Archive | February, 2010

An Unexpected Turn of Events.

23 Feb

So not really a read-along, was it? Well, this is all about discovering what works, and I can rule out read-alongs…for now.

I read Through a Glass Darkly, and my one word conclusion is that it was  entertaining. At first, I was very excited because Koen really starts out with some great historically accurate details woven into the story (socks embroidered with clocks). But that element seems to get overtaken by the soap opera of the story, and as a reader I was left with a thoroughly predictable “plot twist” and a heroine (Barbara Montgeoffry, the Countess Devane) that I think I was supposed to admire, but I just felt she was spoiled and thoroughly unremarkable. Apparently, I would not have fit in with Barbara’s society – people who were all essentially rendered helpless and inadequate by her stunning beauty and uniquely remarkable character. Additionally, I felt that there was some homophobia threaded through the novel, and that really soured my experience. Regardless of what the social views on homosexuality were in the eighteenth century, phrases such as “effeminate monstrosity” peppered the novel with a seemingly anchor-less context and ruined my ability to be entertained.

And amidst all that, I started reading the sequel to Through a Glass Darkly in the hopes that maybe some improvements had been made in the portrayal of Barbara and the predictable plot lines. Unfortunately, I was unable to really get past the fifth chapter…I found Barbara, Countess Devane (or the  “fragile black butterfly” as she is known at her plantation in Virginia) to be even more grating and tedious in her new surroundings than she was in London. Maybe someday I will pick up Now Face to Face again and give it a second shot, but for now, it acts as a paperweight on my bedside table.

Right now I am reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I know the outline of the story, but I have never read it. (For those of you who have read it, go ahead and laugh when I say now that I think Lord Henry Wotton may be the Devil that tempts young Mr. Gray out of his soul.)

Two versions of Dorian.

Oh, and the unexpected turn of events? I haven’t really felt like reading lately. I think it is because I am preoccupied by the fact that my life is dominated by waiting – waiting to hear about grad school, waiting to hear about jobs, waiting to hear about graduation. One would think that reading would be a much needed respite from it all, but apparently, I can’t concentrate when there isn’t “A PLAN.” Huh…

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