Dear friends and readers,
For now the issue has resolved itself, mostly on the grounds of time itself. I can only do so many things at a time.
I said I had committed to a paper on the Tamil film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility: I have Found It: S&S in the diaspora 2000. In order to re-vamp my chapter 4 from A Place of Refuge: The S&S Films (working title of my typescript) I really have to see all 6 S&S films, skim-read my chapters and then begin just on I have Found It. Well I’m into the 5th film and this is day 4 of watching. I do love them, and I know it’s from their participation in Jane Austen’s created world. When I return to that I feel right, validated somehow by the point of view, mood, sentences I find there. I probably should re-watch Bride and Prejudice (Bollywood, which I admit I disliked) and also Aisha (Delhi film, which I’m unexpectedly warming to). I’ve located a new excellent book on Tamil cinema (I Have Found It is a Madras-Tamil piece)
This leaves only small amounts of time to work on the Burney review, inch into a translation project I’m thinking of reading Goubert’s La Coeur and Raison to go with the movie project and my reading of Goubert’s excellent book) and type Ethelinde bit by bit — before dinner. During the day I also shop, go for walks, occasionally do lunch, go out somewhere. And after dinner I’m never in any state to do serious work. It’s time for blogging, movies, Amy Goodman, books and periodicals for pleasure, listening to music. So that’s it for the near future.
Plus a further dismaying experience of the readership for the Poldark novels at least as represented on public sites on the Internet. Some seem ignorant of even what literary criticism is; one person reading one of my blogs on the Poldark books declared “you upset me,” as if the others were to write with her specific tastes in mind. The belligerence & resentment at anyone writing about the content of these books was startling. No wonder there’s no handbook. Odd how scary dense people are, how beneath their social veneer are seething hatreds, especially having to do with sex and power. I don’t know who would read my “Elizabeth’s Story” if I tried — it would swirl about her having been raped. She is after all Clarissa like in that we can tell her story as boy meets girl; (after broken engagement and boy marrying another), boy rapes girl (for wanting to marry another); girl dies (because the man she escapes to finally sees her as a totem of his sexual prowess in public). Yet who sympathizes with Elizabeth in the readership? Openly only these sneering remarks aimed at her.
At one time I could spend years on a project because I loved whatever it was (Colonna and Gambara’s poetry, Anne Finch’s) without caring if there was another person in the world who would read what I wrote or my findings. At least I acted that way. I can no longer. Too much social experience since 1995.
French version of Dusty Answer (what Ernaux read)
I am probably a compulsive writer like Fanny Burney. It makes me feel better to write. From a kind friend’s praise for my “P&P in Weather in the Streets”, and after reading Annie Ernaux’s Les Annees where she reads Poussiere, I’m going to read Rosamund Lehmann’s Dusty Answer after the WWTTA group finishes Ernaux’s Les Annees, which is about the size of a shortish novel — some 200 plus pages. Q.D. Leavis so hated Dusty Answer, I want to know what’s in it. I’ve a hunch I’ll see and love it all the more (she also despised the Sayers books from which my pseudonym comes).
I just finished John Galsworthy’s Country House (an odd ironic book I’ll try to write about on Ellen and Jim Have a Blog, Two and next up is his Man of Property and “Indian Summer of a Forsyte” (short story). Perhaps someday I’ll make a section of my website for my Downton Abbey blogs, plus all the postings I wrote on the 1967 and 2000 Forsyte Sagas. They are interesting mini-series to compare.
Sylvia spending her life among heroines