I cannot believe I went through my whole childhood and adolescence without reading Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. I first read it during my freshman year of college and have read it annually ever since. I’m re-reading it now (we’re on Reading #4, for all my fellow math-hating English-Lit people) and I love it just as much as the first time I read it, if not more. I’m not sure why I love this book so much, especially since the first half is fairly tortuous to read. Jane’s miserable childhood is not exciting (rather, it is painful to imagine), and as my friend Valerie Campbell is quick to point out, Jane tends to err on the side of whining about it too much. But then there are the glowing monologues of Helen Burns, an impossibly wonderful human being, who (despite her unrealistic saintliness) wins my heart every time and makes me want to be a really good person too!
Anyway, I think the story really takes off when Jane reaches adulthood and longs for her liberty. Her theological journey is so intriguing to me! I love Jane because I identify with her weaknesses–her quick temper, her slowness to forgive, her reliance on human affection. It gives me hope to see her grow away from these vices and into greater virtues. But rather than babble on about the entire plot-line of this classic, let me just leave you with a quote by Muriel Clark: “Each time we re-read a book, we get more out of it because we put more into it; a different person is reading it, and therefore it is a different book.” Amen, Muriel. Justified.
Just a quick note before I head off to work: I am totally digging this new blog theme. I wish I had drawn it myself! So delicate and fun. It’s a nice theme to end the summer.
More blogging to come later. I hope you all are doing wonderfully!
After doing a bit of quick research on Vanna Bonta, I have discovered that she is a novelist (author of a sci-fi story about an amnesiac girl with no navel), an actress (she had a cameo in The Beastmaster—please watch that trailer…they use the word phantasmagorical in all seriousness), and the inventor of the 2suit (a strange spacesuit that hooks two people together in zero-gravity for “intimacy” purposes…let’s just say it’s one giant leap for intergalactic colonization). These are simply a few of Ms. Bonta’s accomplishments. Not to mention her inspiring performance in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as “Villager/Voice Actor.”
In short, I found out that Vanna is mayor of CrazyTown. But she did give us these beautiful words of wisdom. “Language achieves soul only when it’s applied as a tool, used by those who imbue it with what they have had the courage and honesty to perceive and feel.”
Courage and honesty…two vital ingredients in good writing. Thanks, Vanna. That quote may have been your single greatest contribution to mankind. Other than the 2suit, of course.
Last night, I dreamt that I had to convince my old high-school principal, Sue Sylvester (the devilishly maniacal and hilarious cheerleading coach from Glee) and Dr. Nancy Dayton that I was qualified to teach a junior high math class. They were skeptical, and I don’t know why I would even try to get the job since I hate math and don’t have a strong liking for middle schoolers either.
I do almost all of my book shopping at Half-Price Books nowadays, and I recently picked up a few titles by Ursula Le Guin. Now these stories have been very enjoyable, but the real treasure is found on the last page of one of the books. Scrawled in black ink, a would-be poet wrote a…well, let’s call it interesting… piece. Since I have purchased the book, I feel I have the right to print the poem here for your reading pleasure. I will try to reproduce the layout as best as I can, but please imagine a couple of Dickinson-esque cross-outs and word replacements. It really adds to the vibe of the whole thing. And now, dear readers, I give you…
“Ode to Blackie”
All windy feathers now
Stiff against his sides
Yellow claws outstretched
His curious side long look
locked, one round bright
eye no longer blinking
the other clamped shut
against the cold.
Hooked beak no longer
clashing oaths or whimsies
as in days gone by
in our deep freeze.
Wings once dark as
indigo not so…tinged with
May peace be with you Shithead
*My apologies for the surprising conclusion to this eulogy. However, I felt that censorship would detract from the poem’s emotional depth. 🙂