Skip to main content

Wherein I Have Many Opinions

I get disappointed when people don't update daily. This is mainly because my job involves a lot of sitting around trying to find things to read. So perhaps others are busy doing "productive" things that aren't blogging, but because I can only truly see things from my own perspective, I am now blogging despite not having any clear subject about which to blog.

What about the Brontes! Let's discuss them, oh let's do! (and no, I'm not umlauting them -- deal)

I think my second blog post here compared the Bronte family to sea turtles, so rather than do that tired old thing again, here're my uninformed opinions on the three sisters who managed to remain not-dead for longer than the rest of the family:

1. Charlotte. Ah yes. Charlotte. Was I obsessed with her at age 16? Yes. Did I have make believe conversations with her? Yes. Did I read anything of hers beyond Jane Eyre? Of course not, I'm not a weirdo English major. 

But for reals, I tried Shirley and it was all "And then there were two curates in the house visiting the young lady and here's what they said and oh, there's also the Industrial Revolution and Issues That Faced Northern England That Are No Longer Relevant." You know what WASN'T there? A crazy lady in an attic and a lone governess trying to navigate her creepy gothic atmosphere. Interest LOST.

16 is pretty much the only age at which it's acceptable to be Jane Eyre-obsessed. And it's PERFECT for that age because it's all EMOTIONS and FEELINGS and PEOPLE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND THEIR LOVE. I hated Austen because CB hated her and I thought she was "just so cold and unfeeling." Yeah. Teenagers are idiots.

That picture where Branwell's apparently being
beamed up by a transporter.

2. Emily. Are there any NON-douchebags who love Wuthering Heights? These were my feelings while reading it: "Ugh I hate all the characters, but the writing is SO GOOD I must continue." I get that Emily was super-weird and who wouldn't be with just a bunch of moors to wander on, but she didn't have to make her characters total assholes. I like the 1930s film of it, but only because they make Heathcliff do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he does in the book, so he's actually somewhat sympathetic. I don't care if it subverts the author's intentions. Booooo that book.

3. Anne. Poor Anne. No one pays attention to her. And you know what, damnit, I LOVE her. Yeah, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is kind of just a big ad for the temperance movement (down to the wife weeping on her knees, begging her husband to put down his drink -- "Think of the CHILDREN"), but you know what? Agnes Grey had a purpose, and it was a good one. Sure, Jane in Jane Eyre is a governess, but does that book show how shitty it was to have that job? No. Except that one scene when Blanche Ingram is all "*titter* Oh my, how difficult it is to get good governesses who know their place, blah blah." Whereas most of Agnes Grey is like "Hey, this is what it's like to be a governess. Isn't it horrible? Don't you feel like maybe you should be nicer to yours? YEAH, DO THAT."

And you know that was an actually important point to the Bronte family, because Charlotte and Anne left their governess positions because they were so miserable.

4. Extra Thoughts. All this being said, if you can see the play Bronte, DO IT. It made me KIND of like Emily, which was a near-miraculous feat. And Charlotte is made into this extremely three-dimensional person, which I have a difficult time seeing her as sometimes. And of course I don't remember Anne, because who remembers Anne?, but I'm sure her character's great, too. 

And, of course, despite all the things I just spent a decent amount of time writing, they were a completely remarkable family and I'd pass out if I met any of them. 

Then after I woke up, I wouldn't be able to understand them, because 19th C. RURAL YORKSHIRE ACCENTS.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Yes, Frances Willard was as gay as Oscar Wilde. But in a lady-way.

Yup. We're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about Frances Willard and gayness. Look, it's not a major part of her life, and it's definitely not the main thing she should be remembered for, but the fact that a line is being put out that she was totally straight is complete hogwash and it upsets me.




The thing is, I get when people say it's anachronistic to put the cultural concept of "gayness" onto a person from a century other than the 20th/21st. I get that. And usually agree with it. But Frances Willard is one of the gayest people in history. I have zero problem labeling her with that. The fact that she didn't have the language to describe what she was experiencing is upsetting, but she managed to have a seemingly full and satisfying life anyway, so I am happy for her.

And for people annoyed when gay people say that someone from the past was gay, here's the thing: When you're completely whitewashed from history, it is a matter of TOTAL DELIGHT wh…