Still Lost in ANNA KARENINA

Self is resisting the ending so much that she’s continuously re-reading.

A few nights ago, she was within 100 pages of the end (p. 850), but now she’s back on p. 504.

Anna Karenina is probably self’s favorite novel in years (One can always tell which books are her favorites because they take self aaaages to finish).  Lately, her favorite reads have tended to be history —  like Adrian Goldsworthy’s Caesar:  Life of a Colossus.  That book took her three weeks to finish, last year.

Ian McEwan’s Atonement took up most of March 2012 (She was in Bacolod.  Reading, there, is like heaven.  Or, anyway, was like heaven.  Now self thinks that is purely an “outsider” experience.  If one truly belonged to Bacolod, one would be too busy to read anything except the newspapers.  Or e-mail)

One of self’s favorite characters in Anna Karenina is Levin.  She loves his farming musings, his tussles with his laborers, his anguish over his unrequited love(s).  On p. 504, Levin has been married to Kitty for three months.  Tolstoy is so sly a writer that he can’t leave Levin alone.  No!  Now Levin must understand something he didn’t know before:

At every step he found his former dreams disappointed, and new, unexpected surprises of happiness.  He was happy; but upon entering upon family life, he saw at every step that it was utterly different from what he had imagined.  At every step he experienced what a man would experience who, after admiring the smooth, happy course of a little boat on a lake, should get himself into that little boat.  He saw that it was not all sitting still, floating smoothly; that one had to think too, not for an instant to forget where one was floating; and that there was water under one, and that one must row; and that his unaccustomed hands would be sore; and that it was only to look at it that was easy; but that doing it, though very delightful, was very difficult.

During the month following Levin and Kitty’s wedding, the two experienced “a peculiarly vivid sense of tension, as it were, a tugging in opposite directions of the chain by which they were bound.  Altogether . . .  the month after their wedding —  from which by tradition Levin expected so much, was not merely a time of sweetness, but remained in the memories of both as the bitterest and most humiliating period of their lives.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Possibly A Site For Future Wanderings

Half of the time —  no, make that 75 % of the time —  self lives in the future.

That future is not always a bright and rosy picture.

But, self reflects, it is better to have a future, any future, rather than the alternative.  Isn’t that so, dear blog readers?

This morning, self is in a reflective mood, having capped off a wonderful weekend of movies:  three from CAAMFest and one in Palo Alto’s Aquarius (“Emperor” —  five stars!  And what a performance by Matthew Fox!)

For some reason, one of the things she took away from the festival was a mention of a bed-and-breakfast in Vigan.

Self has never been to Vigan, never.  Not even once.  Though she knows her sister’s kids were taken there, one summer several years ago.

She decides she might as well try going on her own.  She looks up the inn, and came up with this.

What is the meaning, self wonders, of the houses in garish blue and yellow paint?  Perhaps blue and yellow signify good luck?  Or perhaps those are the province’s national colors?  Or perhaps people just think blue and yellow are cool?

Which reminds self of the time the Colonel took her from Bir to Amritsar.  The car played only Elvis music because Pratibha, the Colonel’s wife, is a great aficionado of Elvis songs.  So we entered Punjab (to the tune of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”) and there, for the first time in India, self saw turbans.  Many, many turbans.  It was amazing, there was no warning that we had left Himachal Pradesh.  There were simply, suddenly, everywhere, men in turbans.  And not just any turbans.  Turbans in all colors of the rainbow:  pink, yellow, green, you name it.  And some of these turbans had printed designs, like flowers and stripes.  Self asked the Colonel whether the colors had any significance, and the Colonel replied, “It is a matter of personal taste.  Some people like the color yellow, others like the color pink, and so on.”

!!!!!

How fabulous!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Announcing: Launch of the Anthology NEW CALIFORNIA WRITING 2013

Just heard about this from the fabulous Donna Miscolta.  Self is going, for sure!

Come to the launch for the 3rd of the Heyday series on New California Writing, edited by Gayle Wattawa and Kirk Glaser:  New California Writing 2013:  Shifts and Rifts.

When:  Thursday, Apr. 11, 6 to 8:30 pm

Where:  California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco

Tickets:  $5 general admission, $20 book + admission

6 p.m. reception will have free tacos, beer and wine!

Readings begin at 6:30.  Featured readers:  Jodi Angel, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Elizabeth Creely, Chieun “Gloria” Kim, David Mas Masumoto, Zara Raab, Greg Sarris, Stephen Gutierrez, Robert Hass, Kevin Hearle, Sylvia Linsteadt, Donna Miscolta, Juan Velasco Moreno, Keenan Norris

The official announcement is here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

CAAMFest Today, Sunday, Mar. 17 (2013)

Self woke up at 10:30 a.m.  Eeeek!  She had to throw on her clothes and dash out of the house.

She grabbed her Googlemaps print-out of the directions to Sundance Kabuki in Japantown.  Only later, much later, did self realize there was one crucial direction that was missing (You know how sometimes your printer gets low on memory, and then either things print out weird or documents fail to print entirely?  Well, that happened today, only self didn’t realize it until she was waaaaay far from Japantown.  Then she had to double back.  Read the rest of this entry »

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