2020: The Race

So far, five Democrats have declared their candidacy:

  • Of the five, four are women. FOUR.
  • One mayor, Julian Castro, from San Antonio, TX, a state that is greatly impacted by the issues of the border wall. This Stanford grad delivered part of his speech in Spanish.

It is clear which groups are most angered by Trump.

We are outraged by the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and by the male posturing of the President and his enablers: Senators McConnell and Graham. By the hypocrisy of Senator Susan Collins.

Also clear: Democracy won’t die with Trump.

Stay tuned.

Visualizing Anna Karenina

Self saw the Joe Wright movie and felt it was ludicrous, especially the scene with the dueling tongues. None of which is Keira Knightley’s fault.

Here’s a photo of actress Vivien Leigh, who more closely resembles the image of Anna that self has in her mind:


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dolly (Darya Alexandrovna), the Wife of Stiva, Reflects

Anna Karenina, p. 555:

“And in general,” thought Darya Alexandrovna, having surveyed her entire life in these fifteen years of marriage, “the pregnancy, the nausea, the dullness of mind, the indifference to everything, and above all, the ugliness. Kitty, youthful, pretty Kitty, even she has lost her looks, and me, when I’m pregnant, I become ugly, I know. The birth, the sufferings, the outrageous sufferings, the final minute . . . then the feeding, those sleepless nights, those terrible pains . . . “

Darya Alexandrovna shuddered at the mere memory of the pain of cracked nipples, which she had suffered with nearly every child. “Then the children’s illnesses, the perpetual fear, then their upbringing, their vile tendencies (she recalled little Masha’s crime in the raspberries), the lessons, the Latin — it’s all so mysterious and difficult.

Self really feels for Dolly. An argument with Stiva about his infidelity is the opening scene of this novel. The two have been married nine years and have five (or is it six?) children. And now, over 500 pages later, she is still his wife, and he is still having affairs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Work-in-Progress: Speculative Fiction

Self found this unfinished story in one of her old computer files.

An angel is roomies with a struggling college student. “He” is the angel.

He sat down and picked up an apple from a bowl on the kitchen table. “I’m hungry. Feed me.”

“You took an apple,” I said.

“Not enough,” he said. “A gammon joint. With apple and whiskey sauce.”

This is a very demanding angel!




Stay tuned.


Seryozha: ANNA KARENINA, p. 479

At this point of the novel, 3/4 of the way in, Karenin is still looked upon with ridicule, he still can’t bring himself to stop caring completely about Anna Karenina, but a philanthropic and very religious lady named Countess Lydia Ivanovna has fallen in love with him and has taken over the managing of Karenin’s household. Anna writes to the Countess to ask if she might be permitted to see her son, Seryozha, but the Countess refuses. She then gets Karenin to agree to tell Seryozha that his mother has died

Time jump: several years later, on Seryozha’s name day.

Apparently, one cannot be excused from one’s lessons, even on one’s name day.

  • After his teacher was the lesson with his father. Before his father came, Seryozha sat down at his desk, playing with his penknife, and started thinking. Among Seryozha’s favorite activities was searching for his mother during his walk. He did not believe in death in general and in her death in particular, in spite of what Lydia Ivanovna had told him, and his father had confirmed, and so even after they told him she had died, he kept looking for her during his walk. Any full-figured, graceful woman with dark hair was his mother.

Self finds everything that happens after Anna’s pregnancy fascinating. Each character has to make a choice after that, and Karenin seems most self-aware: His choices — despite his anger, despite his shame — are fundamentally humane. Anna merely continues with Vronsky, while Vronsky’s career stalls entirely and he loses all ambition. Kitty and Levine are happy.

Then the Seryozha section. It is so heartbreaking to read: “He did not believe that the people he loved could die . . . ” What is going to happen to this poor boy after his absent mother becomes truly DEAD?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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