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The Return of the Spins

The Classic Club Spin has been one of my favorite reading activities. Thanks to this activity, I have read many books, which I would NOT have ventured into and in hindsight I know I would have missed out on such great and enriching works! Work and personal life however for last one year has been crazy, forcing me to let go of several spins and while I did feel upset about missing out on quality reading, there was very little I could do! I was planning to miss this spin as well, but then, I realized that I cannot always keep leaving out things that I truly enjoy for the things that must be done. I really cannot after a point get anything done, if I do not keep evolving myself and reading Classics is surely one of the best ways to do that. Furthermore, Cleo, my soul sister and my partner in crime whose life is equally busy and chaotic, has decided to plunge into this Spin and like always inspired me to join her madcap adventures. So, here, I am ready to Spin again.

The rules are simple and I quote directly from the CC Spin Page

  • At your blog, before next Monday 22nd April 2019, create a post that lists twenty books of your choice that remain “to be read” on your Classics Club list.
  • This is your Spin List.
  • You have to read one of these twenty books by the end of the spin period.

 

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Ivan Kramskoy – Reading Woman (portrait of artist’s wife) From Wikimedia Commons

I usually pick books randomly, but Cleo again got me hooked on this randomizer and when I ran my Classic’s list, this is what came up as my first 20 –

  1. 9 The Eustace Diamond by Anthony Trollope
  2. 14 Wives and Daughter by Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. 1 The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarrington
  4. 16 So Big by Edna Ferber
  5. 15 Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  6. 2 The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
  7. 30 And Quiet Flows The Dawn by Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov
  8. 12 The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope
  9. 21 Son Excellence Eugène Rougon by Emile Zola
  10. 40 The Meghadūta by Kālidāsa
  11. 22 The Kill by Emilie Zola
  12. 46 Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck
  13. 17 The Rig Veda; Translated by Wendy Donier
  14. 27 The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
  15. 25 Mr. Harrison’s Confession by Elizabeth Gaskell
  16. 26 The Bucaneers by Edith Wharton
  17. 39 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  18. 29 Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  19. 24 Tales of South Pacific by James A Michener
  20. 41 Kumarasambhava by Kalidasa

Some of these books, I really want to get to like, #3, #10 and #12; while others like #7 kind of scare me; but then, I know for a fact that books which I found intimidating were the ones I ended up loving the most! Thus, now I await Monday and the lottery of what I shall finally read!

Happy Spinning everyone!

May-ish Reads

Ah! May…..the fire breathing months on Indian plains, where the sun burns and earth scorches and you wonder if hell is like this! Joy! Naturally, so joyous a month will begin with something depressing and nasty and it did – to celebrate the May coming, the weather here turned nasty and between pollens and pollutants, my lungs practically gave away! I have spent the last two weeks in bed, trying to work from home for projects that will not wait and read on books that required little if any brain work! Needless to say I am completely and disastrously behind all my reading schedules!

I have not read a single page from Murder at Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe for my April reading for the 12 Months Reading Challenge and here is May where I had committed to reading Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis for the theme of An American Classic. I have not turned a page in my Women’s Classical Literature Event cum Classic Club Spin 12 reading of Willa Cathar’s Death Comes to the Archbishop and I am not even getting started on how much I have to catch up on my Reading England Project or my epic read alongs like The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien and The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser and Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens! I am behind, behind and way far behind in all my reading plans! The plan for May is therefore to re-group and catch up! I am not starting any new book until I finish all my spill overs from March and April. I am not even going to start on Arrowsmith, till I have finished everything else. But there are exceptions and I am only human with absolutely no self control when it comes to books and this I have committed to read along with Cleo and Hamlette for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but the good part is that it does not start until the end of May, so I should have made some significant inroads to my overloaded pile. And knowing its May and it is the anniversary of The First War of Independence in India, I will for sure go back and read one of my most favorite and one of the best work of fiction based on the event – The Shadow of the Moon by the inimitable MM Kaye! Like I said  I have enough and I mean ENOUGH to read on my plate and this one time I really really need to stick to the schedule!

Therefore I bid adieu and head back to plunge in the tottering pile of books! Hopefully I should find my reading rhythm again, but until I plough through the significant amount of that pile, I keep my post short and well, I cannot really do sweet!

I got all my sisters with me……

 

This is a bit of delayed post for March reading plans, but I really wanted to figure out what the Classic Club Spin#12 would bring, before I chart my course! To begin with, I am really proud of myself as to how well I have adhered to the reading plans of January and February and got some additional reading done as well. I may twist my arm, patting myself on the back, but I cannot help but grin! (Grin!Grin!)

However, wise people say that it is important to look ahead instead of gloating over successes of the past, so I reluctantly but rationally share the plan for March. Now we all know this is the month of International Women’s Day, which is in fact today – 8th March. Coming from a country that was as liberal and egalitarian as it gets on women issues until about 7oo years ago, when we lost all sense of proportion, and become a very conservative and masochist nation, I feel especially strongly about today. Its like having a great thing and then losing it! You never miss what you did not have, but when you have it and then lose, it seems kind of end of the world, not to mention stupid! Anyway, while we have recovered significantly in the last 100 years, I still have sisters in various corners of the country who are deprived of education, financial independence and the simple choice of living life on her own terms! Therefore call me a feminist, but I am all Go Woman!

I therefore have decided that besides the Women’s Classical Literature Reading Event which is a great monthly event, I will spend the month of March only reading Women authors, with the exception of the Readalongs which kind spread over from previous months! This is my kind of celebration of Womanhood! Therefore, to kick start, as part of Women’s Classical Literature Reading Event as well as 12 Month Classic Challenge (March theme – A classic you’ve been recommended), I am reading Christina Rossetti’s The Goblin Market and other poems. In Reading England, I select a crime fiction, because you cannot constantly read heavy literature and I wanted a good romping read towards the latter half of the month when I go on vacation to the Himalaya, and therefore it is Busman’s Honeymoon: Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery by Dorothy Sayers, focusing on Hertfordshire. I also revisit Dorothy Sayer’s in another avatar of a playwrite as I read her The Man Born to be King. I know this more of Christmas play and this is the wrong time of the year, but hey, it is Lent and Easter will be around soon! I think Christ believed that we should keep God in our hearts and remember him always and not during a particular month, so I venture forth on this drama as my Drama read of the month. You know you are lucky when your Spin Read is also a woman author – I will be reading Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather. Also because I know vacation is cometh and I will be undisturbed in the glorious pastures of Himalayas for a week, I added some more books to my reading kitty –Up the Country: Letters to her sister from the Northern Provinces of India by Miss Emily Eden. Her brother was one of worst Viceroy’s of British India, but I have heard great things about Ms. Eden’s writing so I want to really read this, especially when sitting in a British built hill station, watering place kind of thing! In some additional fun reads, I have got Ms. Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson, something recommended highly by  a grand aunt and Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe. Finally if I do find time, I will also have The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel, though I strongly doubt I will reach that far!

Now for the exceptions – I continue and hopefully will finish The Metamorphoses by Ovid, that I started in January with Cleo and O. I also have The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Readalong with Cleo, which forms a part of my Lecito List Reading. Finally O is hosting a brilliant and innovative ReadAlong for the The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, that kicks starts this month!

That’s the reading plan for this month! Simple, would you not agree?

Before I bid adieu for this post, though, I came across these lines in Rossetti’s Goblin Market, which seemed so very appropriate for the sisterhood we all belong to and therefore I leave you with it –

For there is no friend like a sister

In calm or stormy weather;

To cheer one on the tedious way,

To fetch one if one goes astray,

To lift one if one totters down,

To strengthen whilst one stands.

Cheers to Us!

 

Spining in 2016

I was planning to blog about March reading plans and get myself a pat on the back for adhering so well to the Jan and Feb reading plans; however as I opened wordpress, I saw a notification from The Classic Club, a notification that I just could not ignore! It was naturally for a Spin event, the #12 in the series and the first one of 2016. Over the years I have read such wonderful books as well as some oh!-I-can-so-have-done-without-this books through the Spin, but they have all been an uniformly enriching and interesting experience! Therefore there was no way in the world I was missing this spin. The rules remain simple as always and I quote directly from the The Classic Club Page

  • At your blog, by next Monday, March 7, list your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list — in a separate post.
  • This is your Spin List. You have to read one of these twenty books in March & April. (Details follow.) So, try to challenge yourself.
  • Next Monday, we’ll post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to
  • read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by May 2, 2016.

Thus, the List –

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  2. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
  3. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  4. The Wings of Dove by Henry James
  5. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  6. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  7. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
  8. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  9. The Name of a Rose by Umberto Eco
  10. A Room with a View by M Forster
  11. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  12. The House of Seven Gables by Nathanie Hawthorne
  13. Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
  14. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  15. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
  16. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  17. As I lay Dying by William Faulkner
  18. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
  19. Hunger by Knut Hamsum
  20. I Claudius by Robert Graves

Finally I now sit back and await Monday!

Hail To The Great Women…..

The Classic Club is hosting a brilliant event through 2016 called Women’s Classic Literature Event. The idea is to read classic literature by female authors and share your thoughts! The fun part is you do not have to wait for January, for the Club decided that Christmas had come early and opened the event on October 09 2015…so super yay! It goes without saying that I will be participating, the only problem I do face as of now is what all to read…more like there is so much and I don’t want to leave out ANYTHING! Therefore in a rare moment of wisdom, I have decided to take one book at a time and I will kick of the event with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. This book was part of my Reading England project and now it snugly fits into Women’s Classic Literature event as well. I plan to read it through November and I am super excited as I had been waiting to read this FOREVER!

Moving on, as part of the same event, the club has brought out a survey for its members to complete; this survey is naturally based around Women in Classics and I am sorely tempted to attempt it, though I am ridiculously bad at these things! I never seem to remember the pertinent things in a timely manner and later I go through these huge moments of “Oh! Damm! I should have said that!!!”  However, the survey is far too interesting to give up without any struggle and with a quaking heart, I venture forth-

The Survey

Introduce yourself. Tell us what you are most looking forward to in this event.

For those of you who already do not know, (that sounds incredibly pompous!) I am Cirtnecce – part time Project Delivery Leader, full time (constantly hoping and NOT in any order) Writer, Reader, Traveler and Foodie! To say I love reading is a ridiculous understatement – I cannot remember a time I did not read and I hope I never live to see a day when I cannot read! Books are what sustain me and what makes me!  I am really excited about this event and what I looking forward to is reading works of some lesser known female authors, especially outside of the Anglo-American belt.

 

Have you read many classics by women? Why or why not?

I have read a significant amount of Classics by women, but I know there are many more brilliant works out there which I have never tried. One of the main reasons is that many of these works are not easily accessible, especially in my part of the world. Even e-books are have limited number of such works available, making it kind of hard to diligently follow up on these readings.

 

Pick a classic female writer you can’t wait to read for the event, & list her date of birth, her place of birth, and the title of one of her most famous works.

I have been kind of scared of reading Virginia Woolf for sometime; however most of the readers that I respect assure me that I will LOVE To the Lighthouse! So here’s hoping, I get to reading atleast one work (I am guessing Lighthouse) Adeline Virginia Woolf, born 25th January 1882, at Hyde Park Kensington England

 

Think of a female character who was represented in classic literature by a male writer. Does she seem to be a whole or complete woman? Why or why not? Tell us about her. (Without spoilers, please!)

This is a toss-up between Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn and Esther Summerson from Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I think both the characters embody the complete and true identity of woman – they display courage in the worst circumstance and they refuse to give on life and move on until they have improved not only their own lives, but lives of others, dependent on them by sheer force of will and quiet strength!

 

Favorite classic heroine? (Why? Who wrote her?)’

This has undergone so many changes over the years, so I quote directly from one of my old posts – Like many others, I began by absolutely admiring Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen…I still do; I love her pride, sense of doing the right thing, even accepting her own folly. However over the years, others have joined her company – Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; as a teenager, when I read the book, I was not particularly impressed by the namby pamby Jane Eyre and her stiff upper lip stance. I wanted fire and courage in my heroines and Jane was a calm stream of water. But re-reading the book during an interesting phase of my life (The Willoughby phase!), I realized how much of strength it takes for an ordinary governess to stand up to a Mr Rochester – to demand to be treated as an equal and what’s more to seek respectability and honesty in a relationship, even when your heart is breaking. And finally Mrs. March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and though she may not be the primary heroine, there is a lot to look upto her – here is a gentlewoman who is no longer in the comfortable circumstances she was originally born or married to, yet she tries her best to single handedly bring up four,  albeit difficult daughters, manage a household with diminishing funds, and yet instil joy and faith among all. It requires a lot of courage, what I call quiet courage to face the world everyday alone bravely. She is first single mother of modern literature and by far the most intelligent, kind and strongest of them all.

We’d love to help clubbers find great titles by classic female authors. Can you recommend any sources for building a list? (Just skip this question if you don’t have any at this point.)

I love this list by Feminista! 100 Great 20th Century Works of Fiction by Women –http://www.thebookescape.com/Feminista.html

I also recommend this list by Buzzfeed :  http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariannarebolini/howmany-of-the-greatest-books-by-women-have-you-read#.mw2bXVXWG

Recommend three books by classic female writers to get people started in this event. (Again, skip over this if you prefer not to answer.)

Well I am sure most of us have read all of these three authors, but I still believe these writers are a good place to start –

  • Jane Austen
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Willa Cather

Will you be joining us for this event immediately, or will you wait until the New Year starts?

I think I have already answered this question right at the start of this blog…I cannot wait till January and I plunge right in with Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

Do you plan to read as inspiration pulls, or will you make out a preset list?

I love lists, and usually try and stick to it, but then something catches my eye and the list goes awry, so this one time, I am not doing any lists. I will completely go with inspirations and whatever catches my fancy at that moment in time!

 

Are you pulling to any particular genres? (Letters, journals, biographies, short stories, novels, poems, essays, etc?)

In no order of significance, this is what I will most likely end up reading vis-à-vis genre – novels. Essays, short stories and poems; but then I may surprise myself and read a series of journals, but as of now the above looks like a plan!

 

Are you pulling to a particular era or location in literature by women?

Even without trying, I know I will gravitate between the years of 1800-1945, however I would try and spread my readings out, but knowing my previous tendencies, I am not sure this is one commitment I will be able to hold on to.

 

Do you hope to host an event or readalong for the group? No worries if you don’t have details. We’re just curious!

I have not planned any as of now!

 

Is there an author or title you’d love to read with a group or a buddy for this event? Sharing may inspire someone to offer.

I think considering my apprehensions about Woolf, I would love to join a reading group or get a buddy to encourage me to start and then finish To the Lighthouse!

 

Share a quote you love by a classic female author — even if you haven’t read the book yet.

There are so many, but I decided to go with one of the more understated ones – this was one of the earliest hurrays celebrating the independence of woman, liberating her from the traditional requirements of husband, home and hearth for occupation; and naturally, it was written by the inimitable Jane Austen in Emma – “If I know myself, Harriet, mine is an active, busy mind, with a great many independent resources; and I do not perceive why I should be more in want of employment at forty or fifty than one-and-twenty. Woman’s usual occupations of eye and hand and mind will be as open to me then as they are now; or with no important variation. If I draw less, I shall read more; if I give up music, I shall take to carpet-work. And as for objects of interest, objects for the affections, which is in truth the great point of inferiority, the want of which is really the great evil to be avoided in not marrying, I shall be very well off, with all the children of a sister I love so much, to care about. There will be enough of them, in all probability, to supply every sort of sensation that declining life can need. There will be enough for every hope and every fear

Finally, ask the question you wish this survey had asked, & then answer it.

No…I think the survey is quite complete! 

The Much Awaited Spin…

I have really been missing the Classic Club Spins and as they say, ask and you shall receive! Lo! Behold I open wordpress and guess what?  There is an update from Classic Club page, inviting everyone for Spin#10! Needless to say I will be joining the Spin and the more interesting experiences of my last Spin reading will not stop me. (Ahem! Ahem! Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was …well something else!). Anyway, the way forward is to march on and I do.

The rules for the Spin remain same and simple; I quote directly from Classic Club’s post –

  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
  • Monday morning, they will announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by October 23, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading!

And now for the list – drumroll please –

  1. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  2. A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  3. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  4. The Wings of a Dove by Henry James
  5. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  6. Love in the Times of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  8. Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  9. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  10. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
  11. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  12. Doll’s House by Henrick Ibsen
  13. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  14. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  15. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
  16. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  17. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  18. Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
  19. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  20. Queen Lucia by E F Benson

That’s the list…some old, some new, some I would love, some I am anxious about! Nevertheless, now that the die had been cast (allow me the drama…it’s the weekend!!), can Monday be far behind? (I know that is really bad! But it is the weekend! And everyone knows I lose my marbles during the weekend!)

Spinning Through New Orleans

After much effort and back and forth and crazy weddings and stressful jobs, I finally managed to read The Awakening by Kate Chopin as part of my Classic Club Spin #9 . It is a very thin book, more of a novella, than a novel, but there were to many happenings for me to sit down and read, but I am finally done and I am glad this is one book off my forever expanding checklist.

Now for the book –

The book is set in turn of the century, southern United States, New Orleans to be exact. The novel begins with the introduction of the Pontellier family, Léonce is a successful businessman, who is caring affectionate, if at times a trifle socially too aware of his position in society and the need for appearances. Edna is his wife, who devotes her time between her family and her sketches, but feels a need for something more to satisfy the sensitivity of her soul. They have two children – young boys Etienne and Raoul. The books opens with the Pontellier family vacationing on Grand Isles and residing at a homestay managed by Madame Leburn, who has two sons – Robert and Victor. As the novel unfolds, we discover an evolution in the character of Edna – she is great friends with Adèle Ratignolle, who epitomizes the very core of 19th century womanhood, a great wife and a wonderful mother, she is constantly busy trying to make life more comfortable for her family. Though Edna really admires Adèle Ratignolle, she cannot herself believe that she can quite become like her friend. She tell her Madame Ratignolle that for her own children she “would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give up my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself”.  Soon Edna and Robert Laburn develop a friendly relationship that transitions into love for each other. Robert realizing the dead end nature of their relationship flees to Mexico under pretext of better career opportunity. Edna returns to her New Orleans and though she continues in her role of a wife and a mother, there are subtle changes in her character; she isolates herself from her former social circle, she takes up her sketching more seriously and refuses to attend her own sister’s wedding. The only two companions she seeks are Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, an eccentric pianist whom Edna had met at Grand Isle and who had fathomed the true relation between her and Robert. After some month pass, Léonce, travels to New York for business and the boys are sent to their grandmother during this period and it is during this period, Edna discovers the joy of being on one’s own and do things by herself. She is soon involved in a dalliance with Alcée Arobin, a wild man about town.  It is at this point Robert returns to town and though initially he is cold with Edna, he finally confesses his deep passionate love for her. However when Edna is called away to assist in Adèle Ratignolle with a difficult childbirth, Robert leaves, leaving a note that he is leaving forever because he loves her. This action, forces Edna to take certain decisions and act in a way to change her life directions once and for all.

I am not a particular fan of this kind of literature….the woman/man seeking fulfillment out of marriage kinds. They always seem to have the same theme, especially the ones written about the woman. Unhappy and dissatisfied with their lot, they seek some kind of happiness outside wedding vows with disastrous results. These books make me feel morbid and depressed and question the whole point of getting married or being in a relationship and all that. This book I must say was no different.  I saw no reason for Edna Pontellier to be dissatisfied with her life – she had married of her own choosing; that too to a man who was kind, caring and successful enough to provide her with all kinds of material comforts. She had two healthy children and a host of good, kind friends. There seemed to be hint of lack of sensitivity and artistic fulfillment in her life – music, books, art that make life rich, but that did not seem to be the core of her repining. She seemed to me to just plain bored, who like the attentions of a younger man and later gave herself to sexual pleasure with another man. The only time I could relate to her is when her husband was in New York and her children with Madame Pontellier, and she discovers the joy of doing things for herself. True, there is something absolutely delicious in having some precious moments of “me time”- I am guessing they are even more precious in the stifling 19th century society that demanded certain standards from a wife and a mother and therefore I could completely understand Edna’s joy in having her dinner dressed in a peignoir, reading Emerson till late etc. But outside of this one strain, I could not understand her at all. For no reason she wants to move into a smaller house all by herself – she gives no reason for her actions and gaily and cheerfully writes to her husband telling him of her decision. She seems to me completely utterly selfish through the book – under the cover of “being herself”, she does all manner of things without any regard for other’s feelings. She refuses to attend her sister’s wedding, because of she is missing Robert. While I understand the concept of loving and loosing someone, I cannot understand being absolutely blind to others who love you and to whom you matter. Her actions against Léonce I could not understand at all. Here is good kind man who tries everything in his power to make her happy and comfortable and she leaves his house without any regard to his position in the society or what he may feel. I am not even getting into her dalliance with Alcée Arobin – why she should choose infidelity towards her husband, that too with a man whom she cares nothing about, is nothing but an act of temporary irresponsible actions. Her final act of course was the final nail in the coffin – I understand, completely understand being abandoned, but you live on, because life is a gift and you have to live it; there are other people who love and care and for that love, one has the duty to not only live but flourish. This kind of sentimental namby-pamby a-la Madame Bovary is just nonsensical – as if that is the only road open to women after hysterical extra marital affairs!!!  I would any day lay my money on Hester Prynneis from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who is more of a heroine for living and living with courage, virtue and dignity, than deciding for sentimental and so called sensitive ending, that showcase some form of artistic freedom!

This book has been hailed as one of the first feminist novels, because the woman lives or tries to live her life on her own terms. I am not sure I am at all in agreement with this school of thought – true a woman should be able to live her life exactly the way she chooses, but not at the cost of being selfish or hurting other. Before we are men or woman, we are humans and as humans we have to be cognizant of fellow feelings and sentiments. Living your life on your own terms is a great power, but in the words of a great man, with great power comes great responsibility. You are responsible for your conduct, towards yourself and others.

The redeeming feature of the book is the language- Ms. Chopin did not focus on frills and got to the very heart of the matter. But her words are simply beautiful, picturesque and haunting; here’s a sample “The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.” Or “But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” Lovely, soul searing language and a vivid description of New Orleans and Grand Isles makes this novel so much more readable.

I am glad to have read it, but I am not sure I will ever re-read it again. To me the only thing that came out of this novel was that in this genre of literature, Hester Prynneis so much more a stronger heroine, simply because she chooses life even at its lowest ebb!

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