Currently Reading: LA BELLE SAUVAGE, p. 325

Hugely enjoying Volume One (La Belle Sauvage) of Philip Pullman’s new trilogy, The Book of Dust. Love the characters, all of them. Even the villains. Kudos, Mr. Pullman.

Towards the end of the novel, a flood of Biblical proportions overwhelms Oxford, England:

“The creatures in the water . . .  I don’t mean fish neither, nor water voles; I mean the old gods. Old Father Thames. And other beings as well. There was a man with us, he saw a mermaid near Henley. The sea was so full she come right up the river, even that far from the coast, and this chap, he swore to me that if he saw the mermaid again, he’d go off with her. Well, two days later he disappeared, and chances are he did just that. I believe it, anyway.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry About the Bloomsbury Hotel, London

They give poetry books to each guest, which is how self happened upon this poem by Jo Shapcott:

New commission

It’s a hot night. We walk our wheelies from the tube.
The brick walls seep warmth. On the way we smell shop-
flowers through the traffic, hear church bells, loiter
in the odd sweet spot until we’re here, looking up
at a paradox of double steps. Still curbside, we sense
that if there’s a muse of stairways, she lives here,
inside these buildings made of red brick and rain.
Through the doors and we’re inhabiting a chandelier
or library or a chapel or a cave, and our minds flash and glow
with noises, words and tastes until our hearts have softened
inside our bodies and when we leave, the street is silk under
the lamps.

 

#amreading: Peter Lovesey, SKELETON HILL

Having dispatched The Executioner’s Song (Stopped not-quite-halfway), self is starting her first Peter Lovesey, Skeleton Hill.

p. 9:

  • He had entered a field, staying roughly parallel with the road, when there was a rich splash of red in the evening sun as a fox broke from its cover and dashed in front of him only a few yards ahead. The sight uplifted him. He didn’t have the countryman’s contempt for such animals. Anything that survived in the wild by its own efforts would get his support.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Friday: Galway Kinnell

An Excerpt from Conversation

For Maud

–How old?

It was completely inadvertent.
It was more or less late afternoon.
and I came over a hilltop
and smack in front of me was the sunset.

–Couldn’t you have turned around and gone back?

Wherever you turn, a window
in a childhood house fills with fire.

–Remember the pennies we put on the track,
how the train left behind only the bright splashes?

Everything startles with its beauty
when assigned value has been eradicated,
especially if the value assigned is one cent.

–Does the past ever get too heavy to lug around?

If your rucksack is too heavy, it could
wrestle you down backwards.

–Does it ever get lighter?

Yes, when so-called obsolete words
start falling off the back end of the language.

(from the Galway Kinnell collection, Strong Is Your Hold)

Catherine Morland Muses on Henry Tilney

This week, self is teaching her writing students about different narrative techniques, like for example musing. Of which Northanger Abbey has many excellent examples.

Northanger Abbey, Chapter XIV:

It was no effort to Catherine to believe that Henry Tilney could never be wrong. His manner might sometimes surprise, but his meaning must always be just — and what she did not understand, she was always ready to admire . . . The whole walk was delightful, and though it ended too soon, its conclusion was delightful too . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Playlist for Catherine Morland

Bowie’s Let’s Dance.

Right? Right?

“If you say run/ I’ll run to you.”

Almost word for word what our smitten heroine told Mr. Henry Tilney, when she had barely met him.

More later.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

And On the Everlark Front

Self’s faaaavorite Everlark tags (for those readers who respect self’s reading choices: she goes high-brow and low-brow. Not that she’s calling Everlark low-brow. For all we know, Jane Austen might have been writing fan fiction if she were alive today. Shut up! Not sorry)

  •  Cyborg Katniss
  • Cyborg Peeta
  • Junior Scientist Peeta
  • Dark Peeta
  • Killer Katniss
  • Vampire Peeta
  • Age Gap Everlark

Hmmm, let’s see. What else?

On the Northanger Abbey front, the dastardly brother-sister team of Isabella and John Thorpe try and twist Catherine’s arm into ditching a sort of “date” she has made with Mr. Tilney to go for a walk. Will they succeed? Stay tuned.

The Forthright Heroine

Self has been musing about literary heroines.

It is a good thing she got a comment from one of her blog readers last week. Made her think more deeply about Northanger Abbey. Made her give it a chance.

She is so glad she did. Thank you, amoralegria.

Self is very bemused by Austen’s heroine, Catherine Morland, all of 17, who prior to spending the season in Bath has lived a very placid country life, where she has received little to no male attention. She is so very forthright in her liking for Mr. Tilney. She feels no shame or embarrassment in putting questions regarding him to Mr. Tilney’s sister. And when another man comes calling, she says at once, “I can’t go out with you; I am hoping to go for a walk with Miss Tilney and her brother.”

BWAH HA HA HA!

She looks for Mr. Tilney in vain, everywhere. Finally, she spots him at the theatre, and spends the length of two entire acts staring at him. In the way we all tend to know when someone stares at us for any length of time, he eventually returns her gaze.

Being a polite fellow, he walks over to her box to greet her. Catherine is thrilled! Absolutely thrilled! (So are readers!) Catherine tells Mr. Tilney how sorry she was not to have gone for a walk with him and his sister yesterday. She was with Mr. Thorpe but she would much have preferred to be with Mr. Tilney. She even tells Mr. Tilney: “I would have jumped out and run after you.”

HAR HAR HAR!

Mr. Tilney, who had walked into the box with a rather distant air, melts at her words, for as Austen writes:

IS THERE A HENRY IN THE WORLD WHO COULD BE INSENSITIVE TO SUCH A DECLARATION?

Dear Jane, self thinks you are absolutely right!

Catherine (who has apparently no filters, reminds self of J-Law) goes on to add: “I am sure by your look, when you came into the box, you were very angry.”

Mr. Tilney: “I angry! I could have no right.”

Catherine: “Well, nobody would have thought you had no right who saw your face.”

Mr. Tilney’s response is to ask “her to make room for him, and . . . he remained with them for some time.”

That’s right, dear blog readers. Mr. Tilney spends the rest of the evening with Catherine Morland. Disarmed by her candor. And that proves that he is a very, very intelligent man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Hilarity

Self spent late last night combing the web for views (hopefully, conflicting) on the dramatis personae of Northanger Abbey. Principally, for those of the characters she is most interested in:

  • Catherine Morland
  • Mr. Tilney
  • John Thorpe
  • Isabella Thorpe

Her favorite (thus far) is this one, on Tor.com:

Not Born To Be a Heroine

  • Northanger Abbey is hilarious. It’s the story of a girl who wants to be the heroine of a Gothic novel, but who finds herself instead in a peaceful domestic novel.

It’s good to be reminded that the heroine of this book is 17. The same age as the characters in The Hunger Games.

Self just wanted to throw that in there.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Bath

Catherine Morland: “Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?”

Mr. Tilney: “Not those who bring such fresh feelings of every sort to it, as you do.”

Northanger Abbey, Chapter X

« Older entries

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog