Was surprised to realize I hadn't actually read this as a child; only seen the film and (my childhood is mostly opaque to me) possibly seen a stage pr...moreWas surprised to realize I hadn't actually read this as a child; only seen the film and (my childhood is mostly opaque to me) possibly seen a stage production.
Any rate, an interestingly written - stylistically - tale, and one far darker than I remembered. Hate, hate, HATE the gender politics of this book, though. Come on. Tink is basically a slutty baby incapable of complex emotions, and NATURALLY, has to be sexually jealous of Wendy (whose only proper function is as a mother) to the point that she tries to Fatal Attraction her. Also a bit disturbing that the Darling ancestry basically farms its young girls out to Peter, because OH MY STARS! how disgusting and useless women become when they're no longer young and virginal.
*fart noise* Give me a break, Barrie. There's some good stuff here, but even if I wanted kids, I wouldn't indoctrinate them with this until they were old enough to recognize that a fun story and a good story are not necessarily the same thing.(less)
Part II of my quest to re-read the Anne of Green Gables series in its entirety--a project I sadly left off after the debut novel last summer. Nothing...morePart II of my quest to re-read the Anne of Green Gables series in its entirety--a project I sadly left off after the debut novel last summer. Nothing quite beats a quiet morning in Avonlea, so long as you've got the capacity to imagine in the way Anne so often does. I won't pretend that I'm re-reading the series for any other reason than a pathetic attempt to recapture my childhood, my lost innocence, and the like--I came out of a reverie this morning, as I finished the novel, and had entirely forgotten that I was 23 and was facing an unwieldy dose of adult responsibilities for the day.
The central gang is all here--Anne, Marilla, Mrs. Lynde, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, and the rest, but we're introduced to a few fascinating new additions to the cast (Mr. James H. Harrison & Miss Lavendar, chief among them), and a number of storylines that pick up almost exactly where the first novel left off. Anne is now the school ma'am of Avonlea, Marilla takes orphan twins under her wing, and Anne manages to get into scrapes almost as often as she always had. The anxieties central to the novel have shifted slightly but remain essentially the same--how to live in a moral way, discovering 'kindred spirits' and figuring out how to relate to those that might not be, and changing the world for the better. Beautiful in its simplicity & so frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious, Anne of Avonlea doesn't disappoint in the slightest--in fact, I may have enjoyed this one even more than the first on this revisiting tour. Of course I suppose I probably related to young Anne much more when I first read the series, and now I find an entirely different Anne in myself--just as Anne herself does throughout the novel.
I'll confess, too, that I'd sort of like to delay all the 'literary' books I plan to read this summer and just continue my trek through Avonlea. We'll see...(less)
Re-read. Beautiful prose, but what a tedious text on the whole. Frog is pretty fun, and DOES DRAG??? I liked that part. A very strangely ethically amb...moreRe-read. Beautiful prose, but what a tedious text on the whole. Frog is pretty fun, and DOES DRAG??? I liked that part. A very strangely ethically ambiguous tale that apparently decided its utopia had no necessary use value for women. Well, enjoy that one, Grahame! I mean...I'd be cool "hanging out" in an all-boy zone for a bit, but I wasn't aware that that was also what this ultimately conservative tale desired.(less)
Ugh, so conflicted! Another re-read for that class I'm assistant-teaching in.
OK, so here's the deal. This is a beautifully written and totally engagin...moreUgh, so conflicted! Another re-read for that class I'm assistant-teaching in.
OK, so here's the deal. This is a beautifully written and totally engaging story. Thrilling, really!
But can I get past the problematic indoctrinating tools at work? Like, thanks for the Christian allegory - which, whatever! I'm an atheist, but do yo thang, Jesus and disciples! - but does it have to have such a bizarre investment in physical force and, well, hints of "extermination." Of course, you can read this as ridding the world of fascism (considering its 1950 pub date, and its awareness of the London air raids, etc.)...but the extermination of "unfamiliar species" in Narnia may also have sinister resonances with another recent extermination plan in Europe...
Not to mention the fact that Susan and Lucy get to, what was it again? Right. Call for help and administer medicine. Even though they, like, actually want to fight. Sorry, "Daughters of Eve," your weak woman-arms will turn to pink blubber under the weight of steel, even if stupid Edmund already betrayed everyone and is also physically tiny. But you can help out! Just serve men, and cry over their bodies when they make ultimate heroic MAN sacrifices.
So it's hard to reconcile the aesthetic pleasure I took in re-reading this book with the very troubling notions of gender and morality that are being disseminated to readers with ostensibly fewer critical faculties (though who knows? maybe all those 3-6 year olds can do a right nice Foucauldian reading of monarchic power modalities in this book?). I'd offer it up with caveats, or otherwise be sure to put other, more feminist texts in front of whatever kiddo was reading this.(less)