Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Modern March

A Modern March

A Modern March is taking place at A Literary Odyssey starting March 1st.

From the Modernist Period of literature I have chosen to read ~Three Lives~ by, Gertrude Stein. If time allows I would like to attempt Geography and plays, also.

“The one thing that everybody wants is to be free...not to be managed, threatened, directed, restrained, obliged, fearful, administered, they want none of these things they all want to feel free, the word discipline, and forbidden and investigated and imprisoned brings horror and fear into all hearts, they do not want to be afraid not more than is necessary in the ordinary business of living where one has to earn one's living and has to fear want and disease and death....The only thing that any one wants now is to be free, to be let alone, to live their life as they can, but not to be watched, controlled and scared, no no, not.
~Gertrude Stein, September, 1943

Monthly MeMe

Vintage Pen

After reading three novels by Charles Dickens, I find ~Hard Times~ to be my least favorite novel. I don’t like the male characters and especially that of Mr. Boundby. He is not only a lecher – he is a loud, uncouth individual who consistently perpetrates a fraud , in word and deed.

Mr. Gradgrind’s character of a father imposes his utilitarian beliefs on almost everyone. It especially has almost ruined his daughter Louisa. At one point in the novel she cannot decipher one feeling from another.

Tom Gradgrind, another child of Mr. Gradgrind has no idea how to tell the truth most certainly and abuses the love and devotion of his sister, Louisa.

James Harthouse is on the prowl and imposes himself on Louisa with false claims of love.

Maybe that was the intent of Dickens to ruffle the reader’s feathers. I thought deeply after reading this book how much of imposing another’s will on anybody can do such harm and especially that of a woman.

My ~Hard Times~ Post     The Classics Club 


The Classics Club

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Jungle

The Jungle by – Upton Sinclair

“I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
Upton Sinclair

In Chicago, a Lithuanian wedding is taking place for Ona and Jurgis. It is a family filled with immigrants who came to America with the hope of freedom, a job, and a decent place to live for their families.

Most of the family members work for the packing house. Packing Town prior to housing workers and their families was a city dump. For the children of Packing Town there is no school, they play in filth with swarms of flies around their faces and bodies, and the stench of dead animals.

Jurgis and the family move from the packing yards to their own home, only finding themselves with a mortgage and hefty interest payments.

Winter sets in and causes the family more expenses as they find their home has not been insulted. The family has no winter clothes or blankets. Also, the factories are not heated.

Jurgis and each family member after much debate join the union. He also starts school to learn reading and writing in English.

Ona and Jurgis have their first child, a son, as the hardships continue – hardships that most people cannot imagine.

The novel tells of inhuman conditions in many different places of employment throughout Chicago. These conditions are also taking place across America at this time in history.

The grind and hopelessness of the work with the physical elements transformed a person – many became depressed and turn to drink as a source of comfort among other things.

Jurgis finds comfort in joining the socialist party and attending meetings – he seems to soak up knowledge which enables him to carry on.

This novel has historical value and can ring true to some working conditions in other countries across the globe.

I highly recommend reading this work and perhaps comparing the politics of the book with what is going on in our country today.

Social Justice Theme

♥♥♥ For: Social Justice Theme at, Resistance Is Futile

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In Celebration of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’ 201st anniversary is on February 7th, 2013.
Fanda Classiclit will be dedicating the whole month for…
Celebrating Dickens
I will be taking part in reading of,  The Mystery of Edwin Drood and hopefully sneaking in A House to Let, time allowing. One can also take part in this celebration by reading any of his novels or reading books written about Dickens, watching his movie adaptations, sharing thoughts on the author, analyzing his famous book’s characters, or sharing how Dickens affects our lives. There is also Character Thursday at Fanda Classic Lit where Dickens characters have priority all month during February.
It will be a wonderful event, worth attending!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Desperate Measures

Jane Austen Digital_A

Desperate Measures – A Regency Short Story by, Candice Hern

♥ spoilers

A beautifully written short story of a young woman finding love for the first time. Lydia already knows in heart she loves Geoffrey Danforth – she isn’t sure how to convey this message to him. She is in her second season of husband searching which causes some speculation of becoming an old maid for both Lydia and her mother. Her brother Daniel and his friend Philip have mastered a plan to attract the dashing young man, Geoffrey. Will the plan work in Lydia’s favor and will the story bring a happily ever after ending?


Regency Romance Reading Challenge 2013: Featuring Candice Hern

Regency World – the pages of Candice Hern

Challenge taking place at, Austenprose

Weekend Quote

Woman Reading On Settee_William W. Churchill

"The earth still pulls at us because it it is not ourselves -
it is still the source for our moments of glory and our since of brilliance;
the visionary experience is still the real thing.
But we have lost our certainty of God and, therefore, faced with this power
which is not ourselves, we find it loose and violent.
We are afraid. It is an odd paradox that in a world which we see no longer
anthropocentric or anthropomorphic,
a world where things are themselves to be seen, and studied, and known, our
religious interests, our crises of the soul, have become more narrowly
and exclusively human. The humanist morality, personal love, deep relationships,
honesty, is arguably our most complete way now of arranging ourselves to meet life
But at time when we are alone with what is human, we are terribly unprovided."
~The Shadow of the Sun by, A.S.Byatt   Henry -Anna's Father

♥ my thoughts – painting by William W. Churchill entitled ~Woman Reading on Settee

Sometimes we attempt with much effort to give meaning to all we feel and what we see as we feel.
Take a freshly fallen snow - dripping icicles, and maybe the how of shadows falling from the street lights on the snow. Sometimes we have failed to acknowledge the creator in all the greatness that exists in our lives, throughout the world and beyond. And sometimes we simply do not have all the answers and yet continue our search for something deeper.

♥ Weekend Quote at:  Half-Filled Attic

Weekend Quote

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Katherine Anne Porter–An Essay

Book Plate_1_Essay_1

The Necessary Enemy’ (written in 1948). This essay is found in, The Oxford Book of Essays by, John Gross.

The author of the essay writes of a young couple, who could be any young couple. The husband and wife have gone by the rules, built a solid foundation for themselves – seemingly share the same interests and plan to spend their adult lives together.

Somehow I feel the romance part of their marriage has subsided, and perhaps it was not included in the original plan.

‘she’, the young woman is entirely too hard on herself as she finds herself horrified at her feelings towards her husband at times – she hates him on some days.

In her childhood ‘she’ is taught by her parents to ‘control your feelings’. ‘she’ has pushed her feelings down and now they lay in buried layers close to her core. ‘she’ also cannot bear the fact others could hate her.

‘Hate’ I feel after reading this essay also lives in the core waiting patiently to let itself be known. It doesn’t make the emotion ‘hate’ good or bad, wrong or right, it just is. I believe repressing emotions caters to our dark side and will emerge sooner or later in the shadow side of an archetype.

Katherine_Anne_Porter Katherine Anne Porter, 1890 - 1980 was an American author from Texas and regarded as the master of the short-story. Ship of Fools was her long novel and a best seller which was made into a movie in 1965.

♥ The book page is a free image from: Far Far Hill

The Essay Reading Challenge takes place at, Books and Movies, running through January 2013 – December 2013.

TRB Challenge–Check In


For the TRB Challenge, hosted by Roof Beam Reader, I had listed fourteen (14) books – two (2) being incase I don’t like one of the reads.

I have completed three (3) books for the challenge and have reviewed two (2). I would like to mention I read, In Cold Blood – Truman Capote before the New Year and some of books on the list coincide with my Classics Challenge list.

My list consists of books I have not read before and I am looking forward with a bit of apprehension to reading the Ann Radcliff novels. I have thoroughly enjoyed the three (3) I have read and choosing a favorite is rather difficult. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee is now my favorite novel and I have just finished, The Shadow of the Sun – A.S. Byatt – I hung on her every word and find the author down reaching and of great depth, yet so concise and clear. Also, the introduction written by the author, proved to be interesting.

Ruth – Elizabeth Gaskell
Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary E. Bradden
The Absentee – Maria Edgeworth
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Italian – Ann Radcliffe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
The Monk – Ann Radcliffe
The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt
The Shadow of the Sun – A.S. Byatt
The Biographer’s Tale – A.S. Byatt
The Glass Harp – Truman Capote
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote  - finished in December 2012
Other Voices, Other Rooms – Truman Capote
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Saturday, January 5, 2013

… Readathon


Today is the first Readathon hosted by The Classics Club.

1- Name and Blog:
Patricia @ Reading During Intermission
2- Snacks and Beverages of Choice:
Coffee, lots of water and hot tea for the remainder of the evening
Breakfast - grits, bacon and toast
Lunch - a cup of fruit and a croissant
Dinner - Spaghetti and Meatballs
3 - Where are you reading from today?
The couch wrapped in a fleece blanket with my tiny dog, Paco
4 & 5 - What are your goals for the Readathon? What books are you planning on reading?
I am currently reading, To Kill a Mockingbird by, Harper Lee, which I just started today.
6 - Are you excited?
Yes, It is grand to plan and sit for an entire day and do nothing but read.

My eyes are sore from steady reading throughout the day. The day has been good and very quiet. I finished the wash, folded the clothes and all is put away, during some short brakes – I walked the tiny dog – the cold fresh air made it possible to return to reading with a clear head.

I couldn’t have chosen a better book to spend the day with. Although I didn’t complete the novel and find I need some sleep I managed to take myself to Part 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird. I highly recommend a day set aside for reading and hope to take part in another Readathon one day soon.