31 March 2014

Emma

Here lately, in the wee hours of a pregnant insomniac’s night, I’ve been plowing through quite a lot of books. All kinds: mysteries, biographies, and a few classics. I’ve borrowed some from my mama, some from my sister, one from a friend, and even more from the library. I even – gasp – bought one with money.

I know.

It’s like I don’t even know myself.

In addition to this, as if I didn’t have enough piled up, I went through the random shelves in our house and pulled out books that I didn’t remember or never read, so that I could read them and ascertain 1) Should they just be donated? Or 2) Are they a keeper?

Nothing makes me happier than getting rid of a bunch of clutter, so this felt like a really good idea at the time. Then, I realized that most of them were classics, bought because the eight billion English and Literature classes I took between ninth grade and my senior year at TAMU required them.

Before anyone thinks I’m all Studious Sal over here, I also spend a lot of my awake-in-the-night time eating, soaking in the tub, and watching Designing Women…over and over and over again. Oh, and Pinterest. ‘Nuff said.

First up on the literary front was Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I’ve been staring at the cover of that paperback on my shelves since high school. I know we read it, I know it was tragic, and I know there were moors and a Heathcliff, but that’s about it. I told myself I’d read through it and decide then and there if it was a keeper, a tosser, or what. I kind of already had my mind made up, though…I was so sick of the cover of that book. Not to mention the inane high school notations I’d made in the margins. With a purple pen. And lots of exclamation marks.

Sheesh.

Anyway, I finished it. It was quite depressing, but I did it. I plowed through. It was actually a very good story, but it was like work to finish. Homework, to be exact, and who needs that? So into the donation basket it went.

Next up? Jane Austen’s Emma.

What can I say about this one? I know there’s a giant following for Austen’s work, but…I’m bored. Oh, so bored. I’ve only made it halfway through, and my hard-headed nature promises I’ll finish it, but I’M SO BORED.

I obviously read it through all the way the first time, because there are more irritating notes in the margins, but man, this is painful. I thought it might help if I actually watched the movie first – or in tandem – with the reading.

Eh.

I’m watching the version with Gwyneth Paltrow on Netflix. It’s entertaining enough for me, but my biggest complaint is that it’s SO VERY QUIET. Seriously. I can hardly hear it. They are whispering in parlors and moving their lips while they walk around with baskets over their arms, and I CAN’T HEAR THEM.

But then again, do I care? I mean, I just finished reading about 7,000 paragraphs where Mr. Woodhouse is telling everyone about the drafts and how everyone is sure to catch cold at the inn as opposed to Randall’s, and he’s never been in that room at the inn, and he doesn’t even know who keeps it. And everyone will surely fall ill with cold and….

What happened? Did I black out? How did this book end up shredded in six pieces and half in the trash?

On the up side, in the movie, the scenery is gorgeous.

Almost as pretty as our pond out in Piedmont, full of water again.

Water.

There’s an idea.

I could drown it when I’m done with it.

Don’t get me wrong. There are parts here and there just punchy with sarcasm and wit and irony, and I love those parts, but I can’t wade through the mire to get to them, so I’m sorry, Jane. You’ll just have to be satisfied with your million other fans and file me under “She’s Obviously Better Suited to T.V. Sitcoms.”

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