life with uterus:
just got my first IUD
I thought I knew pain
Suffering from insomnia in the stilly watches of the night, my mind went to an article I read recently (?by that woman who just produced a whole book on her life with Middlemarch, or possibly by someone inspired by/reviewing it?) which said something like 'though Eliot was not as good on men as women' -
To which I was
(And 'But why always Dorothea?' - verb. sap.)
It adduced Will Ladislaw, and personally I have never been on board with the Ladislaw-hate (he is charming talented hot young man who is not an alpha-male type and has already undergone a significant maturation process, who is crazeee about her, what is not to like?) and Dorothea/Lydgate as OTP. Because it is our considered opinion that to a significant degree Dr Tertius deserved Rosamund because of his unthinking masculinist assumptions about marriage and what help and comfort between spouses actually meant. We are not at all persuaded that even with a less egocentric helpmeet he would be The Ideal Husband, even without the 'dissecting things is a fun way to spend evenings by the conjugal fireside' hobby.
Either Dorothea would turn into doing for him what Casaubon hoped she would be for him, only for SCIENCE rather than musty old mythologies, like those Victorian spouses to scientists who learnt German to translate relevant texts, catalogued their specimens, edited their articles and monographs for stylistic coherence, took up watercolours in order to illustrate these, and got no credit for their contributions: i.e. unpaid research assistant/secretary/PA/editor.
Or, I have just thought of an AU sequel in which Dorothea does marry Lydgate but conflict arises between his desire to Do Research and her belief that he should use his medical gifts for the benefit of the suffering poor; and that's before they find themselves at odds over the Contagious Diseases Act, 1864.
But, anyway, how can you possibly say that Ms Evans Couldn't Depict Men. Pray what gender are Mr Casaubon, Mr Brooke, Lydgate, Fred, Bulstrode, Rev Farebrother, Sir James, not to mention the plethora of vividly depicted peripheral characters from Rev Cadwallader to Raffles and the seedy low-lifes who sell Fred the vicious nag? They are just as convincing as Rosamund, Celia, Mary, Mrs Cadwallader, the landlady of the Green Dragon, etc etc.
What I read
Well, I galloped through The Book of Strange New Things (2014: ARC) which was extremely compelling reading; I wasn't sure I wanted to start it (but then I just glanced at the first few pages...) and then I was worried that I would have to abandon it part-read when going away at the weekend (it is a fat hardback); and then I basically gave in to it and read on and on. It's amazing, and I'm still chewing it over in my mind. It's v different from, but just as good as (at least as good as) The Crimson Petal and the White and does for sf (proper sf, no evasion) the same kind of visceral, even tactile, feel that that did for a v specifically located bit of Victorian era.
I also, finally, finished Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency (2008) which I got as a freebie last autumn and managed to get onto my tablet but somehow haven't been reading things on my tablet much even since the Sekkrit Projekt ended and couldn't find any way to transfer it to the e-reader and it did rather get pushed down the pile but I was sufficiently engaged to think of getting back to it rather than letting it languish, so I was reading it over the weekend and it was really very good. It was not somehow what I expected from Hensher - two families in a northern provincial city over a period of several decades, against a background of the various upheavals, 60s-80s, but v much through how they touched on the lives of the various characters. It's about time and chance and change.
In a remainder shop I picked up 3 for £5 VMC editions of novels by Muriel Spark , who is one of those novelists always being recommended, and read The Comforters (1957), her first novel, which was quite good but somehow I still do not entirely warm up to Spark (okay, intro to this edition is all about she was more about head than heart, but it's also possible to warm up on the cerebral level), although I will probably read the other two at some stage.
Also finally got to, what has been languishing on the e-reader for ages, Anne Lyle's Prince of Lies (2013), conclusion to the Night's Masque trilogy, which was v good - the various competing forces almost reached a Dunnetian level of making alliances with one set of enemies to confound another set - and the period feel still excellent, though I wish I had left somewhat less of a gap since the previous one.
On the go
On Friday I was feeling sinus-headachey and not very productive for most of the day (which I'd intended to work on the Lecture) and ended up picking up GB Stern's Another Part of the Forest (1941). Awww, Gladys/ or should I say Peter/ how nice to spend time with you.
I also started Una McCormack, Hollow Men (2005) and while I can quite see its merits, I am not really well enough up in DS9 for a full appreciation I suspect.
Have had Laurence Housman's An Englishwoman's Love Letters (1900) on my e-reader for ages and finally began this one-time succes de scandale by one of my pet early C20th gay pacifist male feminists. A lot of the scandale at the time was the belief that it was non-fiction, and certainly so far it doesn't seem very shocking, unless a woman being articulate about her emotions towards the love-object counts as that. I'm not sure it's something one would want to read a great deal of at any one sitting but I shall dip in and out, I think.
No idea, really. At the moment I am a bit about looking at my tbr piles (solid and virtual) and seeing what takes my fancy.
I’ll also be presenting a workshop on getting through your first draft, doing some panels, and chasing Chuck around with a cupcake gun I borrowed from Delilah Dawson. Supersonic chocolate cupcakes OF DEATH!
Anyway, here’s the schedule, for anyone who might want to stop by. And if you don’t want to stop by, that’s fine. I DIDN’T WANT YOU AT MY PANEL ANYWAY! ::Sniff::
This should be a lot of fun. How do I know? Well, among other reasons, it’s because the bar will be serving Brass Goggles, Primetime, Goblin Wiz, and F-Bomb:
From left to right:
As a general rule, I don’t drink, but I may need to make an exception this weekend
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.