Books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Austen's Pride & Prejudice somehow evaded my periphery on the high school required reading list. I should be able to say I read it and was bored to tears or something along those lines. I never experienced them...and now I'm wondering if I teetered in and out of honor's courses at just the right times to avoid them or maybe I was just a really bad student. Or option three is that my high school in all it's superiority (really was a great school) dropped the ball somewhere.
Regardless of reason, Brontë has never graced my palms. I dont' think I've ever even seen a movie version of Jane Eyre, or if I did it made zero impression which seems unlikely. Even, gag reflexes usually lock into place and one should just have a memory to trigger them, right? I've endured numerous Pride & Prejudice movie viewings (several versions). They've made me NEVER want to read an Austen novel. Sadly the movie Jane Austen Book Club DID make me want to read her. (Didn't hurt that two actresses I really dig were guiding it along...Maria Bello, thank you for being H-O-T and Emily Blunt, you can cop an attitude with me any day.)
Side note, my wife is really pushing Brontë as a potential name for another daughter. She's killing me on the pretentiousness and sometimes just wrongness of her latest fixations. Her current wishlist: Brontë, Lorelei, or Clementine. My pretentious request for Juliet Elizabeth pales in comparison, I believe.
"Is this going somewhere?" I know I know, but to be clear, it might not be, I don't know yet...just a heads up.
I was reading a Slate article about the different Jane Eyre movie productions and my interest was piqued. Not in the actual novel, but in the counter novel. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys tells Jane's story from the crazy wife locked in the attic's perspective. Now this could get interesting. Or be boring as hell. But right now I need some motivation to read again and I think I've found it. I mean read a book "read." I read my fair share of blogs and magazines. I have four or five books I began last year but never made it past the first chapter. Not because they weren't worth the read, I just wasn't in the mood. 2010 sadly is a year of no adult books (meaning I read at least 5 children's books a day to my daughter, I was not meaning Letters to Penthouse or anything).
The flipped perspective got me about 10 years ago when I read Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch by Gregory Maguire. (was not impressed with the broadway adaptation by the way but that's a whole other animal there...movie adaptations are one thing, but musicals?) I began consuming his flowery crafted reverse point of views of my favorite children's tales. Then I found booze & sex and haven't read anything from him since.
So now I have an excuse to stop by Half Price Books and roam around. Might even tell you how it goes...assuming all goes well. Then I really HAVE to pick Ender's Game back up, my buddy loaned it to me 6 months ago as a must read and I've cracked it once and put it immediately back down. Bad friend and poor intellect are baring their asses I'm afraid.
What's your latest literary adventure?