Okay, okay, so I guess I liked Anne a little better than I let on. After reading Treasure Island, I decided to whip out Anne of Avonlea just to continue to relive my childhood. After finishing it and once again being disappointed, I have concluded that this series plays tricks on you. Whilst reading this book, I thought, “how ridiculously corny! I’m going to vomit rainbows and unicorns.” However, approximately 24 hours after finishing the novel, some magical element reminded me how sweet and wonderful it was. Much like the protagonist to her friends, this series is charming only after growing on you for a bit.
This weekend, I’ve been hooked on Children’s Lit. As I have only a week and a half of being at the Museum in the Middle of Nowhere, I’ve been looking for books that are short, somewhat familiar, and fast-paced. That is how I came across Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
I’d always been quite familiar with pirate-y things. Like the rest of the world, I’ve seen the Pirates of The Caribbean, and accordingly, I changed my pronunciation from the American kærɨˈbiːən To the British kəˈrɪbiən. I’d been on the Disney World ride before it was cool. I was also obsessed (for a brief, albeit embarrassing point in my life) with the classic Muppet Treasure Island. So why I had never picked up Treasure Island, the Grand Mother of All Things Pirate, was a complete mystery to me.
After watching Muppet Treasure Island a few days ago (okay, I still love it), I decided to pick it up, or rather, download it for free on ibooks. Knowing its status as a fast-paced Children’s Lit book, I was not expecting a whole lot, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised; though it certainly doesn’t invoke a greater contemplation of the meaning of life, the story telling is absolutely phenomenal.
This weekend, I finished Anne of Green Gables, which I remembered as being vaguely annoying yet nonetheless enjoyable. I decided to pick it up again for some odd reason. I can’t say I really enjoyed it beyond childhood memories. Toward the beginning of the novel, I felt that the author uses a heavy hand in attempting to make Anne appear charming, making her character seem contrived. She is romantic, impulsive, and sentimental. Anne’s only flaw is that of ignorance, despite which every problem humorously and happily resolves. However, I can say that whether Anne was unintentionally “intoxicating” Diana or terrifying Aunt Josephine, I was certainly having a good laugh.
Before settling down to read The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: an Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor by Andrew Mearns and others, I decided to take a drive through the Middle of Nowhere, which happens to be my “town,” in an effort to better appreciate it. I took my camera, hence the obligatory dilapidated barn picture.
As I was driving about, I chanced upon many cemeteries, but this was perhaps the most interesting. I didn’t realize that this area had ever possessed any sort of wealth, but so it is. Obviously, things are in disrepair at this cemetery; many of the headstones and obelisks have fallen over, are overgrown, or were stolen. However, it did result in an interesting walk.
I find that my diet is always unintentionally inspired by what literature I’m reading. Given that I’m on a Victorian Lit kick, it’s generally pretty delicious. But this week, I dove into Victorian proto-realism and read The Odd Women by George Gissing.
If you don’t know the story of The Odd Women, it’s probably best summarized by stating that it follows a handful of working-class women who have difficulty, both personally and ideologically, reconciling career and family in an age governed by conservative ideals. Long and short: none of the male and female relationships in the novel end happily.