Water, Water Everywhere and Not Enough to Read

Unfortunately, I don't have much of anything good to read in the house--no novel, anyway, though I'm trying to give my best attention to Her Fearful Symmetry, written by the same person who penned The Time Traveler's Wife, now a motion picture starring someone benign like Ashley Judd. I didn't see the movie or read the book, but I have the sneaking suspicion that as the author was writing the Fearful book that she was imagining how it would make a great film--kind of  cross between Ghost and The Parent Trap. The plot is about twins (my friend Jess has always been scared of twins and I find this endearing, though I know one half of several twins in real life...Three sets actually, who I work with and they are not spooky in any way); two pairs of identical twins--the adult sisters and then the one sister's daughters, Victoria and Julia. One of the older sister's dies, and leaves her apartment in London to the girl twins. The dead sister is estranged from her sister (who lives in America) because they've had a mysterious falling out and the inkling I have is that the one sister stole the other one's boyfriend long ago. In any case, the British sister dies, but she comes back as a ghost, though a ghost constrained to only live in her apartment. I picture this dead ghost sister as being played by Julia Roberts with a poorly executed British accent. Where I am now is that the twins have come to live in the flat in London and the ghost sister is delighted to find them there. The younger twins have predictable personalities--one is more outgoing and willing to take risks while the other is shy and reticent. The novelist conveniently skipped over any boring scenes where the mother tells the daughters they cannot just up and move to England. She grumbles, but there's no real conflict about it. I suppose I'll keep at it for a while, at least until I can get back to the Princeton Public Library which has the best book sale in the world. The New York Times book reviewer liked it, but the Guardian's review is closer to my own assessment so far.

I did read a great essay in The Best American Essays, 2003 by Cheryl Strand, called "The Love of My Life." The previous owner of this collection penciled "strange" at the top of the first page of the essay and I found myself arguing back with him/her. Not strange--it's about grief and loss and how the writer used sluttiness to try to escape it.

And finally, I finished A Picture of Dorian Gray for my graduate class and was left unfazed by it. I suppose at the time it was written, it was scandalous (intimations of homosexual love throughout), but it seemed melodramatic and, at times, boring and too pedantic. Every once in a while, it would sparkle to life, like in this paragraph describing guests at a dinner party: "...Lady Roxton, an overdressed woman of forty-seven, with a hooked nose, who was always trying to get herself compromised, but was so peculiarly plain that to her great disappointment no one would ever believe anything against her; Mrs. Erylynn, a pushing nobody, with a delightful lisp, and Venetian-red hair; lady Alice Chapman, his hostess's daughter, a dowdy dull girl, with one of those characteristic British faces, that, once seen, are never remembered; and her husband, a red-cheeked, white-whiskered creature who, like so many of his class, was under the impression that inordinate joviality can atone for an entire lakc of ideas (171)."  Before class next Tuesday, we have to watch the older version of this movie, and I just discovered that Angelia Lansbury stars in it, likely playing the ingenue actress that Gray throws over. Will they really kill her off in the film?

Also, here's a clip from the October 23 epsidoe of The Colbert Report about the undecided voter. Love him.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Illusive, Mysterious, Undecided Voters
www.colbertnation.com
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