers (nor objects of my obsession) I'm particularly interested to see what Showalter says about such diverse characters as Louisa May Alcott, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Willa Cather and Toni Morrison.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Other Sunday Night

The competition for the 9pm Sunday-night slot is going to be intense in March as "Big Love" and all the other HBO Goodies compete for my attention with "David Copperfield" (whose airing times I can't find yet. I will KILL them if they don't show it locally) and "Little Dorrit." OF course, with all the benefits of modern technology--online episodes! On-demand channels! a girl who loves melodrama set in 19th century Britain AND modern day polygamist Utah won't have to choose.

Anyway, for those of you who are huge big love fans like me, here is my feminist analysis.

Please, Sir, can I Have Some More Oliver Twist?

[+ a bonus Oscars wrap-up]

So now that the dust has settled, what did my fair readers think of the conclusion of Oliver Twist?  As documented, I thought the ending was very strong, particularly the Nancy and Rose stuff and I didn't mind the way Fagin's downfall was made way more sympathetic and the anti-semitism of the times was revealed.

Last week the response was fairly positive. Did it remain so or did the creative license at the end ruin it for folk? 
And if you didn't watch Oliver, what did you think of the Oscars? I thought they were fun at the beginning and end, but that hour in the middle with all the tech awards was a major dead zone. blah. And much as I adore Kate Winslet and she's a fave literary heroine onscreen (did you hear her shout out EBC faves Emma Thompson AND Peter Jackson?) I thought her speech was upstaged by Sean Penn's truly gracious and far-reaching words.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Literary Lust, Part III: What Hero/ Heroine Would You Spend The Night With?

Via BronteBlog comes this hilarious blog post from the Washington Post:

In the spirit of romance, I asked some willing authors: "If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be?

Philippa Gregory: Cleopatra, as described by Shakespeare. Fabulously beautiful, amazingly sexy, ready to die for love! No contest. Just Cleopatra, a snake and me.

Susan Isaacs: You have to ask? Edward Rochester, of course, from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. He's got that quivering-with-barely-suppressed-passion business, but he's also elegant. ...

Adriana Trigiani agrees: Rochester -- he's a mysterious man on a horse in the English countryside -- sounds like a keeper to me.

Lisa Scottoline: I would spend the night with the Three Musketeers from Dumas's classic novel. My motto is "One for all, all for me."

Diane Johnson: That hunk Lord Byron's Don Juan, without a doubt. In addition to his attested charms as a Valentine, he was funny, smart, and idealistic -- all qualities in short supply during the past few years, and now happily back in fashion.
Go check out the post, for the extra answers and a great discussion in the comments. LM Montgomery's Teddy Kent even gets a shout-out! Which literary man or woman would you most be willing to spend the night with? Nowadays I would just say no, since I have my own romantic hero, but in my heady youth it would have been Rochester or Will Ladislaw all the way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie and Book Scenes that Always Make You Cry

So for some reason, the end of The House of Mirth always gets to me. I recognize that it's a contrived ending and not Wharton's most realistic, but I have never read the last few pages or gotten to the last ten minutes of the (amazing, amazing, amazing) Terrence Davies film without losing it.

I say this because "THOM" was on TV last night and I thought that since I was only watching the last half and I'd seen/read it so many times I'd be immune. But when Gillian Anderson's Lily goes to Selden's rooms and cries and says "I have tried! But I am a useless person," and he doesn't realize what she's about until it's too late I teared up so reliably, I mean streaming right down my face, it was like clockwork.

[Then I started remembering an embrarassing Amtrak train-ride from Boston to New York in which I was re-reading THOM for class and got so upset by the ending I had to hide my face from my fellow passengers. Ah, youth.]

The other movie moment that does this to me is "Sense and Sensibility "'95, when Elinor is leaning over the feverish Marianne saying "don't leave me dearest." Emma Thompson's performance is so good that when her facade of calm and control cracks, mine always does too.

In fact there's a similarity between those two moments: both women struggling so hard to remain calm in impossible circumstances that you, the viewer, don't realize how much tension has been built up throughout the film. And then when they break down at last it's a huge whoosh of emotion.

As for books, I've never read the end of most of the Anne of Green Gables books, particularly #1 and Rilla of Ingleside, without wanting to curl up in a ball and sob for a few hours. Pride and Prejudice usually has me sniffling with happy tears at the end, (but the '95 miniseries doesn't--it just makes me grin like an idiot.)

And then of course, there's Little Women. I've stayed away from re-reading it for a few years because Beth's fate always provokes too strong a reaction, ever since I was 7 or 8 and I went into the living room and said "Mommy, what's going to happen to Beth?" and in the moment of indecision on her face as to how to answer me, I SAW IT ALL. Oh, and here's an addendum: In the Winona Ryder movie version, I start crying when she rejects Christian Bale/Laurie and keep going through Beth's death, but that brings up a separate thread, which is "literary couples who should have just gotten together already!"

So what books or films make you cry no matter how many times you've seen them?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Catch-22 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
Yay! I finally read Catch-22 after several abortive attempts and I can cross it off my list of Important books I must read.

Of course, it's as good as everyone says. Yossarian is the ultimate hippie-ethos hero: a rebel who loves life and pleasure and friendship, refuses to swallow propaganda, and hangs out in the buff. No wonder he joined Frodo as a counter-cultural poster boy. I was surprised by how borsht-belty the humor was. At times it was like watching a Marx Bros or Mel Brooks film. And then of course after Heller wears you down with his clever prose that imitates the bureaucracy he despises, he smacks you with a moment or two that reveal the Horror of War, with images it's hard to forget.

I definitely recommend it. And although you like me might take a few tries to get into it, it's worth the initial slog.

View all my reviews.

Austen and Dickens Link-o-Rama

What are you reading or writing this fine Tuesday morn?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oliver Twist "hopen fread"

'Ello, 'awlright, greetins and salutations to all ye fine folk. It's Dodge 'ere, better known to some as the Artful Dodger, the lad wif the quickest 'ands in awl of London Teown. I'm 'ere on behalf of Miss Fellowette presentin' you ladies and 'gents wif an open 'fread, which is sumfin' which you might use to comment on tonight's intepretay-shun of my life along, a-course, wif the story of dat ninny, 'Nollie Twist, and me ova mates and Faygy and Bill Sikes and a'course, Nance.

Mind you read fellow-ette's post on the subject, now. Now I'll be hopin' that you find the show to be a nice 'un!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Sonnet-a-Thon: "Love and Death" Tennyson

Love and Death

What time the mighty moon was gathering light,
Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise,
And all about him rolled his lustrous eyes;
When, turning round a cassia, full in view
Death, walking all alone beneath a yew
And talking to himself, first met his sight:
"You must begone," said death, "these walks are mine."
Love wept and spread his sheeny vans for flight;
Yet ere he parted said: "This hour is thine:
Thou art the shadow of life, and as the tree
Stands in the sun and shadows all beneath,
So in the light of great eternity
Life eminent creates the shade of death;
The shadow passeth when the tree shall fall,
But I shall reign for ever over all."

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Valentine's Day Sonnet-a-Thon: Since There's No Help, Michael Drayton

Sonnet LXI: Since There's No Help

Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part,
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have giv'n him over,
From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.

Michael Drayton

Valentine's Day Sonnet-A-Thon: She Is As a Silken Tent, Robert Frost

The Silken Tent

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost

Valentine's Day Sonnet-A-Thon: Romeo and Juliet's Palmer's Sonnet

Act I Scene 5

ROMEO [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

ROMEO Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.


Valentine's Day Sonnet-a-Thon: EBB, Sonnets from the Portuguese


If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"--
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,--
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

--Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Valentine's Day Sonnet-a-Thon: When I Have Fears, John Keats

When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

--John Keats

Valentine's Day Sonnet-a-Thon: Love is Not All, Edna St. Vincent Millay

I'm publishing one my favorite sonnets every few hours today!

Love Is Not All

Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolutions power,
I might be driven to sell you love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quick Link: Salon on Oliver Twist

Heather Havrilevsky reviews Oliver Twist. I think that I agree with most of her points but I think it had a more intense effect on me. She's a little breezy and dismissive as is the Slate/Salon wont. Still, worth reading.

Literary Lust

My Nora Roberts Inn- searching led me to this book. Seems like a perfect Valentine's Day present, no?

Based on the preview, the suggestions are something like this: be like Will and Dorothea and have sex in a Library. Be like Stephen Guest and Maggie Tulliver and do it on rowboat. Be like Anna and Vronsky and do it on a train. Be like Emma and Rodolphe and do it in the forest. Be like Emma and Leon and do it in a carriage. Be like Heathcliff and Cathy and do it on the moors.

But it's much wittier than this, and the author actually knows her canon, so it's kind of awesome. And I appreciate the fact that she "gets" the sexiness of George Eliot.

The Inn of Literary Lovahs

You've all doubtless already read about Nora Roberts' Inn Boonsboro, at which each guest room is decorated to evoke a famous pair of literary paramours. It's got my personal faves Lizzy and Darcy and Jane and Rochester (but no hints of Wickham, Caroline Bingley, St. John Rivers or psycho-Bertha to spoil the mood). There's also a Titania and Oberon room and then the famous lover quotient drops down a bit to a few slightly less iconic pairs. Why must it be so?

"The whole idea was the rooms' themes had to be linked to literary couples who ended up with happy endings," says Roberts, who says she was challenged to find enough couples to fill the bill. "Romeo and Juliet? Dead. Tristan and Isolde? Dead. Not happy. Dead, dead, dead. Rhett Butler and Scarlett? He didn't give a damn. You try finding seven of them."

But Roberts did find enough lovestruck couples to inspire guest rooms whose decor is informed by the time periods in which their stories are told.

Hilarious, no? Anyway, go check out the Inn BoonsBoro. It's too bad the place is in Maryland. I think Anita Shreve should buy out one of the stately New England Houses she's always writing about and turn THAT into a literary vacation spot.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Middlemarch Watch: Can Mendes do Eliot Justice?

So now that "Revolutionary Road" is over and done with and la la la, Sam Mendes' next project is slated to be a big screen adaptation of "Middlemarch" with Andrew Davies as screenwriter. As an obsessive fangirl of Dorothea Brooke-Causabon/Will Ladislaw love, I've decided to inaugurate a "Middlemarch watch" feature to track the progress, if there is any, on this film. George Eliot in Hollywood--it would definitely be a first!

Here is my inaugural find: a blogger called John at purple state of mind writes about the pros and cons of Mendes at the helm of the project. I pretty much agree with what he says; that Mendes' earlier projects are stagey and rather airless (I forgive my 16 year old self for being sooooo obsessed with "American Beauty" which I now see was not quite as deep as I thought). But, he notes that "Revolutionary Road" was a huge step up. I really liked Rev Road despite not wanting to. I thought the actors were electric though the screenplay was a bit pat.

And let's face it--Frank and April Wheeler ARE extremely similar characters to Rosamand Vincy and Tertius Lydgate in almost all ways, including weirdly parallel baby/no-baby plots and professional aspirations and well, everything. Anyway, here be John's thoughts:

So Mendes is getting better, and I’m inclined to see his decision to make Middlemarch as further evidence of growth. Much has been made of the fact that this British director is now taking on his first native project. He must sense the opportunity...

On the evidence of Revolutionary Road, I’m prepared to believe that he’s looking home for a reason. He may sense in Eliot a chance to work with the same ambition on more fertile ground. His movies demonstrate an unmistakable interest in the interplay between individual conscience and social imperative, whether the setting is American suburbia, the United States military or criminal enterprise. Middlemarch affords a classic framework for such concerns. In its massiveness, it could also be a trap for the director’s worst impulses. In the absence of a point of view with which to harness the material, prettiness would be the default position.

In other words, if Sam Mendes wanted to put himself to the ultimate test, he’s found it. No matter what he does, George Eliot’s reputation will remain intact. It’s an open question whether his will.

Up next will be a discussion of casting, which is already causing sparks to fly on the imdb board. Let's just say the anti-Kiera Knightley folks are out in full force. God bless them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Oliver Twist" (Masterpiece Classic) Review is up at PBS

My Oliver Twist review/bloggage is up at PBS' remotely connected blog. Please read and comment, there or here. And don't forget to tune in on Sunday Night. It's a really excellent production from the same director as Wuthering Heights (with some of the same cast members, too).

Here's a taste:

"I'm usually a proponent of true-to the book adaptations, but "Oliver Twist" has entered the popular consciousness to such an extent that it's appropriate for new versions to take liberties. After all, if we can easily imagine an onscreen "Oliver" where the characters burst into songs describing pickpocketing, prostitution, murder, and abuse, we can surely handle a few plot elisions and shifted emphases."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dickens-Mania begins

Sorry for the light posting. I've been under the covers with a migraine due to the weird weather here in NYC. But in honor of the Dickens season now upon us, here's my favorite Dickens-related Daily Show segment of all time. Jon Oliver reports on health care funding from 19th century London. (Incidentally, that bill has now passed).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jon Krakauer Update

Good news for Jon Krakauer fans: The Into the Wild author will indeed release his book about Pat Tillman, the NFL star who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. Eight months after Doubleday confirmed that the book was postponed indefinitely—thanks to Krakauer's displeasure with his manuscript—the publisher announced it plans to release the book September 22 (Doubleday said Krakauer reversed his decision on its release after having additional time to write and report the book). According to Publishers Marketplace, the book is titled Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, and Doubleday will release 600,000 copies in its first priting.
These were my thoughts about the book when it was first announced last year. I love the Krak.

[H/t to my lp.]

Monday Morning Poem: "Loving in Truth"

Sir Philip Sidney, from Astrophil + Stella

"Loving in truth..."

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the dear she might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe:
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled stepdame Study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write."

The last line of this sonnet is like, my mantra!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Re-Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season" Sense and Sensibility Installment TWO

Just as the PBS showing of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility on Masterpiece Classic tonight is a re-broadcast, so is this a re-liveblog. So warning, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read ahead at your own risk ;)
See you next week for Chazz Dickens-mania!

SO I've been thinking about the idea of the two film versions as "companion" pieces, each picking up on a different aspect of the novel. Ang/Emma's version (S&S95) riffs on Austen's satire of Marianne's out-of-whack romanticism and her infatuation with Willoughby, and also plays up on the differences between the sisters ("I compare my behavior to what it ought have been. I compare it to yours!"). Davies version picks up on the precarious situation of women in the time down to the house perched vulnerably on the edge of cliffs/crashing waves, which is obviously one of Austen's favorite themes, and it's treated particularly strongly in this novel. Even the darker hues and music fit into goes.

9:01 pm-- Why is Gillian "Lily Bart" Anderson talking about Tom LeFroy? What does this fave to do with anything? Enough of this crap, bring on Elinor and Marianne!

9:04--Elinor says there must be "some explanation" for Edward's not visiting. Turns out, she's right, cause she's Elinor and she has so much sense.

9:05--Marianne recites some poem and talks like Cathy in Wuthering Heights. 'He is in me! He is with me all the time...I am Heathcliff!"

9:07--They talk about whether money can buy happiness. Elinor prosaic, Marianne poetic. Edward utterly tortured, dying to speak words unspoken, to utter sentiments un-uttered.

9:09--The famed, oft-discussed Edward WOOD-CHOPPING in the rain scene. Less sexy than sticky. No Darcy in the lake, that's for sure.

9:12--Still, it has affected Elinor; she lies sleepless and troubled.

9:13--BREAK from live-blogging while I devour my Vietnamese noodles and watch the screen uninterrupted.
9:30--And I'm back. Just in time for the misty-morning DUEL?? Huh? Is this a fantasy scene or what? Oh, I get it. They're dueling over Eliza. That's what they did back then. [In fact, as Raquel mentioned in the last week's liveblog, Austen mentions it in an elliptical conversation as related by Brandon]

9:31--In the interim, there have been some wonderful scenes... but a lot of them are just like S&S 95. Stopcomparingstopcomparing.

9:35--Marianne: "Happy Elinor, you have no idea of what I suffer?"
Um, yes she does you selfish, overly "sensible" girl! She just has the "sense" to hide it.

9:37--Brandon tells Eliza's tale of woe to Elinor. Like I said, the theme of the social situation of women is everywhere--but doesn't the duel undercut it a bit? Precarious women, yeah, but who cares when they could be defended by manly men with their swords?

9:40--Margaret delivers an abridged version of Anne's speech at the end of "Persuasion." "Girls must sit around and wait for things to happen. Men ride about the country!"

9:41--Oh sheeet, Brandon visits Eliza's daughter and her infant. Isn't it kind of f'ed up that he's Eliza's "father" figure and she's the same age as Marianne, whom he wants to bone?

Ouch, he tells her about Willoughby's engagement.

9:43--Fanny Ferrars calls Marianne "damaged goods." John Dashwood says Marianne has "lost her bloom" and urges Elinor to "try for Colonel Brandon." Mrs. Ferrars the elder is reincarnated as Lady Catherine de Bourgh from P&P '95 and gets into a staring contest with Marianne.
In short, they suck.
But this dinner party scene is awesome. Virginia Woolf should write a stream-of-consciousness narration detailing everyone's feelings.

9:46-- Oof, oof, oof, the scenes between Elinor and Miss Steele, and Edward and Elior and Miss Steele, are so painful. And so perfect. The longing in his face, and in Elinor's, is beautifully rendered.

9:51--Anne spills the beans. The defendants stand trial at the course of the elder Mrs. Ferrars. So much glaring!

9:53--I just love this portrayal of Edward.. even more than that of H-h-hugh Grant... his pain is so apparent, and he's seen as so much more an upright man than just a doddering fool.

9:55--Elinor's big scene: "Let me assure you, I have been very unhappy."

9:56--This scene is both derivative of S&S '95 AND P&P '95, what with the silhouettes against the windows. But yes, it's really sad. Poor Elinor. Losing your man to Lucy Steele... it doesn't get worse than this.

9:59--Elinor and Marianne talk about the menz. "Perhaps they see us not as people but as playthings, Elinor," says Marianne.

10:01--Marianne fantasizes in the rain about kissing Willoughby. Brandon comes riding up to her rescue, unlike in the book--it does feel like Ang Lee's version has become dogma, like as Mags said, this film is as much a remake of that one as it is of the book.

10:03--Colonel Brandon holds Marianne's hand. Pedophile alert! Naw, jk, it's mad sexy. He's a sweet, stern not-really-old man.

10:07--Willoughby's "confession." He's just a whiny emo-schoolboy here. No Greg Wise, I repeat. And Elinor gives it to him good--no sign of the pity she feels in the novel.

10:11--Marianne talks about how Colonel Brandon is a true Romantic for keeping faith with Eliza throughout the years. "It is not what we say... but what we do." This explaines the connection between Brandon and Marianne, and why Brandon loves her instead of Elinor, who seems to be a better match.

10:12--OK Davies, why follow up that great speech with comparing women to horses who need to be tamed? Or is Elinor just being deeply ironic?

Another break while I watch the end and savor it.


10:31--So the ending was wonderful, I even choked up a bit, but I have to wonder why again Elinor started sobbing convulsively just like Emma Thompson did. The book describes it as Elinor " burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease. " Does it follow that they must be hiccoughing tears? Ah, well. Maybe it does! It does feel wonderful to see Elinor release her feelings. It's so cathartic.

But showing the evolution of the Marianne-Brandon relationship and the talk between the sisters on the beach were all well-done.

Companion pieces. I have to see the two films as companion pieces. Must stop comparing!

Well, it's been a wonderful Jane Austen season. See you next time there are six Jane Austen movies in the same year. Probably in 2012 or even sooner, sigh ;)

Odds n' Ends + Don't forget Sense and Sensibilty if you're bored with the grammys

Hope you all had a nice weekend and those in the Nor'east like me enjoyed the rare treat of sunshine and relative warmth.

1- I'll be re-liveblogging "Sense and Sensibility" later this evening for those who are sick of Miley Cyrus et all gyrating to their chart-topping songs in between long commercial breaks (personally, I'm watching the Grammys due to a professional obligation of someone in my household but it's cool cause I'm down with the pop culture yo).

2-Remember how last week I said that WGBH superheroine Rebecca Eaton was going to be answering your/our questions on PBS' "Engage" blog? Following my own advice, I went right over there and typed in a question. And guess what? The PBS Engage moderators put it right at the front of the queue!

In keeping with the Egalitarian Bookworm spirit, I asked was who was Eaton's favorite Masterpiece Theater hero, and she said Captain Wentworth, among others. (She mentioned both captain Wentworths, but I think we can all agree that she secretly loves Ciaran best.) Go check out her answers to the other four questions, and see more of her beloved heros, here.

3-On a related PBS bloggage note, I'm the PBS "remotely connected" guest-blogger for next week's "Oliver Twist!" So I've been watching it all weekend (it has the same director as "Wuthering Heights" and features Tom Hardy as the vile Bill Sikes). Despite the lack of rousing musical numbers, there's lots of interesting stuff to talk about.

4--And finally, on the list of must-read books front, Mags of Austenblogs generously pointed out some truly great book-lists for those of us who like such things to help inspire us to greater literary heights. Go check them out here!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

More Literary Birthdays--Dickens and Wilder

A lot of literary geniuses happen to share my week of birth. Today we honor Chlarles Dickens--how appropriate, just as Dickensfest '09 prepares to be aired on PBS, and we honor Laura Ingalls Wilder, whom we all doubtless read and loved as a child.

I've talked about Dickens a lot here and will be talking about him a lot more in the next month.

But Laura Ingalls Wilder was an early favorite of mine. I read the "Little House" books over and over again for years after my parents first read them to me. But one of my saddest moments was when I was in fourth grade or something and I wanted to re-read something fun, and picked up "Little House on the Prairie" and realized it was too easy for me, even as a diversion, and it would be hard to immerse myself in it. I felt like I had lost this incredible world of scenes and characters. I look forward to someday reading the books with my kids.

Anyway, happy birthday to both of them where ever their spirits may be! They made our world more beautiful and just with their words.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Book Lists

As a rule, I've never met a "top # of anything" list that I agreed with. But just like those old VH1 countdowns, lists are great for stimulating discussion and reminding us what holes  we may have in our movie/book/music consumption. So for kicks, I've posted two lists that I use to help occasionally guide my reading. One is a list of 20th century novels in English--its compiled by the Radcliffe publishing course, whatever that is, in response to the white-man-heavy Modern Library list. 

The other is modified by me from a Columbia concentration on the 19th century british novel. It shows me which major novels in that category I have yet to read ("Barchester Towers, for one, and the non-"Vanity Fair" Thackeray stuff). I put them on the web with the novels I've read highlighted, so you can see the embarrassing gaps  and impressive things I've read.

Now I need to find a list of 50 or so pre-1900 American and European classics to round it out. Are there any?

Here's the 20th century one.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Emma Thompson+ Kate Winslet's Additions to the Austen Quip-i-verse

So the previous post got me thinking...
What are your favorite non-Austen lines from the 1995 Sense and Sensibility? Is it me or do the most quotable ones come from Winslet's Marianne? Also, again, correct me if any are more Jane than Emma. And let me know if I've missed any!

"There is some blue sky! Let us chase it!"

"Is love a fancy or a feeling? Or a Ferrars?"

"Willoughby! Will you not shake hands?" (Ok this is in the original text)

"What care I for colds when there is such a man?"

"Esteem him? Like him? Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant. "

"How did you find the silver? Was it all genuine? " [to Fanny. Oh shyte!]

"Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?"

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. Or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. Willoughby. Willoughby. Willoughby." [modifying the Bard to suit the occasion]

"HE DID! (sob) HE DID." [yes, he did]... "but not enough. but not enough."

"I compare [my behavior] to what it ought to have been. I compare it to yours."

"Is love a fancy or a feeling? Or a Ferrars?" (or Brandon or Willoughby)

Yes I know that is an Emma Thompson quote (I don't think it's in the original text, but let me know if I'm lying, as I've only read the book twice and seen the 1995 film 10+ times). But ANYWAY, Kim and Amy are having a poll on your favorite Sense and Sensibility hero/cad over at Romancing the Tome. Go vote! I'm not going to say who I voted for, but let's just say I see eye to eye with Kim on the Greg Wise angle.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oh Lord, A Literary Feud! Stephen King vs. Stephenie Meyer

Stephen King lays the smack down on Stephenie Meyer by saying the truth that dare not speak its name: specifically, that his compatriot at the top of the bestseller lists "can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

Ha. As a rule I think it's usually unnecessary to say such things. Her purple prose speaks for itself. BUT on the other hand, he's Stephen freakin' King, man, and there's no question that his style is better. Plus he has way more to say about the human condition than sparkly vampire lady, even though I loved her books [except for the fourth one which needs to burn in book hell]. So I say, why not have a pop-lit feud? Maybe it will help stimulate the industry.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nothing Doing, eh?

It's been a slow day in the literary world...while I procrastinate from the writing I need to do because it's my birthday*, here is an unconscionably awesome shlocky fanvid culled from the single greatest movie ever made** Persuasion 1995.

You know, once one starts watching fangirl montages of UK period dramas on youtube, one could quite easily end up allowing one's entire life to get sucked away. I just watched Thornton and Margaret Hale make out by the train tracks like 50 times. I have to give these enterprising amateur music video directors a lot of credit. The only complaint I register is there's a little too much snivelling Keira Knightley floating around out there, but I'm happy to watch MacFayden pout as Darcy*** ad infinitum.

Hey, here's a fun fact I learned from watching all this pre-1900 smooching and staring on the interwebs. Did you know that JAMES FRANCO played Tristan in the recent Tristan and Isolde movie? And it features my beloved period hunk RUFUS SEWELL as well? (I want more Will Ladislaw fanvids, ladies! Make me some!****) Who'd a thunk such a totally panned movie would have such a bang-up cast? Now I kind of want to netflix that sh*t.*****

Consider this random non-sequitur a chance to jump into comments and yack about whatever you've been blogging, tumbling, twittering or writing about recently. Or just go over to youtube and immerse yourself in breeches, fops and tails.

Oh and speaking of Rufus Sewell, once the oscars are over, is Sam MEndes gonna get to work on this middlemarch shiznit or what? Am I the only George Eliot obsessive out there just waiting for someone to correct the "sunny" romantic ending from the end of the 1994 miniseries? Andrew Davies, once again my fragile hopes are pinned on your wildly egotistical shoulders.

*Yes, it is my birthday.

**Yeah that's right F@!@#$ you Citizen Kane!

***He will OWN the Arthur Clenham role in Little Dorrit, mothaF!#$%ers.

****Here's one!

*****but let's face it I probably won't.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Posthumous Birthday James Joyce

Let's celebrate with feminist heroine for the ages, MOLLY BLOOM's monologue. I contemplated putting up the end of Stephen's experience in "Portrait" or its moocow opening or a bit of "The Dead" (or even a youtube clip of the awesome John Huston "Dead" movie) or another short story, but there's no one like Molly, so here she is:

theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with the fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying theres no God I wouldnt give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why dont they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves first then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because theyre afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas 2 glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

On Beauty

On Beauty On Beauty by Zadie Smith

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I loved White Teeth immensely, until I hit the rather overly-coincidental and melodramatic ending, and I think I feel the same way about On Beauty, which tackles the same themes (race, gender, identity, family and love) across the pond here in the US of A. Smith wrote this novel while she (and I at the same time, but I was prolly too stoned to even attempt to take her class or go to her readings) were studying at a certain elite Northeastern fancypants U. I found her satire of life at that place scarily accurate in some ways, but also shallow in others, sometimes in the same spot. For example:

"Any questions?" asked Howard. The answer to this never changed. Silence. But it was an interesting breed of silence particular to upscale liberal arts colleges. It was not silent because nobody had anything to say--quite the opposite. You could feel it, Howard could feel it, millions of things to say brewing in this room, sometimes sometimes that they seemed to shoot from the students telepathically and bounce off the furniture. Kids looked down at the table top, or out of the window, or at Howard with great longing; some of the weaker ones blushed and pretended to take notes. But not one of them would speak. They had an intense fear of their peers. And, more than that, of Howard himself. "

Her understanding of the ubiquitous torture of those Ivy-League silences is good. But what do they mean? Is it pure fear? Well, for those of us who've sat in those silences, yes and no. I wish, to use a silly academic term, she would unpack the silences.

 Anyway back to the novel's more human, less satirical aspects...

The characters Smith was able to probe into the most were Howard and Kiki Belsey, the struggling interracial couple, the anchors of one of the two families Smith explores. Both Belseys had irritating and sympathetic qualities (though Kiki was obviously more sympathetic) but I wish that Smith used her talents to delve deeper, rather than wider. The Dickensian pastiche is all very well, but as I said in my review of Little Dorrit, it works better when you truly care about a main character or two--and Kiki and Howard could have been those characters but there was a certain coldness to their rendering. Smith is masterful in a lot of respects and on Beauty definitely worth reading if you care about modern takes on any of the Big Themes I mentioned above. On Beauty zips by more than it stagnates. Smith's prose is funny and absorbing and not too much of a downer, although you do want to smack her characters on the head at times.

(Lastly, I think on a surface level Smith did a brilliant job capturing the everyday tragedy of late adolescent life--all five or six of her late-teen early twenties characters were well drawn and perhaps their idiocy and stubbornness and foolish idealism and delusions hit too close to home for this 26 year old reader:))

View all my reviews.

Monday Morning Poem: Conversation Among the Ruins

Conversation Among the Ruins
by: Sylvia Plath
Through portico of my elegant house you stalk
With your wild furies, disturbing garlands of fruit
And the fabulous lutes and peacocks, rending the net
Of all decorum which holds the whirlwind back.
Now, rich order of walls is fallen; rooks croak
Above the appalling ruin; in bleak light
Of your stormy eye, magic takes flight
Like a daunted witch, quitting castle when real days break.

Fractured pillars frame prospects of rock;
While you stand heroic in coat and tie, I sit
Composed in Grecian tunic and psyche-knot,
Rooted to your black look, the play turned tragic:
Which such blight wrought on our bankrupt estate,
What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Tales of Charles Dickens,

as interpreted by PBS, with Coldplay in the background. This aired tonight after Sense and Sensibility... look for little Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) at about 0:26. So cute!

Re-Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season" Sense and Sensibility Installment ONE

Just as the PBS showing of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility on Masterpiece Classic tonight is a re-broadcast, so is this a re-liveblog. So warning, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read ahead at your own risk ;)


Here goes. I'm counting the laughs throughout the evening to see if Davies accurately nails Austen's big satire.

If you read my JA coverage you know I adore the Ang Lee film version, but more as a product of Ang Lee's and Emma Thompson's genius than Jane's/ So let's see if Davies can keep his ego in check and not be influenced too much by the '95 version.

9:04--The highly-anticipated "sex scene" isn't very controversial so far--but I wonder if this "do you truly love me," Willoughby stuff isn't seeing things through a modern lens.

9:05--John promises Mr. Dashwood that he will "do something by the girls." So far, it's all very Serious.

9:06--The first laugh of the evening, when Margaret says "will they have to live with Gypsys?"

9:09--Fanny Dashwood, such a bitch!

9:11--The first mention of a COTTAGE! I am EXC-essively fond of a cottage.

9:13--Laugh count, according to my boyfriend and our good friend Mike: 3 to 4.

9:14--A side note--the production value of this is SO MUCH better than the ITV productions earlier this year. Another example of the longstanding British oppression of the Irish.

9:16--Side note number two: Andrew Davies is still good at distilling the essence of a novel, but he's using more of his own language relative to Jane's--"carpet-beating" etc. etc. Still, so far so good.

9:17--Edward is HOT. And he's a total Hugh Grant type.

9:18--Edward and Elinor discuss his career; the scene is shot just like S&S95.

9:20--Remind me those who have read the book. Is this whole Edward-bonds-with-Margaret thing actually in the book or is it just a trope that filmmakers continually use to show how great Edward is?

9:25--Fanny, such a BITCH, redux.

9:25--Mrs. Dashwood on John Middleton: "Such kindness, from a man we have never met." Flash to John Dashwood's uncomfortable face. This is what we love about Andrew Davies. This is the kind of subtlety Jane demands.

9:28--Edward values Elinor's friendship but can't stay anymore. His eyes are all teary. He's a bit awkward but I actually may like him better than Hugh Grant, not in terms of loveability but in terms of being true to the character from the novel. Shy, yes, proper yes, but not a stammering ninny.

9:32--WOW. What beautiful shots of the English countryside. Let's go there! Fetch my trap and pony! Or perhaps I am the type who would prefer a barouche?

9:37--Sir John Middleton is MR WEASLEY FROM HARRY POTTER! But Ang Lee still has Snape, Sybil Trelawney, Madame Pomfrey, Dolores Umbridge and Cornelius Fudge in his picture. Not too fair.

9:38--Colonel Brandon is so ...dashing. Quoth my boyfriend's sister over gmail chat: LOOK AT THAT HUNK!

9:41--We get that this cottage is seriously uncomfortable. Cold. Damp. British. Almost Irish. The surrounding cliffs are absolutely gorgeous, in a stark way.

Hey, you ever notice how Marianne and Elinor are living on a cliff, both literally cause there's a cliff onscreen, and figuratively because they're women with no money and they're one step away from ruin? Nice symbolism, Davies.

9:45--I like the way they are developing the Marianne and Brandon thing. Very slowly. But I feel that Marianne's over-the-top romanticism is not quite being played for laughs the way Austen wants it to. She's supposed to be a walking, talking embodiment of the Romantic fangirl, and she just comes off as a bit spoiled here. But I think it's almost impossible to live up to Kate Wiinslet's performance, no?

9:52--Willoughby is no Greg Wise. He doesn't have the smoldering looks that make his creepy behavior seem pass-able. The whole point of Willoughby is that he looks the part of the hero so much so everyone is fooled by him.

9:57--"How do you do sir?" "How do you do Brandon?"
"Poor Brandon. You shall none of you think of him now."--Sir John Middleton from S&S 95.

No laughs for a while now, incidentally. It's gotten pretty serious. Unfortunately I can't take Willoughby seriously.

10:00--OH SHYTE, A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN WILLOUGHBY AND BRANDON. This is sooooooo not in the book!

Willoughby has some sass on his mouth. He needs a good whack from Brandon's rifle-butt.

10:04--This buying them a horse business has totally lost me. I know it's right out of the book, but...

10:09--Andrew Davies sure knows how to sex up a lock-cutting scene, eh? The snipping of the scissors, the movement of hands... very hot stuff.

10:14--In which Willoughby and Marianne go to Allenham. Is he taking her up to the bedroom? Is he talking to her about fairytales? This all feels a bit too modern Joe-Wrighty for me.

Oh shit, they're making out!!!

I dunno...

I was so into this at the beginning, but I'm souring. Marianne is supposed to be comically carried away.

However, I LOVE this Elinor. She's giving Emma Thompson a run for her money. She is so proper and sympathetic without being fussy or fastidious. She is just a tough, strong, centered woman.

10:23--Quoth Marianne: "I am sure he will find a way to come back and see us very soon." WHY Marianne being so rational? She's supposed to be FREAKING OUT!!

Okay, concluding thoughts. Not as good as '95 in the respect that the caricature and wit totally falls away about 40 minutes in, and Jane Austen never never never stops being a satirist even when she's describing pathos.

However, the scenery and the acting on the part of Elinor, Edward, and Brandon are all excellent, and obviously it's fun to watch it develop at a novel-like pace. Can't wait for next week!

For Superbowl Counter-Programming

I will be re-posting my liveblogging of sense and sensiblity tonight when it starts! Otherwise, enjoy the game. I'll be commenting on the commercials (and game) on my twitter account.

And all I can say in anticipation of the half is BRUCE BRUCE BRUCE