I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other. - Emma
You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet. - Ch...moreI always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other. - Emma
You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet. - Cher (from Clueless)
The Beginning: Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Oh, how marvelous it is to revisit the world of Jane Austen. I’ve been meaning to reread Emma for ages. I read it 10 years ago for a Jane Austen class, where we went through all six novels in one semester. I love Jane Austen, but reading all the novels in one go is too much. Emma was one of the last novels we read in the class, and I’d had about enough at that point. I’ve always felt that I would have to reread Emma again at some point. As I’ve said many times before, I like variety in my books – that’s why I’ve challenged myself to read different genres in 2014: to ensure variety.
As bad as it makes me sound, part of me identifies with Emma. This is difficult for me to admit, as many – as well as myself – consider Emma Jane Austen’s least likable character. Rereading Emma felt like looking at my worst sides when I was in my twenties.
Better be without sense than misapply it as you do. - Emma
Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensembly challenged”? - Cher (from Clueless)
I’m not totally like Emma: I don’t try to match make and I don’t interfere with people’s life decisions (unless they’re clearly making a mistake.) But I do sometimes have a bit of a know-it-all attitude (I’m working on it!) even though I don’t have a clue (which I’m not working on, I might add). And I can be a bit manipulative (but only when it’s really important). And finally, throughout my teens and most of my twenties, I was certain that there was no man in this world I would ever want to live with. Boy, was I clueless!
My being charming…is not quite enough to induce me to marry. I must find other people charming – one other person at least. - Emma
Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. - Cher
And speaking of Clueless: I love doing these comparisons between Jane Austen novels and popular books and movies. For instance, Bridget Jones is based on Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason is based on Persuasion, and Clueless is based on Emma.
Let’s try to list the similarities:
• In Emma, our heroine befriends the poor Harriet Smith and teaches her how to be more ladylike – in Clueless, Cher befriends outsider Tai and tries to make her popular.
• Emma manipulates Harriet into refusing a marriage proposal from the man she loves because he’s just “a simple farmer” – in Clueless, Cher tells Tai to not have anything to do with the skater boy she adores.
• Emma convinces Harriet that she should set her heart on Mr. Elton – in Clueless, Cher convinces Tai to go for Elton.
• Emma paints a portrait of Harriet, which Mr. Elton frames, not because he’s in love with Harriet, but because it’s painted by Emma – Cher takes a photo of Tai, which Elton puts in his locker because Cher took the picture (“I’m having a Twin Peaks experience“).
• Mr. Elton proposes to Emma in a carriage on their way home from a dance – Elton makes a pass at Cher in a car on their way home from a party.
• Emma thinks she’s in love with Frank Churchill, but he’s engaged to another and they become friends instead. In Clueless, Cher throws herself at Christian who turns out to be gay. They become friends.
• In Emma, Harriet Smith is attacked by gypsies and rescued by Frank Churchill – Tai is attacked by some boys at the mall and rescued by Christian.
• At a dance, Harriet is left with no one to dance with, when Mr. Knightly saves her by dancing with her. In Clueless, Tai is alone at a party when Josh rescues her by dancing with her.
• Emma discovers that she’s in love with Mr. Knightly when Harriet declares that she’s in love with him. Cher discovers that she’s in love with Josh when Tai declares she’s in love with him.
I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control. - Emma
Years ago, I took a literature class called Californian Fiction. One of the books on our curriculum was Steinbeck‘s The Grapes of Wrath. I’d read thi...more
Years ago, I took a literature class called Californian Fiction. One of the books on our curriculum was Steinbeck‘s The Grapes of Wrath. I’d read this one a few years before and was glad to re-read it though I remembered Grapes as a bit tedious, and I think it took me a long time to finish it. But when I did, I was blown away by the way it ends. I can still remember the sensation. It was indescribable – I had never read anything like it, had never been stabbed in the heart by a book that way before – or since then for that matter. I still get a lump in my throat thinking about that book ending.
Imagine my excitement when my teacher described the exact same feelings! He told us how he’d been in college and had finished the novel in his dormitory. He was so overwhelmed by what happens at the end, that he’d felt like running up and down the hallway screaming like a madman. He’d felt like shaking everyone he met and tell them what he’d just read.
This teacher was so passionate about literature. He changed my reading experience of The Grapes of Wrath. Whereas some passages were dragging the first time around, every single word made perfect and beautiful sense the second time. What a masterpiece it is! I need to read it a third time some day …
PS: you might wonder: What’s the point of a Californian Fiction class? Well, our teacher admitted that he just wanted to get back at another teacher for doing a New York Fiction class. That’s the Danish education system for you!
Don't know why I waited so long to read this book. Loved everything about it and wished it would never end. Steinbeck's ongoing master-theme of good v...moreDon't know why I waited so long to read this book. Loved everything about it and wished it would never end. Steinbeck's ongoing master-theme of good vs. evil was beautifully portrayed - as always. The characters were all very moving and it started to feel as if they were my close friends(less)