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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  10:42:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been so busy with school lately it's difficult to find time to do more reading. We're reading Sherlock Holmes currently. Daughter loves it.

Read Chapter 11. I felt guilty for not keeping up for so long.

Dreary. More baby talk. More and more discussion about industrialism and destruction of Olde England. I started to tear up about Shipley Hall, though.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2007 :  10:49:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know, after readng chapter 12, calling this book "smut" is a insult. How does a man come to such intimate knowledge of a female's experience-- to know how to describe it in words? I found it very tende-- sensitive, but definitely not smutty.

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1483 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  14:18:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just wait until chapter fourteen: "All about spammeres." But seriously, by today's standards it isn't all that smutty. Just a lot of talk about spammeres. And did I mention spammeres? (Lawrence does have a way of repeating himself ... )

Snort! Spammeres! Gotta love the language filter. What I really typed was the proper word for the male member. p e n i ... well, you get the idea!

Edited by - n/a on 10/10/2007 14:20:17
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  18:26:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, rather complimentary to spammers isn't it?

Perhaps Lawrence was trying to be poetic-- it can be a bit tiresome.

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1483 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2007 :  19:07:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, I've finished the book. I think I understand Lawrence's moral (If you can call it that). Industrialism, modernity, and "life of the mind" all go hand in hand, but they can't provide for human fulfillment because they are missing the key elements of nature, sensuality, and life of the body. Clifford embodies the notion of industrialism, and he fittingly reverts into a kind of man-child in the end. But sexuality and pleasure alone cannot bring complete happiness either, as Connie found out with her early experiences. True happiness can only be found in a balance between the two empty extremes, and Mellors embodies this: He has a good mind along with a (notoriously) healthy sensuality. He is consistently depicted as a quintessential man. In emigrating from Clifford to Mellors, Connie seems to unlock her own happiness.

What didn't quite work for me was the way Connie fell in love. It seemed to me that she was desperately lonely and vulnerable, and as a result she fell in lust first and mistook that for love. She didn't know Mellors at all, yet she was professing her love for him. Then a little bad sex, and she doubted herself (those silly bouncing buttocks!). But then a good experience, and she was in love again, this time to the bottom of her heart. It was as if the depth of her love was directly proportional to the quality of the sex. I found this aspect rather shallow. I mean, for every couple there are times when the physical side might not be as stellar as it was at first, but that's when the love in your heart and mind carries you through. I didn't see Connie and Mellors reach that point in this book. Even though they were separated at the end, they were still dwelling on their physical chemistry and what would happen when they were together again. Their relationship had great potential, but still had a lot of maturing to do before I'd call it true or perfect love.

To me it seemed that DH Lawrence had this idea of about how an ideal relationship should be, with proper balance between the mental and physical aspects, but his expectations were so high (unrealistic, really) that he probably never found it himself. That's why he had to write about it. I also detected a hint of misogyny in the book ... Lawrence was very hard on women at times. Even his heroine, Connie, frustrated me greatly with her shallowness. She was smart and brave, but weak at the same time. It was as if Lawrence liked a woman of quality, but always wanted her to have to follow a man in important matters. Maybe that's not it, but there was something about his treatment of womankind that didn't rest well with me. Also, his preachiness got on my nerves. Mellors' final letter was almost more than I could take. Honestly!

Anyway, I'm glad I've read it. At least now I understand what all the fuss was about. However, I don't think it was a great book literarily. If it hadn't been for all the scandal about the smut, I doubt this one would still be famous.

Edited by - n/a on 10/12/2007 19:10:47
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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2007 :  00:16:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oohh, I feel so bad for slacking off in my reading! The school year started and I stopped reading. I hope to actually sit down and read it through in one or two sittings.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2007 :  10:49:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just started chapter 13 and want to smack Clifford! What an ass! He's treating Connie like she's an idiot!

*goes back to text growling*

I know that feeling of wanting the world to go away. It never will, but when you do what is right for yourself, you don't mind about it anymore-- so in a sense it does.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2007 :  14:32:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, that's done at least.
I still can't bear Clifford. He thinks himself so superior to Mellors and Connie and everyone else for that matter.

That business about female will and bullying bothers me a bit, but it is true to a certain extent. It seems to me that men do a fair bit of bullying too (all comes of having been married to a controller for a while).

So come on AMC!!!!!

And what shall we read next?
I've got The Dark is Rising from the library now. Might be interesting for us to read that.

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n/a
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1483 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2007 :  18:15:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've finished The Master and Maragarita, which AMC recommended. Now there's a good book for discussion! (Except right now I've lent my copy to someone I know who enjoys Russian literature).

Edited by - n/a on 11/30/2007 18:15:38
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2007 :  16:39:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I haven't had any time for reading lately-- except on the airplane. Had to return Dark is Rising before I finished. I'll try again once things have settled down a bit.

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n/a
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1483 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  07:20:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anybody want to read A Christmas Carol over the holidays? It's Dickens and it has some good themes to discuss. But there are so many film versions out, I'm not sure if anyone actualy reads the book anymore.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  10:42:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm almost always up for a good read. ()

We could give it a try. There's lots to do right now, but this is our last day of classes, so things might lighten up a bit.


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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  22:03:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, I actually got my copy out to start reading coincidentally. I'm feeling a little scroogy right now so I thought I needed a kick in the pants. It's not a long story and not too many chapters if I remember correctly. I read it last year. There is something romantic about reading an old classic at Christmastime. Too bad I don't have a fire to lay by as I read. My electric blanket will have to do.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's

Edited by - Jokelly on 12/14/2007 22:06:11
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2007 :  17:33:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found my copy and dusted it off! Now to start reading....

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2007 :  08:40:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yay! I've started reading. I'm enjoying this one ... it seems a bit livelier (even with the ghosts) than some of the other Dickens tomes. I remember reading it when I was quite young and being struck by the imagery of the ghosts's chains being constructed of their owner's vices in life (cash boxes, etc.). I had forgotten how Dickens loves to play with names too. Fezziwig is a great example ... You don't even need a description to know what he looks like!
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  11:30:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am always struck by how rich Dickens's writing is-- just love it. The imagery is so clear.

Favourite points:
  • the use of cold and warmth in both the physical and emotional sense, one emphasising the other
  • the description of Scrooge's house as having wandered up the street and become lost
  • "dead as a door nail"


Also had a thought regarding JKR. Many of her critics have cited her use of common colloquialisms and vernacular as "wrong" and illustrative of poor writing. Yet, Dickens did the same. His narrator, though more the character of "storyteller," uses lots of nineteenth century phrases and even Shakespearian referrences. Now I'm not comparing JKR to Dickens. Her place in literary history has yet to be completed. It does, however, seem hypocritical to class Dickens as one of the greats, then bash someone else for using some of his devices. For me, JKR's use of common catch-phrases is appropriate. It is usually done in the context of a character's dialogue, which serves to bring the characters to life-- make them real kids instead of perfect-English speaking robots, but that's just my opinion.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2007 :  23:37:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't the use of colloquialisms and vernacular when give stories their ...hmmm... I want to say heart, but not necessarily that word but their aunthenticity and believability. Maybe atmosphere is a better word for it.


Current location: Laying low at Lupin's
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2008 :  13:04:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, so I never made it beyond the Ghost of Christmas Past-- too much Christmas Present going on.

I'm now attempting to read Jimmy Carter's Our Endangered Values, a collection of short stories that includes the story that "The Illusionist" was based upon, and a translation of the Kama Sutra. I'm nothing if not ambitious-- or crazy.

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2008 :  18:19:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did finish the Dickens at Christmastime. This may sound corny, but I love a book with a happy ending!

Keeping with the Victorian theme, during January I read Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. The writing is cumbersome at times, and thin in the plot, but the social commentary and depiction of human nature at its best and worst, and saddest and funniest, are excellent. This was an enjoyable extended read. Next I'm going to tackle The Idiot by Dostoevsky.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  11:02:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, I've now requested a biography of Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin. Hope it comes in soon. I need to escape the present day for a little while. In the meanwhile I'll give Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford a try. Perhaps I'll peruse a collection of Robert Frost's poetry, too.

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