Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Clutch

I was hoping my next post would be a review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. Unfortunately, there was a call on the book and I had to return it to the library before I had the chance to finish it. No word yet on when I may get it back. All I can really say at the moment is so far so good, and I truly hope I haven’t forgotten the beginning by the time I have a chance to read the ending.

In the meantime, though, it gives me an excuse to post these pictures of the new clutch I got a few months ago (technically a belated Christmas present from my mom). I’ve talked in the past about my fondness for literary accouterments, and this one is pretty unique. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters Who Self-Destruct

Since I recently wrote a post on tragedy, and am currently in the middle of writing another lesson on tragedy (Things Fall Apart), I felt it was high time to compile a list of my favorite characters who self-destruct. And this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, gave me the perfect excuse to do so. I ran out of time and didn’t quite make it to ten, but that just gives me more room to play in the future. Continue reading

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Filed under Books I've Read (and Thought About)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Film Adaptations

This week’s “freebie” Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, gave me the perfect excuse to do a post I’ve been mulling over for a while—a list of my favorite film adaptations. I couldn’t quite stick to ten, and I’m sure I’ll want to revise this list tomorrow to include something I forgot, but whatever.

Two or three notes before we get started, though. I picked movies that are my favorites, not necessarily the best films ever made, because there are a number of adaptations that succeed aesthetically but take their material from works I just don’t especially like, for one reason or another (Gone With the Wind comes to mind). I’m also drawing the line at “real” adaptations rather than loose, inspired-by ventures, to make things a little more manageable (although it pained me greatly to leave off The Lion King, which is—depending on who’s talking—either a light(er)hearted, kid’s version of Hamlet or out-and-out plagiarism of a Japanese series). And difficult as it was, I’m also limiting myself to theatrical releases rather than TV productions (but seriously, everyone, go watch the 2005 BBC version of Bleak House).

Based on my selections, you’ll also likely notice that despite my occasional snarkiness, I’m basically a squishy idealist at heart, so fair warning. In no particular order: Continue reading

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Money, Money, Money, Money (and Novels)

Merry Christmas! In honor of the brazen (if unusually honest) Western Union commercial proclaiming money “king” this holiday season, let’s talk about money.

If someone asked me to name a novel that’s largely about money, my first thought would probably be Our Mutual Friend. According to Thomas Piketty—economist and author of the wildly popular Capital in the Twenty-First Century—that’s not just because I’ve read too much Victorian fiction. As a recent Slate article helpfully notes for those of us who just can’t stomach 700 pages of economics, even for a good cause, Piketty argues that in the early 20th century, novels became increasingly less interested in money as money itself ceased to be a “stable reference point” following massive inflation and a temporary reduction in wealth inequality. If I might risk paraphrasing Slate’s paraphrase (always a dangerous proposition): Earlier references to money in literature were a way of ordering the world in knowable ways, so when money itself became a slipperier signifier, it ceased to have the same value (har har) for authors. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book

I don’t tend to participate in a lot of literary memes, but as a reader who’s constantly longing for more insight into her favorite characters, I just couldn’t resist this one, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. It will probably surprise no one that there’s a feminist slant to many of these (“imagine x novel, but from the woman’s perspective!”), but I have tried to think outside my most familiar box, with the following results (in no particular order): Continue reading

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Dickens’ Woman Problem?

I have a confession: I’m a feminist, and I love Dickens.

Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure which part of that sentence is supposed to constitute the real admission, since God knows people hate the word “feminist.” That said, I’ve met several women who are quick to write off Dickens’ entire oeuvre as patriarchal nonsense, and it pains me a little. Because while I don’t especially want to linger on Dickens’ private life—frankly, it’s not pretty—I think he often gets a bad rap where his novels themselves are concerned.
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Filed under Thoughts, Criticism, and Other Informal Ramblings

Taking Stock

In honor of the Tolkien-inspired skirt I recently ordered (pictures soon to follow) I decided to tally up the various and sundry literary objects I’ve accumulated. The results:

20140909_150356 Continue reading

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