romancingtheclassics

One girl's journey to read the top 100 literature classics of all time in the space of 365 days, a quest for only the most foolhardy and brave

Archive for the tag “portrait of a lady”

Once a cad, always a cad

So ‘To the Lighthouse’ will sit on the bedside table for a while. I feel I need to lock myself up in a quiet room to read it. Virginia’s prose requires complete and utter concentration. I just don’t have that right now. It’s timing. I promise to come back to it.

So with Virginia on hold indefinitely I decided to give Henry James another attempt to woo me. He did so did so badly with Portrait of  a Lady, I thought I’d give him a chance for redemption. I’m a sucker like that.

I’ ve tried to read Cold Mountain by Charles Fraizer 15 times. Every time I would get stuck just a third  of the way in. I simply lose the will to the turn the page. I’m a bit like that with men. Every cad has his chance with me and sadly Henry is turning into one of them with his offering Wings of the Dove.

Look at those eyes, they feel as though they could look right inside your soul. Almost creepy. Shame his writing isn’t doing that. In fact I’m finding I’m Just Not Into Him.

Sorry Henry. I tried. I’ll keep reading because it’s only fair but rest assured this time it’s definitely you, not me.

x

J

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Hiding from Henry…

I’m finding Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady hard going, a few thoughts on his style so far..

H-arasses every detail
E-ven the beating of a moth’s wings is un-missed
N-ever ending words
R-enders the eyes and brain tired
Y-earning for the end

J-uxpostion of characters
A-rbitrarily ambiguous
M-angled text damaged by psychological analysis
E-nding easy to see (at this point anyway)
S-ocial custom and commentary obsessed

lets hope it improves with the pages.. simply put its about a headstrong, independent American woman who lands in England to pursue her destiny and has to keep her wits on guard against wily Englishmen.

Quite similar to time my time overseas to be honest, exchanging the American part for Australian :p

The only part I’m really enjoying right now is the cross dissection of english culture and the lead character, Isabel’s headstrong nature.

One of the top lines so far:

“The Husband of the elder (sister), Lord Haycock was a very good fellow but unfortunately a horrid tory and his wife, like all good English wives, was worse than her husband.”

…ouch! more scathing wit from Isabel to come I hope!

 

x
J

 

Hello mr james…

The next book underway..

let the classification begin…

I may have just set myself a challenge that is a bit beyond me. It requires endurance, patience and persistence.

A marathon of sorts, not for the body but for the mind. The question is just how many classics can one person read in a row before turning mad? Before they start believing that Mr Darcy lurks around every corner and sees elements of Gatsby in every person they meet?

Well I’m not sure, but considering I do this already I may be lost before I’ve already begun.

You see I’ve always been a self-confessed book nerd with a voracious appetite. Always looking for my next hit, something that I can shoot into my veins to stir the heart, emotions and mind.

There is no greater thrill or rush better than discovering a truly orgasmic book for the first time. You long to savour the story and characters but also want to rush to the conclusion.

But when you turn that final page, nothing but bittersweet regret lingers, you’ll never read that book for the first time again. And so begins the search for another and another.

It can become an overwhelming addiction, I can assure you. So I suppose to tame the beast and also nourish the writer I’m trying so hard to grow within, I have decided to jump into the 20th century era classics and read the crème de la crème of them. The top 100 classics from top to tail in 365 days. No skipping, no reading forwards or movie adaptations, introductions in advance and definitely no reading notes. Solemnly absorbing them one by one.

Don’t worry you won’t be reading blog after blog of analytical reviews of the books, just some witty (where possible) insights into how relevant these classics are to us today and just what a wayward writer and aspiring author can hope to learn from them.

So despite the risk of falling into classic madness which I fear I already suffer, at the very least a classic obsession, I will begin.

xx

J

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