PDA

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



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 [54] 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

aliceanne
01-15-2012, 05:22 PM
I probably created the impression that I didn't like Shirley at all--I did, but what I liked was not the main story but rather the details. For instance, I thought the description of medical care rendered to Robert Moore was witty and still salient today. MacTurk is the surgeon.


I know these surgeons! They still exist! They don't change! :lol:

And the character of young Martin Yorke was very interesting. In fact, I was interested in what happens to him more so than in the main characters.

There were some nice turns of phrase as well. However, the sentimentality, the protracted dialogues and monologues and :drama: wouldn't be missed if they were edited out. I now know what Bronte meant in her criticism of Austen and the thing Bronte despised, I happen to admire. She could use some of it
herself.

I have to confess that with both Shirley and Villette I skipped portions and read from back to front for awhile, then went back and read the skipped portions to fill in the blanks. Reading her biography also helped me to understand/appreciate them more. I think she was trying hard to be taken seriously as an equal with her male peers, thus all those political/religious/philosophical discussions that really digressed from the plot. I would guess that "Jane Eyre" received heavy guidance from her publisher, but once she became famous they let her do her thing.

Interestingly her juvenilia is like "Jane Eyre". Simple prose and a fairy tale like quality.

My big complaint with Shirley is that the characters didn't ring true for me, not even in the context of the story. I didn't feel that way about her other books.

aliceanne
01-15-2012, 05:33 PM
My impression of Bronte was that she felt sexually repressed and was not afraid to express it. This was her gripe with Austen and the feminists alike.

aliceanne
01-15-2012, 05:43 PM
Fatalism and the "Will of God" were usual explanations for tragedies during this time.
The idea that there might have been other causes - such as tainted water - or the thought that they could have moved elsewhere probably wouldn't have even occurred to them.

He was well aware of the tainted water. It was rather that he felt it was more important for him to improve conditions for the village than to save his family.

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 06:55 PM
My impression of Bronte was that she felt sexually repressed and was not afraid to express it. This was her gripe with Austen and the feminists alike.

I could find the exact quote but IIRC, it was that Austen was too dry and not passionate enough for her taste. I think Austen was just fine, in fact, delightful, and Bronte too :drama: at times.

I felt that the brothers Moore were poorly developed characters and whatever was developed, didn't create a favorable impression. Generally, the Bronte men are :scream:

What I did like were: her musings and presentation of the politics, the feminist perspective and the desire of women to be educated and to take an equal place in society. I also enjoyed the occasional spark of humor and snark but these were rare. One time I actually :lol: at a very witty passage.

Now I am on to Massie's biography of Catherine the Great. So far I am :eek: at the accuracy of the research that was done for the Valentin Pikul novel The Favorite about Prince Potemkin, Catherine's most famous lover. I caught this author making egregious mistakes in his other historical novel (calling Empress Alexandra "Alice" when it was really her mother's name and nowhere near her nickname "Sunny" and others) But so far I am impressed by the accuracy confirmed by Massie, down to the content of the letters.

If anyone is interested in historical novels, excellently written, very Russian, find a translation of Pikul's The Favorite. He is one of those talented anti-semites that I allowed myself to tolerate.

my little pony
01-15-2012, 06:57 PM
If anyone is interested in historical novels, excellently written, very Russian, find a translation of Pikul's The Favorite. He is one of those talented anti-semites that I allowed myself to tolerate.

oh i'm sure you would have an easier time finding it :slinkaway

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 07:07 PM
oh i'm sure you would have an easier time finding it :slinkaway

I looked. Barnes and Noble has the Russian edition--not very helpful. I wonder if it has been translated at all? It would be an exceedingly tough one to translate well.

Haha, they should hire me. I spend a looong time looking for just the right word translating skating interviews. So I'd be done in about 10 years or so. :P

Wyliefan
01-15-2012, 07:19 PM
I could find the exact quote but IIRC, it was that Austen was too dry and not passionate enough for her taste. I think Austen was just fine, in fact, delightful, and Bronte too :drama: at times.

That's true, though Emily was probably the most :drama: in the family. In her writing, anyway. But that's very reflective of the different times that they lived in. In many ways, their eras were poles apart, and valued very different qualities. (Which you probably already knew. I'm just sort of musing aloud.)

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 08:06 PM
I am going to give you all a taste of The Favorite, a historical novel about Grigori Potemkin, Catherine The Great's most famous and infamous lover. With major snippage and using Russian punctuation out of sheer laziness:





BIRTH


The orchards and vegetable gardens of Moscow had finished blooming. The air was stifling.

An occasional bee would wonder inside a window, buzzing heavily, presaging rain.

Inside the neighboring yard of the princes Hovanski, two washer women were fighting, lashing each other with rolled up wet laundry.

And up in the sky there floated a kite--kids were gamboling around.

--Gah, said the invalid. --Will pour me the last one.
Of course, if you are pushing seventy and you are stuck as second major, the evil Fate augurs plainly: general-en-chief you, dear boy, will never be. This prediction caused the major of our troops a long-standing dejection of spirits as well as regular consumption of vodka which he chased with dried carp.

The year 1732 established itself in Russia.


*snip*

After the first born daughter, Marfinka, the Potemkins had a second-Mariushka and Aleksandr Vasilich suspiciously closely stared at the infant's visage.

--It looks too much like the Glinkas-declared he suddenly--This isn't a Potemkin nose and the eyes are all wrong.

--What are you talking about, nose, eyes--wailed the wife--newborn babies all look the same.

A horrible blow to the face sent her crashing on her back...The old man was crazed with jealousy. From now on he kept his wife under lock and key, reluctantly letting her out for the guests.

*snip*
--Beast!--she screamed at her husband. --Stop torturing me. I am with child again. Wait til I give birth, then finish me off...

The golden autumn of 1739 arrived. On September 16, towards the end of the day Daria Vasilievna felt the labor approaching and withdrew to a banya that was crumbling on a bank of a quiet forest stream. Here, writhing on the bench, she gave birth to a son.

Her menacing husband came in and demanded: --With whom had you conceived this filth, tell!
He picked up the baby by the foot, like it was a loathsome toad, and went to drown it in the river. --That's where you belong--he was muttering, drunkenly stumbling along the way.

The infant, hanging upside down, didn't make a peep. Potemkin shook the baby one more time over the deep pond where catfish rippled lazily and black crawfish crawled.

--So whose is he? The Glinkas' or the Tuhachevskys'?
The mother's animal howl sounded in the dark forest:
--He is Potemkin...Leave off, you old cur!

Thus came into the God's world Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, the Enlightened Prince Tavricheski, general field-marshall and the brilliant cavalier of assorted orders, including all foreign (with the exceptions of the Golden Fleece, the Holy Spirit and the Garter), general-governor of the New Russia, creator of the glorious Black Sea Fleet, its first commander, etc., etc., etc.

A nice antidote to the overdose of :drama:, that's for sure.

Prancer
01-15-2012, 08:12 PM
However, the sentimentality, the protracted dialogues and monologues and :drama:

In 19th century Brit lit? :eek:


I now know what Bronte meant in her criticism of Austen and the thing Bronte despised, I happen to admire. She could use some of it herself.

Those are the reasons that Austen is generally considered the better writer. I have always thought that she must have been a ruthless self editor, always polishing in her head.

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 08:35 PM
In 19th century Brit lit? :eek: Yes, I know, I know.




Those are the reasons that Austen is generally considered the better writer. I have always thought that she must have been a ruthless self editor, always polishing in her head. Her writing is certainly tight and her sense of humor--delightful. Love her pragmatism too.

I consider Austen a much better writer. I would be curious to see someone make a case to the contrary.

Wyliefan
01-15-2012, 10:23 PM
I am going to give you all a taste of The Favorite, a historical novel about Grigori Potemkin, Catherine The Great's most famous and infamous lover. With major snippage and using Russian punctuation out of sheer laziness:



A nice antidote to the overdose of :drama:, that's for sure.

There's a newborn dangling by his foot over the pond and you don't consider this :drama:?? The Russian worldview must be a very unique one. :lol:

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 10:48 PM
There's a newborn dangling by his foot over the pond and you don't consider this :drama:?? The Russian worldview must be a very unique one. :lol:

I certainly don't consider it sentimental. Do you?

No one is pining anemically or making googly eyes at the moon, that's for sure. :D Sort of the other extreme, actually.

Wyliefan
01-15-2012, 11:11 PM
Oh no, definitely not sentimental! I thought :drama: = dramatic.

IceAlisa
01-15-2012, 11:24 PM
Oh no, definitely not sentimental! I thought :drama: = dramatic.

I thought :drama: = melodramatic, as in Drama Queen.

Emoticon confusion. :)

Wyliefan
01-15-2012, 11:53 PM
Easy to do. :lol: But melodramatic is different from sentimental, wouldn't you say? Sentimental is hearts and flowers and Hallmark cards; melodramatic is . . . well, it's a dad going bats and dangling a baby over a pond, I'd say!