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View Full Version : An FSU Without a Book Thread is Like an FS Event Without Snark



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TygerLily
01-07-2012, 07:14 PM
I think there is a book tie in but in the same way that "He's Just not that into You" is connected to its book.

Prancer
01-07-2012, 07:51 PM
Charlotte Bronte LIED!!!! Or LEID, whatever you prefer.

In the opening paragraph she wrote the book will be mundane as Monday morning, swore up and down there will be no romance. And indeed, the first few chapters are dry and wonderfully snarky. I also enjoyed the discourse on the Luddite revolts and the effects of the Napoleonic war on England.

Then there was a great scene of two gentlemen arguing about politics that was not unlike some of our debates in PI. :shuffle: Some things never change.

And then I am smacked with a maudlin chapter where Caroline Helstone is sick with puppy love for her cousin.

Ms. Bronte said "NO ROMANCE!" Oh well, I should have known, this is Charlotte Bronte after all, who was enamored with George Sand's creations. Nuff said. :snort:

In the 19th century, "Romance" did not refer to romantic love, but more to the emphasis on emotion. The Romantic movement was a response to the 18th century Age of Reason, in which the intellectual was valued over all. Jane Austen was more a product of the 18th century than that 19th; that is why she wrote love stories, but they are love stories in the cool, satirical style of the 18th century. Only the silly people are overcome by passion in Austen, while in the Romantic age, only tragic people aren't.

It's a complicated era to explain, but a "Romantic" novel at the time was not a love story, but was one in which strong emotion, sentimentalism, imagination, and drama are primary factors. Jane Eyre is absolutely a Romantic novel, not because Jane and Mr. Rochester fall in love, but because of all the gothic elements in the story--the crazy wife in the attic, the housekeeper, the way that passion drives him to do wrong but justify it to himself, etc., etc--those are the Romantic elements, not the fact that the characters are in love. It's how they respond to being in love that makes the difference. It's the same with Wuthering Heights--a totally Romantic novel, but again, not because Heathcliff and Cathy fall in love.

In short, I think Charlotte was promising you a story that would lack overwrought emotions and unlikely but dramatic plot points, not the lack of a love story line. :P

I have never read Shirley, so I can't say. I know only three things about it--that it wasn't as well received as Jane Eyre, that her siblings all died while she was writing it, which changed some elements of the story (two of the characters are based on her sisters) and that before her book, Shirley was always considered a man's name, but has been a woman's name ever since.


oyyyy... Now that is just too bad 'cause the movie trailer looks like so much fun. Hopefully there will be a book tie in. :slinkaway

What to Expect When You Are Expecting is a very dry, preachy book that goes through pregnancy month by month, telling you all the terrible things that might happen to you in that month and hectoring you about your diet. It is the Bible of modern pregnancy and it is not fun at all.

IceAlisa
01-07-2012, 08:19 PM
In the 19th century, "Romance" did not refer to romantic love, but more to the emphasis on emotion. Yes, see below.


In short, I think Charlotte was promising you a story that would lack overwrought emotions and unlikely but dramatic plot points, not the lack of a love story line. :P
That's the problem. She broke the promise on the overwrought emotions. I should be clearer: I don't so much mind the love stories in themselves. I mind the sentimentality and the high :drama: of emotions such as were rampant in George Sand's writing. If you'd read either Consuelo or its sequel, you'd know what I mean.

In fact, I enjoy Austen's approach to love stories very much. So yes, again, it's the romanticism that I object to.

And then I am smacked with a maudlin chapter where Caroline Helstone is sick with puppy love for her cousin.
It's not the love itself, it's the maudlin and the puppy quality that irk me.

Bronte said to not expect "passion and stimulus and melodrama"--all introduced in Chapter 6.

Prancer
01-07-2012, 08:27 PM
That's the problem. She broke the promise on the overwrought emotions.

Ah. Well, remember, her idea of overwrought was very much of time and place; in the 19th century, you had to be REALLY overwrought to be considered overwrought. Since emotion and passion were valued, it took a whole lot of either to be considered too much.

Not my favorite period :shuffle:. Which is odd, really, because people who like novels usually love the 19th century. But I always want to slap most of the characters and tell them to get a grip. I absolutely hate Wuthering Heights for all the same reasons that it is sometimes considered the best of the Romantic novels.

IceAlisa
01-07-2012, 08:39 PM
I hate Wuthering Heights too. Don't get the hype.

You may fare better with the 19th century French writers.

TygerLily
01-07-2012, 09:00 PM
I absolutely hate Wuthering Heights for all the same reasons that it is sometimes considered the best of the Romantic novels.


I hate Wuthering Heights too. Don't get the hype.I'm not alone! :encore: I only read it about four years ago and expected to love it, so I was shocked that I hated it.

But I won't mention my fondness for 19th-Century poetry by women because much of it is maudlin and overwrought. :shuffle: Oh, to have been a poet in the days of memory books.

IceAlisa
01-07-2012, 09:04 PM
Speaking of poetry, I forgot to mention the one nice thing about Shirley Chapter 6: an excerpt from an André Chénier poem, La Jeune Captive.

Prancer
01-07-2012, 10:29 PM
I'm not alone! :encore: I only read it about four years ago and expected to love it, so I was shocked that I hated it.

One of my favorite things about grad school was that no one expected me to read that book again.


But I won't mention my fondness for 19th-Century poetry by women because much of it is maudlin and overwrought. :shuffle: Oh, to have been a poet in the days of memory books.

Well, I love Dickinson, and not just because it's such fun to make freshmen laugh by having them sing her poems to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song.

But mostly :shuffle:.

IceAlisa
01-07-2012, 11:41 PM
So, ever since I started bitching about sentimentality on the previous page, I've been wondering: what defines it?

Where does the writing cross the line from passionate to maudlin? Is it subjective?

dinakt
01-08-2012, 01:09 AM
I hate Wuthering Heights too. Don't get the hype.

You may fare better with the 19th century French writers.

Intersting. I adore "Wuthering Heights" but "Jane Eyre"- not so much. In "Wuthering heights" I find that sweeping atmospheric language invigorating rather than sentimental.

Am almost done with "The Night Circus", will write my impressions the moment I'm finished.

TygerLily
01-08-2012, 01:11 AM
Well, I love Dickinson, and not just because it's such fun to make freshmen laugh by having them sing her poems to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song.

But mostly :shuffle:.:lol: I hope I someday get to teach Dickinson again! *saves this idea to gilligandickinson.txt* ;)


So, ever since I started bitching about sentimentality on the previous page, I've been wondering: what defines it?

Where does the writing cross the line from passionate to maudlin? Is it subjective?In creative writing classes, my teachers seemed to indicate two areas that can lead to sentimentality/maudlinness:

1. purple prose (often including many adjectives and/or adverbs)
2. telling instead of showing (especially concerning characters' emotions)

On perhaps a more subjective side, sentimental writing often has happy endings that tie every plot up with a bow. Oh, cliches and bad/lame similes and metaphors (e.g., "tied up with a bow") are also abound.

disclaimer: I could be complete wrong.

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 01:26 AM
Thanks, that sounds reasonable.

The passage that to me appears to be an example of sentimentality from Shirley is actually a dialog. It contains this phrase:


Your heart is a lyre, Robert; but the lot of your life has not been a minstrel to sweep it, and it is often silent.
Really?

Prancer
01-08-2012, 01:26 AM
Where does the writing cross the line from passionate to maudlin? Is it subjective?

Depends; as a reader, I'd say yes, but if I were a literary critic, I would say it's false emotion--so OTT that it pushes readers away rather than drawing them in. And everything TigerLily listed would qualify, as well as (for me, anyway) having people react in overly emotional ways that are not tempered.

Most of us can't go off into hysterical responses even if we want to; neither should literary characters, at least not without repercussion.


:lol: I hope I someday get to teach Dickinson again! *saves this idea to gilligandickinson.txt* ;)

:lol: When I (try to) teach students about meter, the ballad meter is one of the few that every single student gets, and it's always the one I start with. All poems written in ballad meter can be sung to the tunes of "Amazing Grace," "I'd Like To Teach the World to Sing" and the theme from Gilligan's Island. I like to do all three to show them how three songs that don't seem to have anything in common are actually very similar because of the meter and the same is true of poems; I refer back to the three songs later when students can't "hear" similar meters.

"I heard a fly buzz when I died" sung to Gilligan is usually enough to set off even the whiniest class.:lol:

gkelly
01-08-2012, 01:28 AM
I mind the sentimentality and the high :drama: of emotions such as were rampant in George Sand's writing. If you'd read either Consuelo or its sequel, you'd know what I mean.


Ah. Well, remember, her idea of overwrought was very much of time and place; in the 19th century, you had to be REALLY overwrought to be considered overwrought. Since emotion and passion were valued, it took a whole lot of either to be considered too much.

Not my favorite period :shuffle:


You may fare better with the 19th century French writers.

George Sand excepted?

IceAlisa
01-08-2012, 01:33 AM
George Sand excepted?
Definitely.

Mostly, I have in mind authors of the Realism school, like Stendhal, Balzac; and besides these, Zola and de Maupassant.