A Perspective on Life

The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, “I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.”


“That is because you have no brains,” answered the girl.  “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful.  There is no place like home.”


The Scarecrow sighed.


“Of course I cannot understand it,” he said.  “If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all.  It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains.”




–Wizard of Oz

Jane Austen

BPortrait of Jane Austeneing a Circulation Manager I have the job of creating (or more, making sure my college students create it) a display case once a month.  This month being February, a student began a Valentine’s Day display, but since the holiday is one day and rather weak for a display case, we added Jane Austen.  I do love Jane Austen, but not in the high-school girly way.  I like Jane Austen in an intellectual way.  I wish I could have done more, but I passed it off to my students to finish (supplying my several books and other misc. objects) so it turned into more of a highschool girl display.  Still it was well-done.  Thinking about the recent fan admiration of Jane Austen, I decided to write a bit about the bad highschool girl books/movies I have seen lately.


First book is a recent novel called “Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” and while it is written by a Jane Austen enthusiast, it is bone-dry.  It is a creative idea in trying to aquaint readers with Jane Austen and I appreciate that it does attempt to write another sequel to one of Austen’s novels.  Yet while it is a fresh approach to the Jane Austen sequel rage, it does little else.  The striving to use the same English as Jane Austen was perhaps the weakest part of the book.  If you are a sequel enthusiast, this would be a great book.


 I have yet to see the recent film adaptation of Jane Austen Book Club, but if it is anything like the book I really don’t want to see it.  It is too easy to take modern day characters that are anything but the typical Jane Austen fanatics and make their lives parallel to Jane Austen’s novels.  Mostly this operates as a book of not what to do if you desire to write a Jane Austen sequel or any other sort of Jane Austen themed book.  It could have been better, but sadly it was not.


 photo credit: english.penn.edu

Alain Robbe-Grillet

Author Alain Robbe-Grillet has passed away at the age of 85.  I can’t stop thinking about his story “Jealousy” and how the first time I read it I fell in love with not understanding it.  His non-method appealed to my rebellious nature.


“The mere mention of the author’s name was enough to suggest hyper-modernity. When John Fowles’s narrator in The French Lieutenant’s Woman announces, “I live in the age of Robbe-Grillet,” he is indicating that the book will be unconventional.

The world of the Robbe-Grillet novel is anxious and unheroic. There is usually a dark plot, a mystery, an obsessive chase or detective quest, but resolutions are shrouded in ambiguity and the reader is left to piece things together as best he can. The novels are freighted with a sense of trauma which is left unexplained, flickering at the edges of consciousness.”


See the Article at the Telegraph

In Honor of the Day

Dew
 Sara Teasdale

  As dew leaves the cobweb lightly
Threaded with stars,
Scattering jewels on the fence
And the pasture bars;
As dawn leaves the dry grass bright
And the tangled weeds
Bearing a rainbow gem
On each of their seeds;
So has your love, my lover,
Fresh as the dawn,
Made me a shining road
To travel on,
Set every common sight
Of tree or stone
Delicately alight
For me alone