I read the fall of the house of usher and i was wondering about what it's about. its unclear and i was wondering if it is a rough draft or unfinished.
there are places in the story that it's unclear what it's about. for example, the part where they are looking at the window and roderick usher says not to look out the window.
and how does madeline come back to life? is roderick usher and the narrator both hallucinating? is it about vampirism? at the end of the story she attacks roderick usher but does he die of
a heart attack? is she biting him? i read that there was a fear of vampires in the 1800s. he could defend himself against her. what about the doctors in the story? they are not mentioned much. why the name ethelred? the color red is in the story a few times. the red blood on her robes. how is there blood? i thought she was buried in a coffin. in a coffin, you just open it from within right?
ethel sounds like alchohol and ethelred sounds like red wine. the haunted palace poem mentions the word ruby in it. rubies are red. it mentions a blood red moon at the end of the story also.
the story seems weak at the end to me. anyone have any insight to this story? theme or intuition or suggestions of missing text? or ideas about it?
This is a very famous erotic novella. Written in 1928 and detailing the narrator (a young male) and his sexual escapades with a girl called Simone.
They begin having a sexual relationship but don't engage in full intercourse, only masturbation and exhibitionism. Eventually, they manipulate a local girl called Marcelle to join them in their games. This leads to an orgy which in turn leads to Marcelle having a mental breakdown and going to a sanitorium. Eventually, she commits suicide and the narrator and Simone go on the run to Spain with the help of an Englishman called Sir Edmund. In Seville, Simone seduces a priest and with the two men helping, rapes and murders him.
This book has a lot of gratuitous language and sexual imagery. There's milk and eggs and bull's testicles and eye balls involved.
When I first read it, I assumed it was supposed to be a true story. Very quickly I concluded it was too fantastical to be true. Everything about it was the classic male fantasy that I'd seen a million time before. Then I realised (because Bataille confirms it) that it was indeed 'mostly' manufactured. There's no question it's a wish fantasy about women being as dirty as us and having sex at the drop of a hat. They have all that sexual capital yet never seem to exploit it. Hence Simone is always the instigator in the sexual acts.
I also think Bataille was equating semen with urine because that's what orgasm is to men. It's not something we build up to like women. It's something we relieve ourselves of. Truth be told, we're relieving ourselves inside women when we ejaculate. It's no different to urinating. Sex will always have a connection to the basic -- eating, defecating, breathing, sleeping and screwing. They exist on a spectrum.
I actually laughed out loud at the final chapter with the priest. It was so utterly unreal that it has a comedic element.
I would definitely recommend this. Unless you're squeamish.
Maybe I missed something but this won the Pulitzer prize and was cited as an influence in Hemmingway receiving the Nobel Prize? Why?
I mean, it's a perfectly nice short story about a man battling with a fish then watching as his prize is devoured by sharks, but it's really not much more than that. I enjoyed it but at no point was I thinking... this is epic literature. Truth be told, it's essentially a short version of Moby Dick, a story that looks at a man's obsession taking over him and resulting in no reward. It had all the classic Hemmingway characteristics of being cold and detached and to the point which I disliked in his first person narratives (The Sun Also Rises) but don't mind too much here.
Ultimately, it's all rather forgettable stuff though.
I suspect that Tim Lott is a misunderstood man. He writes about grotesque characters in a sympathetic way and people imagine this is because he wants the characters to be admired.
In When We Were Rich, we re-encounter the characters from White City Blue - four lads living in and around the White City estate in West London. Frankie Blue is an estate agent; Nodge is a taxi driver who has recently come out as gay; Colin is a computer geek; and Diamond Tony is persona non grata following an incident on a golf course.
Picking up almost immediately from the end of White City Blue, we follow these characters and their newly found partners from the eve of the false Millennium (the real millennium started in 2001); through the boom years of the New Labour project and into the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.
What Tim Lott does, seemingly effortlessly, is capture the atmosphere around major events and show how ordinary people responded to them. He holds up a mirror to ourselves and if we don't like what we see, we have only ourselves to blame. In When We Were Rich, we see the naked greed around the London housing market. We see people who believe they deserve the wealth they have accumulated through owning property - and expect to be able to repeat the feat for ever. We see people who judge others by their income, their job, their postcode. And because we have lived through these times ourselves, we know it won't end well. It's Rumours of a Hurricane twenty years on.
I believe firmly that Tim Lott wants readers to sneer at his characters, not admire them or aspire to be them. Whether it is venal Frankie, selfish Vronky, lazy Roxy, the vain and hypocritical Fraser, the psychopathically angry Tony - they are all there to be mocked. Especially Fraser, the fifty-year old ripped EasyJet pilot - promiscuous on the gay scene while demanding fidelity from Nodge - turning up to Labour Party meetings to lament the fall of Militant. A thoroughly vile man in every way.
When We Were Rich is the perfect summation of London in the 2000s, just as White City Blue was for the 1990s and Hurricane was for the 1980s. It is an easy, enjoyable read with much humour and quite a bit to say about class struggle and karma.
Most readers will hate When We Were Rich if reviews of Tim Lott's past works are anything to go by. Their loss.
A Stranger City is an ambitious novel that seeks to draw parallels between recent history and Brexit Britain, using the stories of various members of northeast London’s diverse community to illustrate the situation.
The frame on which the novel hangs is the discovery of an unidentified young female body in the River Thames. The discovery is investigated by a policeman and featured in a documentary by a filmmaker. We then broaden out and meet their families and some of the wider community. We find a community that is diverse even within the United Kingdom, including Scots, Irish and migrants from elsewhere in England. Then we find migrants from the Commonwealth and semi-recent conflict zones - Iran after the fall of the Shah. And then there are the more recent migrants from within the EU. All are seen to be integral to the London we see today.
Contrast this with an England that seems to be retreating into itself, harking after the glory days of an Empire, capital punishment and boiled cabbage. Those who are smart enough, able enough, want to move away from this increasingly hostile and ignorant society. Which is ironic, since so many of them came to London precisely to enjoy a broader, global perspective and experience culture and sophistication.
The story of the dead woman remains in the background. For a while it is (intentionally) confused by a parallel story of a missing social media star - a vacuous young woman who is famous only for being famous. And while the dead woman mystery is ultimately resolved, it is not satisfying. The main point is that it is possible for someone to go missing and not be missed, not be reported in this unfeeling society. Might it have been different if she had been English?
A Stranger City is successful in depicting a multicultural society; it makes interesting political points showing the contradiction between the current insularity and the aspirations of individual members of that society. There is some wonderful depiction of characters. But it doesn’t quite hang together as a story. It is too difficult to hold so many characters in the mind all at once, so each time a character re-appears, he or she has to be re-learned. Their inter-relationships are too opaque and the narrative drive is just not there. Which is a pity, because the descriptive writing is fabulous.