Friday, September 11, 2009

Detective-Inspector Jonathan "Jack" Whicher

The emergence of the detective as part of Scotland Yard and the birth of a new literary genre. This murder of a four-year old boy in the English countryside is investigated by the newest division of Scotland Yard: Detective-Inspector. The murder of Saville Kent was so highly publicised that it stirred many of the greatest authors to include a detective into their novels.
With Charles Dickens, Willie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Carlyle all taking up the inclusion of the all seeing detective inspector as a prominent character. Lately my readings of Joseph Conrad's "Secret Agent" and Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone" has made me wonder as to what actually was the moving force that created the detective novels of the Victorian era.
Kate Summerscale has penned a novel that balances between the detective novel and an historical text. The text of "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" reads like a novel, but Summerscale intersperses the facts that other authors are commenting upon this sensational murder. Leading to the creation of the new genre of the detective novel that still is most prolific even today.
Summerscale has done her research. Her meticulous references to the actual newspaper clippings and quotes as well as other academic discourse all becomes part of the novel and the telling of the story of the death of this child. I will not go into who really did the deed but will just say that subtitle of the novel reads: "A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective."
At this time I am only half way through the novel and I really enjoy the style of Summerscale and as she in dropping in facts along with the story the reader notices that she is basing her tale solidly on the facts of the time as they were occurring. I am looking forward to finishing this novel and will be checking into her first novel of "The Queen of Whale Cay."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I have just finished the Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and I have been pondering over her prequel of the Charlotte Brontë classic Jane Eyre. In the forward written by Francis Wyndham she explains the construction of the novel as being constructed of three parts: each is narrated by the main characters of Berta Antoinette Cosway and Edward Rochester.
“The novel is divided into three parts. The first is told in the heroine’s own words. In the second the young Mr. Rochester describers his arrival in the West Indies, his marriage and its disastrous sequel. The last part is once more narrated by his wife: but the scene is now England, and she writes from the attic room in Thornfield Hall.”

I found the second section a struggle to read as the narrators change off between Rochester and Antoinette with no sign of the change. And this is where the character of Antoinette, the beauty changes to Bertha, the mentally ill wife that Rochester is now burdened with. Rhys handles the two characters embodied by the same woman as physically different as Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde are in their personas. No longer is she Antoinette the beautiful and sensuous wife that Rochester delights in her physical body, instead he sees Bertha as a smaller, thinner and constructed of many different mannerisms that serve to irritate him. With this novel being a prequel to Jane Eyre I found it hard to like anything about Bertha Antoinette Cosway. Since I have read many times the Brontë novel and see it as a classic. Rhys seems to never try to get the reader to like Bertha. I can only assume that Jane is the true heroine of the novel and her goodness is always overshadowing the whole Bertha Antoinette character. Bertha is a predestined and doomed characterin which there is no use in trying to make her anything else.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The top ten reasons you should be suspect that the rehab center you have just checked into is not that good.

10. When you arrive they take you down a hallway that you were not shown during your tour of the facility.

9. When you get your meals all of your vegetables are the same shade of grey.

8. They refuse to empty your overflowing garbage can early. They only empty the garbage after four days and not before.

7. If you are in bed when the aides come around to change bed linens you have missed your chance! They don’t come back.

6. You and your roommate share one toilet with the male patients in the next room. Get used to no flushing and strange odors!

5. Get used to be being locked out of the one bathroom by the non-thinking male patients in the next room!

4. Pill time equals quiz time. You find it necessary to question the nurse as to what they are giving you and where are your other regular medications?

3. You are in charge of telling your nurse that they are to be decreasing the use of your oxygen intake and to lower the pressure.

2. They have “Personal Hygiene Police.” They tell you when they want you to shower! And it has to be at their scheduled times and days. They cannot cope with a daily shower-er! They only want you to shower every other day!

1. You are given the wrong medications! I was given high blood pressure pills but because of my medications quizzes I discovered this error. When my blood pressure is 110/68 and shows no need for it to be any lower!

Friday, June 12, 2009

the final stretch...again

Catch-up time. Because I was so sick with the Not-swine flu and that brought on asthma symptoms I had my surgery postponed for two weeks. You had better believe that upset me plenty! But I had to know that they were acting on what would be best for me. So I have had this time to sit around more and not taking my regularly scheduled arthritis medication. So each day I am more and more stiff and in more pain when I move. I use to walk around the house without the cane but now I need it and I have been contemplating the use of the walker! Okay, I am getting desperate!!

On a brighter note I did finally break down and write my name in all of my underwear! I have struggled with this for days! Knowing that I need to do this so I can have clean undies while I'm in the rehab place. I always came to the idea that I was so pathetic that I "needed" my name in my undies so if I got lost or ran over again they would know who I was!! But I bit the bullet and did it. I sat down with my pile of clean undies and a sharpie and began writing "My.Name" in everyone of them. So now that I have abandoned all hope and climbed upon that old age wagon out of town. Knowing that we all have our names neatly printed in the backs of our undies!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Okay…what is next on the list of strange things I need to get?? After searching on the internet I find that I now have pink eye or conjunctivitis. GREAT!! This is turning out to be some grotesque game of weird and strange diseases I can get before I go into surgery. I thought only kids got pink eye but thanks to my now totally expanded knowledge on the subject I know that there are different kinds of conjunctivitis and it’s not just for kids! Oh wow!! I’m going to call the doctor now to get an appointment because it says you need to on the internet and the internet never lies…right??
Ya know I was just staring at my title and this blog seems to nothing about literature. Okay I will work on that today. I think I will post one of my papers that I wrote and that maybe give this a "literary" fix it needs.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surgery, woodpeckers, and Colin Firth

I am no longer under quarantine! I do not have swine flu…but rather some other insidious creeping crud. With a five-day burst of prednisone under my belt getting the asthma issues under control and some serious nose blowing I am feeling like I might live for the next knee replacement surgery that is scheduled on June 3rd. This time I will have the time to get the house cleaned and laundry caught up and the fridge stocked with the delicious dinner-in-a-box selection from my local frozen food aisle and a butt load of my mainstay of diet coke.

I woke up very early this morning with the sounds of the many birds that all seem to be so thrilled to death that it is morning! It is funny to hear them be so vocal so early then as the sun comes up and it gets lighter they quiet back down: All that is except the woodpeckers. They never seem to loose steam when pecking away for food! It is kind of like when you need chocolate and desperately search the cupboards and fridge for some long forgotten candy bar or anything for that matter. That is how I found the last bag of microwave popcorn last week!

This morning after I shower and wash my hair I am off to the grocery store to stock up on more snacks and food then I plan a little trip off to the library to exchange my videos for some new ones. I think by that time I should be ready to go horizontal again and spend the afternoon in video land. I have the Bridget Jones Diaries movies in this batch and I am looking forward to these again. I first watched these for a class as it is interesting how the excerpts from her diary shows up in the movie as marquees and messages on her computer. It is like the words she wrote are haunting her reality. Through the first movie you suspect that her diary writing and reality are not in the same hemisphere. But that makes these particular movies funny as the viewer does see that poor Bridget does get a grip and a man (Colin Firth) in the end!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flying Pigs

Did someone say that will happen when pigs fly? Swine flew...or flu?

Being chased by flying pigs.

I traveled to the doctor yesterday only to find that I may in fact be a statistic in the pandemic of swine flu. With an awful swab stuck up both nostrils and rubbed around then sent off to our local Health Department for testing. Now to sit in isolation for the next few days while it gets tested and I am phoned with the results.

In the mean time I sit here and I am running out of my stock pile of diet coke and that is the most important food commodity there is here in the literary life house! How I am I expected to continue with ready and watching videos without a cold diet coke at my side? Life is going to insurmountable!!