lotesse: (glamazon)
I was thinking, this morning, as one does, about romantic teleology and Charlotte Brontë. (which as I'm writing about Love's Labour's Lost this week is actually rather odd, but I habitually think about Charlotte, so.) Read more... )
lotesse: (starwars_twins)
Friday = podfic!

[Podfic] A bed of daysided gold (18 words) by faviconlotesse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Original Trilogy
Rating: Explicit
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Leia Organa/Luke Skywalker/Han Solo
Characters: Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo

podfic of A bed of daysided gold, written and read by lotesse, 30:27

[Podfic] Jane Eyre Has a Posse (19 words) by faviconlotesse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Jane Austen's Fight Club, AUSTEN Jane - Works, Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, Marianne Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, Bertha Mason, Blanche Ingram, Shirley Keeldar, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Earnshaw, Fanny Price

podfic of Jane Eyre Has a Posse, written by bow and read by lotesse, 23:01

lotesse: (labyrinth_slave)
Since Brontës seem to be going around ([personal profile] selenak on Wuthering Heights, [personal profile] katta on Jane Eyre), it seemed to me like it might be time to try expounding on my Grand Unified Theory of Rochester. Which I have never tried to do before, not really, so be gentle!

Like Katta, I love Rochester. I always have, ever since Jane Eyre whirled me away as a sixteen-year-old and made me decide to study Victorian literature for a living. But I've had a really hard time talking about him, to most fans of the book, and certainly I've found that academic analyses of him don't patch with my reading. The current tendency seems to be to read Rochester as similar to Heathcliff, but without the benefit of Emily's sarcastic commentary and relentless anti-Romanticism: a Byronic brooding Bad Boy Woobie who gets himself Redeemed By Lurve. Witness the take Fassbender gave on him in the recent film: his Rochester is all about the lure of the bad boy. Rochester's appeal gets read as symptomatic of women's simultaneous political desire for freedom and sexual desire for submission, as suppressed s&m. All very Twilight, when you come down to it.

This is not my Rochester. )
lotesse: (books_sapphic)
I've picked up Charlotte Brontë's The Professor half a dozen times since high school, but never managed to finish it before. (The first chapter is very dull, and also I'm not sure one could read it successfully without knowing a little French, which until recently I did not.) And, indeed, I could scarcely finish it now. Only the expedient of my exam list got me through. Because oh, I found it so inexpressibly painful, uncomfortable, and generally pitiful that reading it physically hurt.

This is the first book she tried to publish, before Jane Eyre. She plundered it later to write Villette, and the novel itself was published posthumously in 1857 by her husband. The weird - and painful - thing about it, though, is that it's Villette from the other side. The pov character, the "I," is the brusque older male teacher, and through his first-person narration you watch him falling in love with the shy, clever, poor, plain, young female instructor.

And it's - it's impossible not to read the biographical in here, but - it's watching this young writer trying to write herself as lovable, especially knowing that in life, the beloved object didn't return her passion, that's so absolutely excruciating. The point of view is strangely attenuated - it keeps stretching out to encompass the girl-lover's feelings and impressions, which of course Charlotte knows, but I also feel that in the scenes of classroom instruction there's something in Charlotte that delights in inhabiting such an absolute position of disdainful masculine superiority, in tearing down the stupid vain girls and patronizing the prim schoolmistresses. Of course her analog-character never does this, but is meek and quiet, but in the same way that Agnes Grey clearly draws on a personal experience with childcare, so The Professor draws on Charlotte's own experience as a teacher.

The whole thing is really making me crave Snape/Hermione fic.
lotesse: (millay_spring)
We've had absolutely bats weather here - day before yesterday windgusts of 80 mph, huge trees down all over the place, but mercifully no loss of life, and no tornadoes either. The winds aren't turning, just blowing like snot.

Saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and just hated it - I can't remember the last time I was so bored. The total lack of narrative structure/plot/characterization is stunning. Was this supposed to be a movie? It felt more like an amusement park ride, the way the first three managed to avoid in the despite of their origin. Johnny Depp v. pretty as always, I suppose, but my irritation with the formlessness of the thing kind of detracted from my ability to appreciate his eyeliner.

BUT. I also finished The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and wow. It went somewhere MAJOR.

I do think Anne Brontë is, technically speaking, a weaker writer than her sisters. Wildfell Hall suffers from an overabundance of unmemorable, redundant secondary characters, and needs to be about a hundred pages shorter. (I've been wondering if Anne wasn't helped as much as the others were by their family writing collective because her interests turned to different genres/narrative modes/social issues. She wants to write a sober, longform realist novel, and she's stuck working with a bunch of crazy gothicists. But I have no evidence, only speculation.) Almost half of the novel keeps you stuck in the pov of Gilbert Markham, the whinging childish jealous brutish guy who's supposed to be the Good Lover, idek, and his head is a really boring place to be.

But the middle third of the novel, when you're in Helen Huntingdon's diary, is insanely banging. It's relentless, not allowing the reader to avert any of their attention from even the most squalid moments in the disintegration of Helen's marriage. The stuff with her son -! And with her husband's very clear understanding of the liberatory effect Helen's art has on her and his determination to put a stop to it -!
lotesse: (Claudio)
1: French. French test done and done! The translation was from Le Petit Prince, so that was yay. Checking my notes, I know for sure that I muffed one or two things, but I think I'm going to be okay.

2: Shoes. Got my birthday present from my mum in the mail - she sent me cute sandals! Strappy black, with two-inch-ish tapered heels, well-balanced enough to actually walk in, without ankle straps because those do un-good things to the look of my legs. Mama's started cultivating this habit of buying shoes for me and then mailing them for various gifts. I think she thinks it's fun to buy for me, because my feet are completely standard in measurement, and she wears a women's size 11 narrow. I love getting actual objects in the mail, and also having a mother with excellent taste in shoes.

3: Cinema. Still have not seen the new PotC. Maybe tomorrow? Sometime this week, anyway. But it was gorgeous out today, and I didn't want to spend it in the cinema. Oh, but I did see the new Jane Eyre, and was absolutely appalled. I didn't know it was possible to make Jane that much of a frail victim - or Charlotte Brontë's prose that flat and humorless! They must've worked to cut out that novel's zing!

(3½: signal boost to this petition asking the psychology community to repudiate that awful piece of scientific racism recently printed in Psychology today)

me me:

5 May 2011 10:54 am
lotesse: (miyazaki)
Name me a character from a fandom I have known, and I will tell you:

* How I FEEEEEL about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon
lotesse: (Default)
'Cause I love me some historical ladywriters. From the top: 1. Christina Rossetti, 2-3. Charlotte Brontë, 4. Emily Brontë, 5-6. George Eliot, 7. Louisa May Alcott, 8. Gene Stratton Porter (<3), 9. Lucy Maud Montgomery, 10-12. Virginia Woolf, 13-14. Edna St. Vincent Millay

of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen )
lotesse: (literature - Victorian)
So I'd heard about the egregiously Twilight-tastic new cover for Wuthering Heights, but apparently that's only the beginning of it.

cut for images and ranting )
lotesse: (feminism - Buffy)
I've been thinking about women's anger in narrative. My Boy just read Jane Eyre for the first time, and while he loved Jane's passionate rage as a child, he was disappointed by the way that she cools down and reigns herself in as an adult. Also, Hoyden About Town posted a feminist exploration of The Taming of the Shrew yesterday - the one Shakespeare play that I can't get my head around, that I can't figure it out.

(I also saw Australia last night, and while I loved the film I rather wish that the heroine had been more Mary Lennox or Jo March than Indiana Jones Sidekick No. 2)

I love angry girls in books. Anger is a useful resource; if you are oppressed, anger is a necessary reaction. Out of anger is born activism. I love the angry girls because they see gender oppression as the crock it actually is, and they aren't willing to play along. As a girl, the angry girls made me feel validated, like I wasn't making it all up - like I had a right to my anger. I felt with their fire.

My heart had leapt. My cheeks had burnt. I had flushed with anger. )
lotesse: (buffy)
With the accidental release of the Twilight spin-off Midnight Sun, I've found myself pondering vampires.

I haven't actually read Twilight, save in mockworthy excerpts around internetland. My sister bought all four books, though, and then my mother read them. This kind of weirds me out.

But the thing about Midnight Sun that's been freaking me out is how like some sort of dark mirror of Buffy/Angel it is. I'm embarrassingly otp about B/A, and looking at Edward Cullen is a very interesting exercise in self-examination. Because I think that at the end of the day, Angel and Edward - heck, throw in Rochester for a historical precedent - are cut from pretty much the same mode. Handsome, powerful, has knowledge that the heroine does not, secret darknesses, stalkerishness, possessiveness, that whole fantasy of total all-consuming love that verges on creepy and badwrong.

Except that they choose very different sorts of girls to be in love with. )

Also, in tangent land, rewatching the end of Buffy 3 made me frustrated with it all over again. Because to me, the breakup never actually reads as final. It reads like the Romanceland trope of the obstacle to love, which is SUPPOSED TO BE OVERCOME BY TRUE LOVE. The breakup feels like the first part of something. I don't ever feel like the writers actually say that it's over. If they would, maybe I could get over it. Right now I'm just having Season Six AU fantasies wherein Angel is the one who catches B at the end of Once More With Feeling, instead of stupid Spike.
lotesse: (academia)
Girls, if any of you would be willing to read over my proposal for my final paper on Jane Eyre, I'd love you forever. I have to present it to all faculty and majors on Thursday, and the prop is due tomorrow morning. It's just a short bit - let me know if you see any glaring flaws or logic holes?

Read more... )

I'll possibly make icons on request for anyone who gives me good crit /wheedle
lotesse: (the voice I heard crying)
I've made my peace with Jane Eyre, really I have. It's very hard for me to dealwith the issues of race and racism that critics tend to raise against it, because I love Rochester and Jane so terribly. I take his character by the fact that it was Jane he wished to have, not some divine beauty. Jane: small, poor, plain, and above all fiercely independent, not content to be less than his equal. I love him for loving her, you see.

And he does treat Bertha well, at least. He doesn't send her off to an asylum, doesn't allow her to die. If her condition seems cruel to us, perhaps it is because of the cultural and intellectual changes in the understanding of mental illness. I'm sure that however bad Thornfield may be, an institution would be infinitely worse. Edward hates her, true enough, but not for her madness. She was cruel to him ere she lost her mind, and it's that that sways him, he says so himself.

(Oh, it feels so strange to be reading with the text and against its interrogators. It's not my usual method at all, and it makes me quite uneasy. But it really is the way I feel.)

But there is one thing that, every time I hear or read of it, puts me entirely on Bertha's side: when Rochester and his company are playing at charades, certain wardrobes and closets on the third story are ransacked for costumes. It's entirely clear to me that these are Bertha's things, being taken without her permission for use in a party game by a spoiled snot. It makes my heart ache. The disregard of her wishes, her very being, that they would so cavalierly carry off her things! it bothers me very much.

Maybe it's because I hated having to give up my own things so much as a girl. My sister is four years younger than me, and she spent most of her childhood wearing my handmedowns. We didn't have a lot of money, and good clothing was good clothing. But I hated it. It already reduced me to tears when I couldn't wear a particularly beloved dress or pair of shoes any more, and to see her going about it them was, in my mind, adding insult to injury. And so the idea of someone taking away my things without my knowledge and for such a silly purpose really rankles with me. It could almost make me dislike Rochester. At least Jane isn't involved--I'd be very sad to dislike her.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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