Colm Toibin Sentence of the Day

Self has now read almost 50 pages of Brooklyn and can state definitively that she has no idea — none — what those people are going on about, the ones who say Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is flat, dull, slow, and that he fails utterly at catching the feminine point of view etc etc etc

Because she’s been entranced from the get-go.

It’s even been making inroads into her reading of Hunger Games fan fiction which, if you know how much fan fiction self usually reads daily is saying a lot, lol.

Eilis, who when we last encountered her on p. 29 was sent rudely packing when she informed her employer she was leaving for America, now has to endure everyone being happy that she is going away, while she herself feels sick with anxiety and trepidation. On p. 46, she’s in a tiny cabin “deep in the belly of” a ship, she vomited into the corridor, she has to share a bathroom with occupants of another cabin who appropriated it for themselves and never unlock the door that leads to her cabin, but the worst thing about all this is that Eilis realizes “that she would never be able to tell anyone how sick she felt.”

And with all this came the feeling that she had done something wrong, that it was somehow her fault that Georgina had gone elsewhere and that her neighbors had locked the bathroom door, and her fault that she had vomited all over the cabin and had not succeeded in cleaning up the mess.

What’s so brilliant about the writing is that self understands this woman perfectly. Self means, she understands how a woman who’s been deprived of the use of a bathroom during a trans-atlantic voyage, a woman who is never on the receiving end of any kindness whatsoever, assumes the burden for everything that goes wrong. And self does mean everything. Of course, the poor girl. Still, such women do exist.

BTW, that vomiting scene is written in such excruciating detail that self feels she ought to honor the fact that she spent half an hour reading about hurling by writing that scene into her fan fiction. She has to be very careful, however, which character does the vomit. Peeta? Nah. Katniss? Nah. Gale? Nah. Haymitch? Hmmm, now there’s a likely candidate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Depth: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is DEPTH.

As self understands the prompt, it’s to post pictures that project a sense of volume, or space. Since self is in Mendocino, here are three pictures she took during her daily peregrinations around town. Hopefully, all three imply the existence of a larger space.

Self taking a shot of the outside of the Textile Artists Studio at the MAC

Self taking a shot of the outside of the Textile Artists Studio at the MAC

View of the Mendocino Headlands from Main Street

View of the Mendocino Headlands from Main Street

The Mendocino Hotel's Front Parlor

The Mendocino Hotel’s Front Parlor

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: BROOKLYN, by Colm Toibin

p. 29:

There was no day that passed without an event.

Stories About Magic and Science Fiction

Why is self so attracted to stories about magic?

Don’t really know.

Self’s first experience with angst came from fairy tales. She fell in love with Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. She always cried at the end of The Little Mermaid.

Then, she read Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris while she was a grad student at Stanford. She found the idea of a sentient planet mind-blowing! Positively transcendent! The movie with George Clooney was terrible!

On to her reading of the afternoon:  the Preface by Maria Tatar to her The Annotated Brothers Grimm (Self has been reading it and stopping every other sentence. This is a problem. Possibly, she won’t finish it in this lifetime. Oh! She also downloaded the episode of Face/Off with Josh Hutcherson as a guest judge. The guy is just too adorable. Too. Too. Too!)

Back to Maria Tatar! Here’s a passage she just finished reading:

Danger lurks in every corner of the world, and the encounter with it has a fierce inevitability that becomes a rule of the genre. Villainy: this was the . . . function that fuels the plots of fairy tales.

It just occurs to self that she has a long list of horror stories she’s written. She’ll see if she can append them to this post — when she has a little more time. But, right off the top of her head, here are a few: Seeing in PANK 9.5, The Departure in Philippine Genre Stories. Ghosts really get to her. Ghosts and the Apocalypse.

The writers she met at Hawthornden (June 2012), Joan McGavin and Jenny Lewis, told the most excellent ghost stories. They fueled her imagination and sent it roaring out of the gate. We’d talk about everything from Dolly the Sheep (whose likeness is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh) to ghost children (Self recalls Jenny saying, “The worst ghosts are ghost children.” Wheeee! Couldn’t sleep after that because she kept thinking there was a ghost child lurking somewhere in her room).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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