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New Year

So, I haven’t posted in forever. I know this. I am exceedingly embrassed about this. Last semester just got away from me fiercely. I shall have new posts up soon (soonish), but until then: Watch Emma on PBS and the replays of the Jane Austen series.

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Not many books fustrated me more than The Story of Avis by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.

But the fusration doesn’t lie in the writing, but in the story: in its reality and heartbreaking sublimation of self.  Avis is an artist, a talented artist who never wants to marry and who only wants to paint for the rest of her life. When she falls in love, mainly from the promises that she will continue to be an artist and not a sterotypical household wife, we join Avis through the journey of her marriage, and not the journey of her carrer.

Phelps is challenging. Her word structure and lanuage requires full attention and her motifs–birds are everywhere–are heavy-handed. But the book is brillant. I would rank it with both Aurora Leigh and Jane Eyre and that’s saying something from me.

Buy the Book here. Preview is on googleBOOKS here.

Easy Virtue (2009)

UK DVD cover

UK DVD cover

My day, has not been fabulous. Oh, its been great–class went very well, work was fun, and I even stole a little time not thinking about Dorian Gray perhaps never making it to American Theatres, and then I went to Keene. And there, packed away in a tiny brown box, not even out on display yet, was Easy Virtue. Even better? It was half off! Half off baby!!

Needless to say, my day is now fabulous. And oh, don’t worry, gushing will occur tomorrow if I can find at least a few minutes to let everyone know how great it is. Super excited!

Easy Virtue stars Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, and Kristen Scott-Thomas. It just released on DVD in the US.

My first week as a senior in college just flew by and one of the first things I have actually retained from this insane week of pages and pages of reading and lectures and notes was what inspired me to start this blogging-group of “rantings”. For my English senior seminar we started with Florence Nightingale’s Cassandra a piece, highly influential in both feminist and literary circles, but virtually unknown outside of them. Besides my rather naive assumption Nightingale was only and nurse (and one of those sweet ones as well) I knew little about her.

Cassandra was never published in Nightingale’s own lifetime, but her thought-provoking ideas about her own era are astonishing. Astonishing because of just what she expresses in the Polemic. While reading her demands for social revision, I couldn’t help but think of Elizabeth Gaskell, whose novel North and South was published in 1885: only 3 years after Nightingale wrote Cassandra.

My goal is merely this: one, READ both of these fabulous works by brilliant women writers; and two, perhaps the cry of women’s vocation is more complex than we have known. Continue Reading »

Like most costume dramas not done by BBC, this costuming and makeup have an almost distinct greasy look to them, and are not nearly as flattering (at least for Abbie Cornish) as I would like to see, but on the whole, this movie looks wonderful. I hope it comes to a theatre near me!

Bright Star opens September 18, 2009. Starring Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw.

It is impossible to say how annoyed I am right now with my $100+ a month cable bill at the moment. It’s something I realized a while ago. No matter what, the movies I want to see, I have to pay extra for. Trust me, sometimes I think I’ve spent more at Barnes and Noble than even they know about. Why then, do I insist on having super cable with all the movie channels when literally there are the same movies playing all the time? Its not like I’m going to change the plan, I love true blood, weeds,  and other specifically cable shows too much to do that, but I just wish some channel out there would play the movie below. Even more, I wish American movie execs would realize there’s a market for movies like this in America. I would much rather watch this than a steroid-pumped, skeleton-plotted, flashy-colored movie any day.

For fear of starting a trend of only putting up youtube videos, I figured I could tie in news about the latest  expansion of Austen franchise, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and some of my initial comments about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (Don’t worry, to see the video just click “continue reading”)

pride-zombies Despite my general grumbling about how fan fiction is considered foolish, but people keep making money off it as long as Darcy and Elizabeth are in it, I was excited about P&P&Z. I thought it would be something different, something funny, at least a refreshingly different take on one of my favorite books. And on many levels it is. Quirk prompts,

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Continue Reading »