Role Models: Literary Villainesses

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You may have noticed that I took the weekend off from posting, which was nice because I didn’t have anything I very much wanted to get out.

But today I’d like to talk about some of the women in literature I find to be very inspiring- the women who are pretty much the devil incarnate.

Putting aside issues of women’s representation in literature and other arts, and how it may or may not be more connected to men’s imagination than female actuality… some of my favorite characters are strong, selfish, and mean people.

I’m not sure why this is, especially because I’d like to think that I personally am nothing like that.  But it’s also not difficult to see why their drive, anger, and uncompromising attitudes are appealing.  After all, the world is a scary place and women are frequently expected to be easy victims of it. Continue reading “Role Models: Literary Villainesses”

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Literature: Family Secrets and Strange Happenings

 

I avoid posting short lists but these fit together in a way that intrigues and excites me, so I refuse to change it! It’s my blog.  As you may know (or not) I’m in my senior spring semester at university right now, which means I have pretty much the most carefree schedule I’ve known since preschool when we had scheduled nap time.
Only one of my classes is a necessity for my major and all the rest I’m taking just for funsies.
One of these classes is a super-basic English class called Female Sociopath, and it helps that I’ve read essentially all of the required reading already (except one, which is where this list comes in). That class basically tackles one of my favorite character types which I’ve been referring to in my head for years as ‘women who inspire me to be the devil incarnate.’ So it’s an excellent fit and, having given this scary female trope a disturbing amount of thought already, the class is very much a breeze.
But there was still that one book that I hadn’t read yet, and because it’s been my universal experience that reading a book for class absolutely ruins the experience, I made sure to read it about a week in advance.  That book was Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and I’m so glad I took the precaution, because it’s such an amazing and I’m proud to have rescued it from the insidious and pervasive interference of academics. Continue reading “Literature: Family Secrets and Strange Happenings”

My Favorite Authors: An Added Addendum

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Let’s wrap this one up!  I have something like eight authors to go through on this round (and eight is my favorite number) so let’s get started.

Shirley Jackson:
Namely, her hazy and suspenseful fiction.  You may have read The Lottery, an excellent short story.  You may have been introduced to her, as I was, through We Have Always Lived in the Castle.  There’s a cat in that one.  And a character named Connie (more people should be named Connie).  Funnily enough, a friend who actually asks for and heeds my book recommendations tells me that the Connie in this book reminds him a lot of me. And I’m flattered- which says something about the character but possibly more about me because (spoiler) she’s quite possibly poisoned her family.  Also a girl whose nickname is Merricat, which is kind of freaking awesome.  The Haunting of Hillhouse is also really really good.  And the movie is good but diverges from the book regarding some important plot/character developments- but both are enjoyable and gorgeously atmospheric.  I have to admit that I like her nonfiction less (Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are about her family life and I think her husband and children sound impossible to live with (and she does too, tbh)) (But also I’m a misanthrope so maybe don’t take my word for it?)  If you’ve disentangled my convoluted parentheses, points to you! Continue reading “My Favorite Authors: An Added Addendum”