Half In Love with the Vicar of Altarnun

It’s an actual town, Altarnun. Self just looked it up.

Here is the vicar in Chapter 17 of Jamaica Inn (Hands down, her favorite book of the year):

  • He rose from his chair and stood before the fire, a lean black figure with white hair and eyes, and his voice was gentle now, as she had known it first.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Vicar of Altarnun in JAMAICA INN

This vicar reminds self a bit of Magnus Bane in The Infernal Devices! Magnus, the eerily all-knowing, prescient warlock.

Self loves this novel’s strangeness and hyper-surrealism.

SPOILER-IFFIC

Chapter 10

“There will be a chain across England, Mary, that will be very hard to break. Now do you understand?”

He opened the door of the carriage and stepped out into the road. He bared his head under the rain, and she saw the thick white hair frame his face like a halo. He smiled again to her and bowed, and he reached for her hand once more and held it a moment. “Your troubles are over,” he said; “the wagon wheels will rust and the barred room at the end of the passage can be turned into a parlour. Your aunt will sleep in peace again, and your uncle will either drink himself to death and be a riddance to all of you, or he will turn Wesleyan and preach to travellers on the high-road. As for you, you will ride south again and find a lover.”

Holy Smokes, that Vicar!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Redwood City Public Library Author Series, Fall 2018

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Fireplace Room, Downtown Library, Redwood City

The first reading of the series was Holocaust Survivor, Public Speaker and Memoirist Sylvia Ruth Gutmann, reading from her book A Life Rebuilt: The Remarkable Transformation of a War Orphan. It was held two nights ago, in the Fireplace Room of the Main Library, and self is most happy to report the reading was a resounding success: a sizeable audience packed the room. High Fives to Sylvia Ruth Gutman for kicking off the series on such an auspicious note!

The second reading is a Women Authors Panel featuring self, Lillian Howan and Veronica Montes. Saturday, Sept. 8, 2:30 p.m., at the Fireplace Room of the Downtown Library. Self is a long-time Redwood City resident, and she’s so pleased to be reading with two of her favorite writers!

Veronica Montes’s first book, Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories (Philippine American Literary House, 2018), is a sparkling collection of stories about Filipino Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lillian Howan’s first novel, The Charm Buyers (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017) is an extraordinary and powerful love story, set in Tahiti during the last years of French nuclear testing in the Pacific, in the 1990s.

About self: She’s published three collections of short stories (Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, Mayor of the Roses, and The Lost Language) and a novella, Jenalyn (Vagabondage Press), that was a finalist for the 2014 Saboteur Award. She has stories published or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Crab Orchard Review, Juked, and Prairie Schooner.

Summer-Author-SeriesRWCSept2018

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The last event in the series is a reading by Vanessa Garcia, reading from See You at the 7: Stories from the Bay Area’s Last Original Mile House. The 7 Mile House in Brisbane is the only Bay Area mile house operating at its original location. Garcia will read on Sept. 26, 7 p.m., in the Downtown Library Community Room.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Well, I Never, Mr. de Winter! Rebecca, Ch. 6

“What are you going to have?” he said.

“I’ve had mine already,” I told him, “and I can only stay four minutes anyway.”

“Bring me coffee, a boiled egg, toast, marmalade, and a tangerine,” he said to the waiter. And he took an emery board out of his pocket and began filing his nails.

lol

lol

lol

First Love: Rebecca, Ch. 5

  • Not for me the languor and the subtlety I had read about in books. The challenge and the chase. The sword-play, the swift glance, the stimulating smile. The art of provocation was unknown to me, and I would sit with his map upon my lap, the wind blowing my dull, lanky hair, happy in his silence, yet eager for his words.

And that, dear blog readers, is how you write about first love in first person. Slow clap!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Manderley Forever, p. 85

The next day, a walk in the Tiergarten pales beside Daphne’s memories of the Bois de Bolougne: the passersby all look so dour and plain, and while the Kaiser’s former palace in Potsdam is undeniably impressive, as is Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci Palace, it still isn’t Paris.

Lady Fitzwilliam: Manderley Forever, p. 25

As the car entered the driveway, Muriel whispered proudly that the Fitzwilliam  family had lived at Milton for four-hundred years. Muriel and the girls are inside the mansion now, but Daphne lingers outside, admiring the porch with its pillars, the clock at the top of the turret, the rows of lattice windows. In the entrance hall, the lady of the house, Lady Fitzwilliam, welcomes them, her white hair in a bun. Next to her are a lady companion with a chow chow . . . Behind them are two lines of servants, from the little chambermaid, whose task it is to light fires, to the self-important butler . . . those strangers whom she has no desire to know . . . when all she wants to do is disappear into a book.

Fascinating.

Steinbeck on Traveling (Travels with Charley, p. 84)

I’ll tell you what it was like. Go to the Ufizzi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, and you are so crushed with the numbers, once the might of greatness, that you go away distressed, with a feeling like constipation.

Essay # 3: Would Everybody Please Stop?

Dear Answer Lady: Before he slammed the door and moved out last month, my husband spent a year looking at me darkly and saying things like, “What have you done with the spoons?” Do you think he has a girlfriend?

I do.

The Vicar of Altarnun to Mary Yellan

  • You have gained your knowledge of the world from old books, Mary, where the bad man wears a tail beneath his cloak and breathes fire through his nostrils.

Do you see now why the Vicar is self’s favorite character in Jamaica Inn, second only to Mary Yellan?

Stay tuned.

“Girls Gone Wild”: Jenny Allen, Essay # 1 (I’m Awake)

Self will put off My Cousin Rachel for a week or so, just so she can un-knot her nerves after reading Jamaica Inn (Five Stars)

She began reading Would Everybody Please Stop? by Jenny Allen.

Sometimes, when I first go to sleep for the night, I fall asleep to the television. And this is a strange thing: No matter what I have fallen asleep watching, when I wake up, what’s on is Girls Gone Wild. I never turn the channel to Girls Gone Wild, let alone turn up the volume, but the volume is ear-splitting.

If someone had told self that less than 24 hours after bidding farewell to Altarnun, Launceston, and the moors, she would be reading about Girls Gone Wild, she would have said: Shut up!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ranking the du Maurier Men (Open to Modification)

What cheek, especially since self has only read (thus far) two du Maurier novels: Jamaica Inn and Rebecca.

Anyhoo, here are all the du Maurier men self has encountered thus far, ranked in order of Personal Magnetism and General Badass-ery:

  1. Of course Francis Davey, the Vicar of Altarnun (Jamaica Inn) His mocking of Mary Yellan is the most delicious feint & parry.
  2. Frank Crawley (Rebecca): This good and loyal man has unexpectedly intense feelings.
  3. Joss Merlyn (Jamaica Inn): A drunk, a boor, haunted. His memories will haunt you.
  4. Jem Merlyn (Jamaica Inn): Younger brother, smarter than Joss for sure.
  5. Maxim de Winter (Rebecca): Attractive, rich, and umm, star-crossed?
  6. Frankie What’s-His-Face (The Bad Guy in Rebecca): Really shady.
  7. Harry the Pedlar (Jamaica Inn)
  8. Dr. Baker (Rebecca)
  9. Mr. Tibbs (Shipbuilder, Rebecca)
  10. Ben (Lurker in the Woods of Manderley)
  11. The Squire (Mr. Basatt, Jamaica Inn)
  12. Richards (groom to the Squire, Mr. Basatt, Jamaica Inn)
  13. Firth (Manservant, Rebecca)
  14. The Lynx-Eyed Man at the Horse Market in Launceston (Jamaica Inn) — who may in fact be Mr. Basatt, will re-read to make certain

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Fortress: Reading The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

  • Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.

— Law # 18 of The 48 Laws of Power

 

The Garden in August

Masses of these started blooming last week:

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Self did a wee bit of watering:

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Summer’s almost gone.

Stay tuned.

Mary Yellan, Jem Merlyn: JAMAICA INN, Ch. 9

He whistled as he approached her and flung a small package at her feet. “A Happy Christmas to you,” he said. “I had a silver piece in my pocket yesterday and it burnt a hole. There’s a new handkerchief for your head.”

She had meant to be curt and silent on meeting him, but his introduction made it difficult for her. “That’s very kind of you,” she said. “I’m afraid you’ve wasted your money all the same.”

“That doesn’t worry me, I’m used to it,” he told her, and he looked her up and down in the cool offensive way of his, and whistled a tuneless song.

Jamaica Inn continues dee-lish.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Limits

via Limits

This poem.

This poem.

Helps.

Stay tuned.

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