Miscellany

I expect blogging to be somewhat light for the next several weeks. Now that I’ve finished wrestling with Melville—for now, for now—and am reading at whim I won’t have quite as much to say. Plus, I’ll be busy with a few other things. For one, I’ll be getting ready, both at home and at work, for another vacation, this one with wider appeal than the last: I’m going to Yellowstone! (I’m super excited about this; the East Coaster in me gets super excited about seeing the West.) Also unlike last time, I think I’ll be taking a “blogcation” (ugh, what a horrid word) during the trip itself, so it will be especially quiet around here for a week or so. Oh, and I’m already having book-packing stress. Will I even want/have time to read? At night, right? Anyway.

So far in my reading at whim I’ve gone through two not just contemporary but actually brand-new novels, and I have one more on the way to me shortly (Jean-Christophe Valtat’s Aurorarama). But now I have turned back to the classics and to my first work by Sir Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor. Pretty sure Amateur Reader recommended that to me as a good starting point a while back and that’s how it ended up in my house. How much do you love the Scotch maiden complete with tartan shawl on the cover of the latest Oxford World’s Classics edition?

I haven’t actually told Frances yet, and I’m still afraid to commit, but I think I’m going to join her Madame Bovary readalong in October. Largely because I have never read Flaubert. (I said that loudly instead of whispering, even though I wanted to, because the first step in reading dehumiliation is admitting you have a problem.) So hopefully we’ll be remedying that soon. Her schedule does seem awfully doable.

Last, I’m really going back and forth on whether to do another seminar at the Newberry Library this fall. A year ago I was thrilled with my class on German Romantic fairy tales, then the one spring offering I liked got cancelled and in summer I spaced and missed registration. I’m feeling much busier this fall than I was a year ago, but there are several awesome-looking classes available. Literature and Humor in Buenos Aires, Dombey and Son (which, ahem, I still haven’t finished…), the Victorian business, Paradise Lost, Emily Dickinson… I don’t know, what should I do? Maybe the Emily Dickinson, because it’s short, and because poetry seems like something it would be good to have help with. Maybe.

8 comments to Miscellany

  • I’m looking forward to reading Lydia Davis’ translation of Madame Bovary, which Amazon shows as due for delivery in 2 weeks. I remember it very fondly.

  • If all goes according to plan, I will not be reading the Lydia Davis translation, because I will be motivated and read it in the original. We shall see. That translation is certainly the second choice.

  • You whispered too loudly. I heard you. Thrilled at the prospect of you joining us! And the schedule is very easy. In order to prompt people to join in. Enjoy that great vacation!

  • Yay, another potential Madame Bovary reader! And in the original. I’m planning to read in French with some strategic comparisons to the Davis translation. We shall see what actually happens.

    And am I ever jealous of your upcoming trip to Yellowstone and those seminars!

  • A Madame Bovary readalong?!? Hmmmmm….I may…(frantically considering adding another book to the list)

    Enjoy Yellowstone! What a great time to go, there will be no one else in the park and hopefully you’ll see some bears. (And maybe my parents, who are there practically every weekend birding :-)

  • Enjoy your blogcation!
    I didn’t know about the Bovary read-a-long, so happy to know that I’m not the only one excited about the new translation:) I’ll be reading it for the first time so I just might sign up.

  • Why is no one responding to your direct appeal for help? So, I want you to take the Dickinson class, because then you can explain her to me. By the time the class is over, I should, be, let’s see, about halfway through her poems. Lord, she wrote a lot of poems.

    Second choice – the Argentina class looks like a blast. Or Molière? Back to the “in French” issue, I guess. The Melville class, you should be teaching. Can you believe that the Bulgakov class is already full – the only one? Wonder why that is.

    PS – Lammermoor is more the recommendation of Rohan Maitzen and The Little Professor.

  • Frances—Yay! And thanks for hosting.

    Emily—I’m thinking of doing the same re: strategic comparisons. We’ll see how that works out I guess.

    verbivore—Join, join! And what lucky parents you have!

    gina—Glad to be letting people know about the readalong. And I love that so many are excited about a new translation!

    AR—Haha yes, thank you, thank you! The Argentina one does look fun, although I feel like I don’t know enough yet; it would be wasted on me now. I had thought about the Bulgakov one as well when I got my flyer, and was super surprised to see it filled. Unusual. Looks like Dickinson has some good reasons backing her up then…

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