Every time I finish a Charlotte Bronte novel, my heart pounds and my mind is disoriented. After reaching the end of her stories, closing her pages forEvery time I finish a Charlotte Bronte novel, my heart pounds and my mind is disoriented. After reaching the end of her stories, closing her pages for the last time, and remembering the long passages written out in long-hand, it's all like slowly surfacing from the depths of another world, and you're back home in reality, not quite sure you want to be there.
Although it doesn't have the exquisite tragedy of Villette or the kick-ass karate-chop combos of romance, ghosts, crazy ladies in the attic, religious nut-jobs, and true love found in Jane Eyre,The Professor is still one hell of a novel.
Its themes are common to Bronte's novels: Catholic wickedness (aka, “Romish wizardcraft” in this book -- HAHAHA!), relationships among the different social classes, social-restraint, and independence. Illustrating these themes are our upright, plain, poor, and virtuous narrator and his love interest, who are contrasted by the so-goddamn-evil-i-love-her Zoraide Reuter and her equally two-faced and back stabbing boyfriend, M. Pelet.
In many ways inferior to Jane Eyre, and in many other ways a "rough draft" of Villette, this novel is probably not the author's best. But I loved it. Why? Because Charlotte Brtone wrote it.
Bronte famously wrote that Jane Austen's writing was like "a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers: but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck ... rather, comprehensive, measured, balanced, certainly “highly cultivated.””
What is Bronte then? Her writing is wild, like weeds, growing out of control and wrapping around you eyes, heart, and mind, but she planted those weeds and cultivated them just as carefully as Austen cultivated her garden -- but with more skill. Bronte gets you in a snare from which you cannot break free. Her words, her writing, her storytelling are all overpowering in their savageness. When you try to release yourself (it's called putting the book down) you'll find your heart beating from the rapid ride that she has taken you on ... and you want to jump right back in.
Seriously, I love this woman. Favorite writer EVER!!...more
I'm not a literary critic, obviously. My description of books as sucky/trite/trash, etc kind of make me wonder how I ever even majored in English LitI'm not a literary critic, obviously. My description of books as sucky/trite/trash, etc kind of make me wonder how I ever even majored in English Lit all those years ago. But let me see if I can describe Chekhov in the way I've come to understand him ... and his awesomeness. (heehee)
Chekhov was a doctor before he was a writer, he knew how the human body worked, he knew the human mind, and he knew what external stimulus (the weather, the look in a person's eye, the placement of a strange object) could have on a person's physical being and their psyche. Combine this with this unmatched talent as a writer, and you've got the kind of writer that can touch your heart, wrangle your emotions, and fuck with your mind unlike any other.
When I read The Lady With the Dog, I had to go sit under a tree and contemplate life for a while. When I read the desire in the dialogue in The Seagull, I had to call my boyfriend. I didn't know why these things would happen when I read Chekov. The words were simply there on the page, no? No force was making me melancholic, no one was telling me to get randy from The Seagull and call my boyfriend.
No, Chekov is deeper than that. It's almost like hypnosis, the descriptions, the word combinations, etc. He writes one thing, but the way you will understand it and digest it mentally and physically is completely unexpected.
The constant hangover that my summer has been has really left me too stupid to finish this now ... but I'll get to the end because this book friggin rThe constant hangover that my summer has been has really left me too stupid to finish this now ... but I'll get to the end because this book friggin rocks.
***UPDATED***: This book is totally not summer reading ... I just finished it last month. Although I prefer the story of Jane Eyre, Vilette is by far a better book as far as style and prose. An absolute must read, one of the best books I've ever read ....
Dammit. When a book is good, I actually don't have anything else to say except read the damn thing. ...more