Monday, 9 April 2012

The Woman in White Readalong: The First Bit

"This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve."

We've been reading The Woman in White for a week now, and what have we learned? Firstly, its preface is called a Preamble, which gives me the giddies in language anticipation. Secondly, its first sentence (noted above) makes it perfectly clear what we're in for: Victorian Victorianisms and the exceptionally outdated gender ideals therein. Also, I'ma say there shouldn't be a comma there, Wilkie! Breaking up a compound. Like a harlot.

Anywho, so far, we've been taken through the story by young Mr. Hartright, an all-around squishy man who clings to those gender ideals like a woman in white to her privacy. He's a bit, he's just, he's not a bad man. He's just clueless. Never more so than when he meets Marian, who is widely agreed to be one of if not THE. BEST. part of this book. (
Marian! She's such a fast talker — I feel like Katharine Hepburn should play her. And she should be an old-timey newspaper reporter. And wear jaunty hats.) Suffice it to say that, when he sees her from behind, he's all "Bah BAM!" and when she turns around he's all "Oh, well. Nothankyou." It is amusing to see how thoroughly confused Hartright is by her incongruous gender traits. Her elegant movement, her womanly form, her masculine face, her frank and lively conversation. Maybe it's Wilkie getting us (and Hartright) ready for the theme of the story. You see this thing you think is this? Yeah, it's not. (Involves no ghosts.)

Marian's half-sister, Laura, is Hartright's other student, and when he meets her, he falls promptly in lurve. And just as promptly into a pit of despair. She is, of course, engaged. But then, a letter! The reappearance of the woman in white, aka Anne Catherick! Her horror at the mention of Laura's fiancé, Sir Percival Glyde! The expulsion (sort of) of Hartright from the Fairlie house! Things, they be happenin', right-all-right.

10 comments:

  1. Love love love.

    "I feel like Katharine Hepburn should play her. And she should be an old-timey newspaper reporter. And wear jaunty hats." So, KH in Woman of the Year? Only more reportery? But omg you're right, she could totally play her. Especially since Hartright's all "I could see how serious things were because she shut up for once."

    MARIAN IS THE BEST FO' SHO.

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    1. OH MY GOOD GRACIOUS! I spelled KH's first name wrong. I resign as captain of the fan club. I also sneakily update my blog to fix the typo and lessen my shame. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT. I wouldn't have noticed. That would have been the worst thing.

      But YES! Woman of the Year is perfect for Marian and also KathArine. When she separates the eggs! Ah, when she separates the eggs. I sign on again as captain of the fan club.

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  2. Your blogging habit makes me miss our coffee dates SO HARD.

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    1. SO HARD! Like, I want to move to Calgary, so hard. Calgary! You see how I miss you?! Now our equidistant coffee shop will be in ... Salmon Arm or something. Ha! We should do that sometime. This is nice too, though! We'll always have the internet.

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    2. YOU KNOW RAYCH? Omg THIS is why your blog is so awesome. Not that...you don't have inherent merit or something. MERIIIIT.

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    3. I've elected Lady Raych as my Bloggy Godmother. Therefore, if any future posts are sucky, totally her fault. (That's how godmothers work, right?)

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  3. Oh how I love your reviews already! Up until now, I thought I was the only one who describe people as being "squishy" :)
    You love commas, well placed gifs, red pandas, and books. Consider yourself "followed", I am hereby promoting myself from lurking to stalking - er, I meant 'reading'.

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    1. "Squishy" is such a go-to adjective. Fits with almost anything. Thank you for the kind words! Your blog is great too; love the drawings.

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  4. I am WOEFULLY behind on these read-along posts. WOEFULLY. But this is one of those "better late than never" situations, because you have delighted me by yelling at Wilkie for his blatant misuse of the humble comma, by referencing Katharine Hepburn and old-timey newspaper reporters, AND by using the word "harlot." Consider yourself friended, madame.

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    1. Huzzah, friended! Book bloggers, you are my people. I like all of your faces. Also I love your blog name and the quote associated. I had to read it out loud to my husband, I like it so much.

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