Ranting about Literature
Today I saw a little blurb that suggested Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse was the best beach read ever. To which I immediately said, WTF?
There’s just so much wrong with that statement, which yes, I do realize was meant partially in jest. But what’s behind that jest? Nothing less than the usual insulting dig at commercial fiction and the readers thereof– actual beach read books, which I hope we can agree are books you can take to the beach and read to forget your problems or simply enjoy an exciting story. To suggest that To The Lighthouse is a beach read is simply absurd. It implies that people who read actual Beach Reads are somehow so silly and harebrained that we have to be led down the path to literature because otherwise Beach Readers would never know about Virginia Woolf.
And then there’s To The Lighthouse itself. This book is not an easy read. It takes concentration and exquisitely careful attention to the prose. I once said To The Lighthouse is a cubist novel and it is. If offers a perspective that shifts and feels uncomfortable and forces you to struggle to give shape to what you’re reading. You are forced to see the world and The Novel itself in a whole different way. It is a tour de force. But as you learn how to follow the shifts and make new shapes from the prose, a new world opens up.
To The Lighthouse is NOT a beach read. And guess what? I’ve read To The Lighthouse and I’ve read actual beach reads and I get value from both. I bet I’m not the only one.
Last night I watched the season 2 premier of True Blood, the HBO series based on Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books. Which, by the way, I loved.
Then I heard about a controversial opinion that in the final scene of the episode, Eric Northman bites the penis off a hapless redneck who has done vampires wrong. Could that be so? I know other appendages were, er, removed (an arm, seen in silhouette), but was there actual biting off of a male member? Well, upon review the scene and doing my best not to be distracted by the obvious fact that my One True Love Alexander Skarsgard has been working out, I can only conclude that, well, yes. He did do that.
My Current Obsession
Did you read the paragraph above? No, not To The Lighthouse. Alexander Skarsgard. I have it bad. Really bad. It’s embarrassing and mostly I’m not even embarrassed.
In other News
I have begun receiving my candy of the month from the brilliant Hank Phillippi Ryan and guess what? Since I won it in Brenda Novak’s diabetes auction (ignore the irony! It’s for a good cause!) I’m in the club all by myself. And I’m not sharing. Sorry.
Also, I finally worked my way out of my earliest dead end in a Work In Progress (WIP) ever. Chapter 4, for crying out loud. But now I’m out of it and things are looking pretty good.
I’m not due for another episode of Writer’s Neurosis for another 6 chapters at least.
So, who else loves Alexander Skarsgard?