Saturday, June 23, 2012

Literary Links to Love

I have opinions on Sara Esperanza's "Stephanie [sic] Meyer's Unforgivable Insult to William Faulkner." Esperanza argues that Bella Swan's characterization of "Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner" as "fairly basic" and "boring" is unreasonable, given that a 17-year-old is highly unlikely to grasp the complexities of a writer like Faulkner. On this, I'm sure we can all agree.

I would, however, like to once again thank my American Literature teacher, the late Mr. Tom Gerencher, for not inflicting Faulker on me as a 16/17-year-old. From Esperanza's description of the writer's work, it seems overwrought and pretentious - and, yes, probably boring as well.

Thanks to Kala, a.k.a The Dork Mistress, for introducing me to this awesome poem, "Femme Fatale" by Jeannine Hall Gailey. I'll quote one line, just a sample:

"the whiskey of their tongues already forgotten"

...So follow the VerseDaily link embedded in the poem's title and read it. You won't regret it.

On a sad note, Erica Kennedy, the author of the novels Bling and Feminista (a modern take on The Taming of the Shrew), passed away unexpectedly this past week at the young age of 42. Unconfirmed reports are that it may have been a suicide. Read more about her in the New York Times.

Even though I said I was going to get The Thin Red Line and Whistle from the library, Better World Books (not just a bookstore - a literacy project! Support if you can) had a sale on Thursday I couldn't resist. I also got a copy of a book I've never read, but really should get around to: Jane Eyre. I should read it and then read the upcoming Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair. It's the erotic version. I don't know if it's a mash-up; according to this Bookseller article, it was written as fan fiction.

On an episode of Jeopardy! this week, none of the contestants knew that Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre. They guessed Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte.

Speaking of fanfics, I am loving this explicit Rinch piece by Katica Locke. I think maybe Reese-Carter is my OTP (one true pairing), but I can't decide. I don't want to decide. Fictional characters are flexible like that.

I'm on page 128 of From Here to Eternity, and you know what's a bad fictional pairing? Prewitt and Violet. I know he's a Southerner in the 1940s, but when she brought up the possibility of marriage, did he have to go off on a rant about how his white-guy sperm is too good for her eggs (Violet is Japanese-American)? Prew is such a racist, he doesn't even like Italian-Americans. It reminds me of the Virginians in Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap novels who keep referring to Ave Maria and her mom as "ferners" (foreigners) because the mom is from Italy.

Robert E. Lee Prewitt is from eastern Kentucky, near the West Virginia border. His father was a coal miner - so he actually has something in common with Katniss Everdeen. His father wasn't killed in a mine collapse, but his uncle was shot to death by sheriffs in a miners' strike. I'm gathering that, in writing the film version of The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick used a little bit of Prewitt in creating his version of Bob Witt. Clearly, they are essentially the same character, although I suspect Prew is dead by the end of FHTE. Prewitt is the one who witnessed his mother's death, struggling to see the eternity in her.

By the way, the slim, sophisticated Frank Sinatra seems like an odd choice to have played dumpy, hairy  Maggio in the 1953 film.

This is not Prew and Violet, but Milt Warden and Karen Holmes. Karen is a bitch, but I get why. Her marriage to Dana Holmes is pretty miserable.

On YouTube, I quoth (three weeks ago), "No one has any respect for James Jones anymore. Twice this month, "What is From Here to Eternity?" has been a Jeopardy! question, and no one got it right either time. For the love of 20th century American literature, someone - anyone! - please read the From Here to Eternity/The Thin Red Line/Whistle trilogy. If I get one person to read it, I'll die happy."

Yesterday, I got back, "I just ordered From Here to Eternity on Amazon - it's not every day you get to help someone die happy : ) "

Thank you, Now I can die 1/3 of the way happy. Not soon, I hope.

So, what are YOU reading and commenting on this weekend?

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