It’s been a while since I posted due to my immense workload and general stressed-out-bad-tempered demeanor.
Now all my assignments have been submitted and all that is left is an exam and presentation I now have time to mindlessly rant and rave on here. Oh Goody! I am now applying for summer jobs and working my way through all my seasons of One Tree Hill. Revision can definitely wait. Right now I am more interested in my chosen Dissertation topic – Masculinity in Chuck Palahniuk novels. This is almost certain to change over time me being me but right now I am reading Invisible Monsters and loving it. OOOH to leisure read again. I’m so happy to be reading something without the constant underlying pressure of what I am going to say about it in the very near future.
Well I will have to eventually…but not for another 10 months or so. Quite excited for my Dissertation because I think I will really enjoy it, having dropped one of the modules I have done best in this year I will need to feel like I am good at something next year otherwise I will just assume the fetal position and cry to myself. I am at a stage now where I wish I could publicly rant and rave about my personal hatreds as opposed to academic grievances HOWEVER enough people know about this blog now that I cannot just vent off for fear of hurting feelings or having some kind of lynch mob situation. So I will just inform you all that I am now finishing Jane Eyre and Invisible Monsters and while I would LOVE to talk about Foe and Flauberts Parrot I never finished them because I felt as though they were the largest pile of pretentious wank I have ever laid eyes on.
So lately I have been neglecting my blog in favour of less important things…like university work. Also I am getting the impression that my laptop is a secret American because it continuously red wiggly lines everything that is not spelled the American way. TOO irritating.
So yes, for my assessment in my Romantics module I have chosen to write about Frankenstein, which I have never read before and am about half way through now. As opposed to Wordsworth who I did at A Level and find mercilessly easy. Why? Well I just LIKE failure. First impressions of Frankenstein are: Slow moving and hard to get in to at first, but after he Frankenstein creates the Monster it gets marginally more entertaining. The form of the novel is epistolary, letters from Robert Walton to his sister and the point of view changes, we experience Walton’s, Frankenstein’s and at some point we are inside the Monster’s head. This was enjoyable as it took some of the monotony out of the novel. The story is getting on my nerves a little because I already know it, but I can’t just leave the book unfinished…I have come too far!
On another note I am also reading The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter…bit of a let down but I think that was mainly due to my high expectations of it. I understand what she is trying to achieve but there are around 12 stories with the same idea running through “oh yes lets shock people by exposing some of the more perverse nature of fairy tales” It’s just like yeah, you’re post-modern. We get it. Tomorrow I am going to begin reading Dangerous Liasons which I am quite excited about because one of my favourite films, Cruel Intentions is an adaptation of that. Persuasion by Jane Austen also has to be read for next week, it’s all getting pretty exhausting.
Due to the mass of deadlines that will hit me like a tonne of bricks in a months time it can be expected that my blogs (if i blog at all) will get significantly meaner and bitchier as the pressure increases. Something to look forward to eh?
It’s a fun game isn’t it? To pick and pick until you really get a rise out of someone…I love getting a rise out of people, it’s like crack to me. Not that I’ve ever taken crack or anything so using as a means of comparison is somewhat ambiguous. Anyway yes, it’s difficult sometimes to see where the line is, I prefer to just dance on it until they are just about to freak…but you hold back just enough that they don’t. Of course there have been times, quite a few times where that line is crossed and well, thats just how it goes. When you play poke the bear you have to be prepared to apologize when it all goes tits up.
It’s funny because at times I am hypocritically quick to temper when someone is winding me up, because really…there is nothing more annoying to me than someone who is being deliberately annoying. Though whoever is using me as ‘the bear’ doesn’t tend to get a rise as such just a surge of overwhelming hatred. As it is there are very few people who know exactly how to push my buttons…lets hope it stays that way.
Anyway this is just a short blog because the essay I have been working on for the past week has sapped my soul and I come on here to realise i have averaged one view a day since the last blogging, and that’s probably you Harriet.
This week/weekends reading:
Jane Eyre – About half way through now, really enjoyed the beginning where Jane is feisty as fuck but it is dulling now because she is falling for the Patriarch Rochester!
The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories – Particularly excited about this, I’ve never read Angela Carter but I have high hopes.
But I wont, though here’s one.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
What a nice sentiment to live your life by, and not so hard to accomplish, or so you would think. Laughing, gaining respect, affection, helping just one person…these sound like just normal things, chances are you have already done all of them…I know I have..well leaving the world a better place is debatable since I am still here. But what about the people that haven’t? Does this mean that somehow they have failed at existing and perhaps their lives would have been better suited to one who would truly accomplish all of these things?Most people are saved from the pain of regret by making the right choices in life, but some people are selfish. They drift through life with no thought whatsoever how their actions might effect those around them. Chances are at some point, everyone is going to let you down. One way or another, be it a friend or family member. Maybe both…Probably both. The question is how many times can this happen before you eventually turn your back, shut yourself off and get on with it. But what about them? Will they eventually fight through their remorse and mistakes and attempt to be the person they were always meant to be? And if so, will that be enough? Making the right choice is never easy, but what is the alternative? The shame of not being the people they were always meant to be? To live your life always wishing for better and ending up with nothing? All we can do is hope they find their way somehow, and try not to get caught in the crossfire of other peoples mistakes.
Todays Blog is a relatively short one, the last resort of procrastination in an exciting day of having to be forced out of bed by my mother’s berating phone calls, waiting patiently for my socks to dry on the radiator, and having my practical jokes ruined by a nameless Buzz Killington. You know who you are Buzz! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Moving on! To the exciting prospect of the Post-modern…
So this term, one of my modules is delving into the fantastic world that is Post-modernism. I cannot stress enough how much I absolutely adore it, the notion that you can do anything you like with literature. Throwing out the rule book and experimenting with narrative structure, chronology, break down the fourth wall. To me this all sounds fantastic. Sadly, not everyone shares my view. A critic named Valentine Cunningham (no wonder he’s bitter with a name like that) does not appear to see the point in Post-Modernism, claims it to be a waste of time because generally it is lacking a ‘moral and political perspective’. Well excuse me if I don’t ram my over zealous opinion right down your throat and force you to make a decision one way or the other. Mr Cunningham is clearly one of those people that thinks that just because he teaches at Oxford his opinion is automatically the correct one. Nothing like being a closed minded, toffee nosed, tory prick is there? Perhaps the point of Post-Mod is there is no point, the writing is there simply for enjoyment and not to communicate some kind of moral message and enable us all to be better people. God forbid anyone actually pick up a book and enjoy it.
Reads that inspired this rant: The Thirteenth Woman, by Lydia Davis – A very short short story that represents nothing but still tells us something. Brilliant. If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller, by Italo Calvino – The first chapter is chilling and horrifically accurate, when you read it you’ll understand. And of course an Extract from In the Reading Gaol: Postmodernity, Texts, and History by Valentine Cunningham
Now to do work!
So deciding to start a blog is kind of a big deal for me. I don’t consider myself a writer as such but I figure I need the practice what with me having the Ultimate career goal of being an Editor. So I laboured for a while about what my main focus will be (I get about 10 ideas at once and try to get them all down in one go and it can look pretty screwy). In the end my good friend gave me the idea, he blogs about the thing he likes more than anything – games. Ew. So I thought about the one thing that interests me more than anything else and finally came up with the most ridiculously obvious answer in the world. Books. Being a Literature student you might have thought I’d have considered it sooner but no. Alternatively I will rant off on a tangent if something annoys me. Because lots of things annoy me.
Anyway! before I get sucked into my many annoyances I figured I would talk about the last book I read and really enjoyed, Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West. This novel is set in New York during the time of the Great Depression following the Stock Market Crash. The novel follows a middle aged newspaper reporter who works under the pseudonym of ‘Miss Lonelyhearts’. He is asked by his Boss to start an advice column as a publicity stunt as a means of increasing newspaper circulation. Miss Lonelyhearts however, begins to identify with his correspondents as it becomes clear that the people who write to him are genuinley in pain. The novel is typically modernist using an almost stream-of-conscious technique of writing. The theme of identity runs throughout as does the mockery what is considered to be the ‘American Dream’.
The bitter, cynical tone of the novel makes it an extremely enjoyable read (for me anyway) but it is certainly not for the faint hearted. Miss Lonelyhearts warped point of view is enough to make even the craziest of crazies feel normal. Recommended to the Palaniuk and Woolf fans out there (they can handle it)
Signing off now! There are many exciting reads to come this term so I won’t be short of material (Slaughterhouse 5, Jane Eyre, Wild Sargasso Sea?)