Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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Hail the semi-conquering reader

Oh my God, Melville's Pierre. I hope to God that this is not on the exam in any substantial way, because I finally got to the end by way of a hard skim, and I really do not want to spend any more time on this book, what with the ridiculously florid style that may or may not be purposely satirical (and if it is, maybe it ain't satirical enough). Maybe it's the kind of book that grows on you, I don't know. All I know is, we were warned that it was "really weird" and "deals with incest," and I was like, "Well, you just described half the internet right there, bring it on," and then in the first chapter you find out that Pierre and his mother are a little too close. Like, they call each other brother and sister, and they're so soppy over each other that you'd be disgusted even if they were completely legal, unrelated husband and wife. And Pierre is in love with Lucy Tartan (...okay), which Pierre's mother approves of entirely, because she figures Lucy will totally roll over and basically let her (Pierre's mother) continue to be the wife in the relationship.

(Speaking of unusual last names: Pierre and "sister Mary" are the Glendinnings, so I told a story about how my cousin, M the Younger, was at the birthday party of a girl first-named Glendinning, and she was in her giant frilly party dress in the center of the room, and the mother held all the other kids back so she could send them over to the birthday girl with their presents one at a time: "You may now approach Glendinning." This story has been a favorite in my family for years, for pure wtfness, and this guy in my class smirks at me and says, "That sounds made up to me." What, you think I could make that shit up? Bitch, please.)

And then I find out that that's not even the incest the professor was talking about.

Pierre has all these weird presentiments and some girl at a party shrieks like a banshee when she sees him and then he gets this note that says that his "sacred father" wasn't, uh, all that sacred and that she's his sister and he should totally throw the note in the fire and forget she ever wrote him but she's so miserable but she shouldn't have told him that but she's so poor and downtrodden but no! What is she saying! (Look at me! Don't look at me!!) And then I, uh, kind of skipped a hundred pages because class is in three hours, you guys, but I promise I'll go back and read it again before the exam! And a hundred pages later she's apparently told him the real story, which is that... his sacred father wasn't all that sacred and she's his poor, downtrodden sister. Yeah. I missed a lot there. So Pierre's solution is to dump Lucy, which nearly kills her, and MARRY HIS HALF-SISTER WTF. (I think the theory is that they can't reveal that Isabel is his sister, because that would bring shame on the family, but they can't see each other if they're not known to be related, because that would be scandalous, so, clearly INCEST WTF.) So he goes home and tells everyone that he's married "someone," but not who, precisely, and even at that his mother goes on a foaming rampage about the "slut" he has undoubtedly run off, thereby ruining her Daughters of the Revolution plans for, I dunno, überl33t super-powered offspring? So Pierre is basically disowned by everyone he has met at any time anywhere, ever.

But about fifty pages later, Lucy mysteriously (well, it would probably be less mysterious if I had actually read that chapter) gets over it and decides she wants to live with Pierre and Mrs. Sister Isabel. (Others describe the situation as "Pierre, his wife, and his cousin," but I can't remember if Lucy really was his cousin or that's just a cover/euphemism.) So everyone in Lucy's family flips the everloving hell out and tries to forcibly remove her from the House of Yes, except that Lucy won't go and Pierre points out that she's of legal age, so they can shut it. And again, I can't tell if everyone is just weirded out by the situation in general, or if they presume that Pierre is sleeping with both Lucy and Isabel, or for that matter, if Pierre is in actuality sleeping with either of them. All I know is, Pierre flips out, shoots his cousin and Lucy's brother, and gets dragged to jail, where Lucy and Isabel visit him and Isabel cries out "Oh my brother, my brother!" and Lucy realizes what's going on, I guess, and falls down stone dead and Pierre and Isabel commit suicide with a vial of poison Isabel brought and everyone stands around and freaks out over their dead bodies, the end. WTF.

Meanwhile, the jeans I ordered came in yesterday. They're a lighter blue than I wanted, but they fit me like a charm, so all's well. Plus, Em is coming over for Lost tonight and I am making my famous Italian chicken salad, which is not "chicken salad" in the salad-spread sense of the term, but rather a green tossed salad with sliced grilled chicken and tomatoes and pepperoncini and mozzarella and roasted red pepper dressing and, if you can get it, crusty French bread. Mmm.

I may go ahead and post the Lost discussion entry early, but postdated, so I won't forget. Also, if you have previously commented anon, please consider taking two seconds to get a free LJ account, because anon commenting will still be off. And if someone does decide to make trouble anyway, please IGNORE THEM ENTIRELY, I am begging you. If you still feel like I need to know about it, email me at cleolinda @, because I turn off email notifications on Lost entries (for reasons that will be obvious if you look at the average comment count).

Hmm... what else... Out of curiosity, is anyone else going to the midnight Goblet of Fire screening at the Vestavia Rave tomorrow night? The temperature has dropped beautifully, so I probably will be able to wear my Ravenclaw scarf. Not that this will help you identify me, I'm sure, but if anyone else is going, I'll post a more helpful identifier closer to time.

(The last time I went to a midnight or opening night screening: Two Towers in 2002. Because yes, I have to trot this piece out every year. Some people have pieces they post every Christmas; I have the time we nearly died at the movies. P.S. It is almost entirely true.)

Fun Triwizard Challenge games at the official site.


Another Memoirs of a Geisha link, this time from la_sonnambula: You too can be oppressed by societal standards of beauty, just like a geisha!

drpeprfan: "I found this online and it made me laugh, I don't know if it would interest you or not, but it's called 'If Dr. Seuss wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation.'"

Celebrity Rent wank!

And in more serious news, from cisforcorrie: "I read an article recently that said up to 5,000 people are still missing with regard to Katrina, and I was shocked. I can't imagine why that is not front page news! Ai yi yi."

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Tags: best of, book recaps, books, cooking, harry potter, katrina, school
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