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Showing posts from November, 2017

Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Book 5

Here we are once again at the Aurora Leigh readalong, hosted by me, Alice, and this week I read only Book 5, but it was yet again really gay and a mix of genius and wtf, so lots to talk about here.

We left off in Book 4, with Aurora and Romney parting ways again after he has been dumped by Marian Erle. Romney talked about Aurora "break[ing] the mythic turf where danced the nymphs," and in my epic poetry I love that, but if he said that to me in real life I would be like



Elizabeth Barrett Browning makes her case in Book 5 for people writing about the world right now. She makes some great points, but also it is a lot and maybe write an essay. MAYBE WRITE AN ESSAY, ELIZABETH. But she doesn't want to, and this is her book, so fine.

There is a consistent feeling through Aurora Leigh of Browning peeling back the curtain of Being Literary in the Victorian Age and just talking about life as we all know it. It's weirdly juxtaposed with verbal flights of fancy that soar to epic l…

Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Books 3 & 4

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "You know how ladies are like windmills?"

Aurora Leigh! EBB's novel in verse. This week we read Books 3 & 4, which involve Aurora making her name as a poet, talking about how great London is to inspire one, and also some gay stuff and Aurora's cousin Romney Leigh almost marries Marian Erle, A Poor Person, but then she says never mind.

If we're going to pick a gay person in this book, I pick Marian. SURE, you can say "But she seems too into Romney." I also really wanted to marry a dude who I could help with his Great Life's Work. But guess what? I then turned out to be super gay.
Marian says
“I’d rather far be trodden by his foot,

Than lie in a great queen’s bosom.”

And it's like, um, no one MENTIONED a great queen's bosom, Marian. That was all you. But sure, now that we're on the topic of ladies and their bosoms etc, what's up with—
Marian: I'M NOT GAY ladies just kiss me all the time I don't even ask…

Something Sunday: Good Things That Have Happened

I am all for listing things that are good in what is so increasingly becoming The Darkest Timeline that we should all have goatees by now.

Fortunately, Jenny at Reading the End has started "Something Sundays" where we can list happy/good/whatever things that are keeping us going. Lots of lovely things happened today, and here they are:

1. My girlfriend made breakfast before she got on a plane to Canada. Breakfast was extremely good, and now I can say I have a girlfriend in Canada.

2. The Frances Willard House began its renewed "Views" series with a talk by Joan Marie Johnson on her book Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women's Movement, 1870-1967 (published by UNC Press), and the talk not only sold out -- there was a WAITING list. I smiled muchly.

3. In keeping with the women's history theme, I have become increasingly delighted that my books are becoming more and more collectiony. By which I mean the books I own have never been very "…

Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Books 1 & 2

So. Aurora Leigh by English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, written in 1856 (Dickens had just written Hard Times) is a novel in verse about an English-Italian girl and her journey to becoming a poet.
It is...a little challenging. Here is a live action shot of me reading yesterday:

So, BOOK 1:
Aurora Leigh is born "[t]o make my father sadder, and myself/Not overjoyous truly."
Which kind of just sets the tone, huh. I want this entire review read with an understanding that along with extreme perplexity and frustration for certain parts, I also acknowledge this book is the work of an incredible genius and I'm glad I am reading it. Yes, I shouted parts in anger while my girlfriend tried to get work done last night, but I also was like "WAIT THIS PART IS REALLY GOOD LISTEN."
I've never been a huge fan of poetry, but I do think it fills a very necessary place in humanity's expression of itself, and those who use it well should be lauded. Or their words should be.
E…