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.
Kate Grenville has a winning formula and she’s jolly well going to stick with it.
That formula is to set a story around the early years of the penal colony that has now grown into Sydney; to focus on particular early settlers; their journey to the colony; their work in claiming a life for themselves; and the impact that had on the Indigenous population. Kate Grenville does this very well; her writing is evocative; she creates both the place and the atmosphere of the time. She poses the same difficult questions about the human instinct for survival even at the cost of others – whether that is the crime that resulted in transportation; the exploitation of the convicts by the naval officers – using them essentially as slave labour; or the dispossession and massacre of Aboriginal people. There is a sense that it might all have turned out differently with more respect; but equally a sense that people did not (and still do not) want to give up their privilege. Plus, there’s the difficult truth that there was a lot achieved in a very short space of time in those early days when human rights, procedural fairness and accountability did not present obstacles. It is unlikely that modern bureaucracies could achieve so much, so quickly.
In a bit of a departure, A Room Made of Leaves names real people: the Macarthurs – wool barons – after whom many Australian things are named. The premise is that Elizabeth Macarthur left a written account of her life which is now being transcribed. In this account, she focuses on her turbulent but middle-class childhood in Devon, her obligation to marry and follow a rather mediocre Naval Ensign after falling pregnant, and her early experiences in New South Wales. She is a diplomat who seeks to achieve by listening, learning and implementing. Her husband John is a hot-headed, impetuous man with a fondness for duelling – a chancer who will wheedle and blackmail his way to success. Elizabeth’s narrative would have us believe that she created a wool empire in spite of her husband; the reality is that it took the mis-matched pair to achieve success. Elizabeth provided the ideas and sourced the knowledge of sheep-husbandry; John obtained the land and made sure the traditional owners were “dealt with”.
We also meet Lieutenant Dawes, thinly disguised as Daniel Rooke in The Lieutenant, who provides some comfort for Elizabeth in the early years of an unhappy marriage. Dawes was interested in Aboriginal languages and culture, as well as learning more about the land and its plant-life. Through Dawes, Elizabeth came to meet some of the Traditional Owners whose land her husband was intent on acquiring. But when Dawes returned to England, Elizabeth lost both her lover and her moral compass. She understood that the Aboriginal people, just like her slave-convicts, were people too. She just chose to push that to the back of her mind as she amassed her fortune.
Like her previous Thornhill series, A Room Made of Leaves is beautifully done, but it is bleak and the message can seem sometimes to take over the story.
As a footnote, A Room Made of Leaves would have been written before the Black Lives Matter movement started to shine a spotlight onto specific historical figures. As a society, we are starting to question the iconic status that many colonialists have enjoyed; to question the legacy of place names and statues. The use of real names in this fiction may cause too much attention to be focused on the names rather than on the real legacy which is one of enduring privilege that was earned only through exploitation and genocide.
Silver is the follow up to Chris Hammer's Scrublands - one of the best books I read last year. Silver takes place not long after the events in Riversend in Scrublands. Martin Scarsden has been holed up in Sydney writing a book about what happened while Mandy has moved to Silver Bay, a town on the NSW coast, where she is about to inherit a house. Martin, book finished, comes to join her, walks into her rental, fnds a freshly stabbed body on the floor and Mandy sitting in shock, hands covered in blood.
Naturally she's the obvious supect, Martin is determined to prove her innosence but it's tricky especially as Martin has history which he hasn't told Mandy about yet.There are parts of the plot which stretch belief, especially why Martin hasn't told Mandy about his past, and this book doesn't have the power and raw energy of Scrublands. That said it's still an excellent read, very fast paced, I read it until 1.30 in the morning and then woke up early so I could finish it, haven't done that with a book for ages, so I have no hesitation in recommending it.
I was sure Mr HG had already done a post on Silver but I've searched and searched and couldn't find it.