Amy's Slant on literature…

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A beautifully written novel about society, social protocols and love. It divides its themes between the pleasure of romance and the demands of society and personal freedom. Edith Wharton grew up privileged and understood these themes very personally. I have enjoyed all her work. Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Her other wonderful novels include Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth. Enjoy!

Half way through this wonderful book, and I again am understanding themes and nuances I did not understand when I first read this novel. I might mention this novel is on the list in the top 100 greatest novels. Becky Sharp is a girl born in the lower class but makes her way through on tenacity, intelligence and wit. Becky seems to land on her feet in every situation even though so many doors are closed to her due to her lower class status. I recommend this book highly.

I have decided not to write about Ayn Rand for now, she is too complicated and I am not in the frame of mind to discuss someone so controversial. I would prefer to go back to the classics. How about Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. I read this many years ago but it stays with me as a true favorite. I love the main character Becky Sharp, she has so much tenacity. Has anyone read this novel?

I had to cover this novel. I loved this novel but was not a big fan of Ayn Rand. Born in Russia during very tumultuous times may have shaped her belief system. Objectivism is a concept of rational self-interest and denounced altruism. She wrote both fiction and non fiction on this subject and had and continues to have followers in America and globally. Her Philosophy continues to remain controversial. The fountainhead is one novel that explores her belief system. The main character, Howard Roark, is an uncompromising, idealization of a man who relies only on himself with absolute integrity. Ayn Rands characters are not 3 dimensional but the supporting cast all push to break his individuality and creativity. Ayn Rand said through Howard Roark ” Individual creators are the fountainhead of civilization.” You do not have to subscribe to her beliefs to appreciate her fiction, this is a difficult but compelling read I highly recommend.

I knew this would be a quick read, and I am almost finished. I love this novel. It’s theme’s are still so relevant today, I believe this is why it continues to be on a mandatory reading list during our education. I wish I could write like Jane Austen. Next read, I will tackle an author with enormous controversy, Ayn Rand. I will re read” The Fountainhead”. I find her intriguing. I am not saying I believe her philosphy but I do respect her talent for writing and her tenacity. I hope some of you will communicate your own feelings about her philosophies which I will discuss in my next blog.

I just started rereading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love it! I have decided to do this to find out if I missed any of the nuances or messages as I first read this novel when I was 16. Besides the mandatory reading required by my school, My father and I had library night. We would have dinner out, then go the library. We always chose something for me together and discussed it at our dinners. I remember the first book I read that I realized the power of writing. It was a book called “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck. This novel above all others is responsible for my voracious appetite for reading. I have already reread this novel many times and I still love it. I would recommend this novel to everyone!!

I finished up Sense and Sensibility this morning, it is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I am rereading Pride and Prejudice now as I am curious to know if I will feel the same as I did when I read it in highschool. It is an important novel, again with similar themes about the English class system and first impressions. I am sure I will read this quickly as I am excited to tackle Ayn Rand next. I hope some of you are interested in her novels and controversial philosophy.

Half way through Sense and Sensibility, loving every minute of it, I have decided to go ahead and reread ” Pride and Prejudice” when I am finished. I am so enjoying my revisit to Jane Austen’s world I may stay there a while.

Back to “merry old England” for a trip to Jane Austen’s world. I am now reading Sense and Sensibility and I must say, I love the Dashwood woman! There have been many movie adaptations, however this well written novel will never be matched. Jane Austen speaks of an intolerable world of chauvinism, an upside down class system and love. Each character is rich in-depth and her story telling so vivid, you feel part of her world. To anyone who has read Jane Austen in highschool or college but not since, I would strongly suggest you read her work again. There is a reason her work is classic!

Well, despite my exhaustion due to my new puppy, I have completed Ulysses! I enjoyed this and understood this far more than when I read it in highschool. I would highly recommend reading this novel for a 1st or 2nd time. James Joyce is a classic! I have decided to read Jane Austen’s ” Sense and Sensibility” next. I am in the mood for something romantic yet complex. I believe Jane Austen was a woman ahead of her time and whose themes still resonate in the modern world. I am considering discussing Ayn Rand at some point, is anyone interested in discussing her?


December 2021

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