|Woman in the Forest by Ion Andreescu (1880)|
"When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before." — Clifton Fadiman
|Woman in the Forest by Ion Andreescu (1880)|
🔵 Larry, the victim, is Rodgers' intimate friend. He promised to come to the inaugural ball at Cheyenne, and dance with a girl he loved: Helen Masterson. He will take an extra (train) from Grover station right after his work's done. The ball started and finished, but Larry never appeared.
🔵 Feeling uneasy, Rodgers came to Grover Station, and there's no sign of Larry, either at the office or every train started from Grover last night. He's no where to be found.
🔵 Rodgers got info from a girl, who'd seen a stranger meeting Larry on that fatal night at Larry's office, and seemed to quarrel with him. From the girl's description, Rodgers felt sure that the man is Freymark.
🔵 Freymark is portrayed as a shady character. He has involved in a shady business when he's the railroad chasier clerk in Cheyenne, and it was Larry who's given him up, resulted in his discharge, and Larry took over the position. Moreover, Freymark was in love with Helen, but Helen chose Larry instead. On that fatal night, he also overheard Larry's plan which he's dictated over the radio to Rodgers. Therefore, there's no question that Freymark has had something to do with Larry's disappearance. But, where was Larry, and what had really happened?
🔵 Rodgers stayed the night at the station office that night, when lo and behold... Larry appeared in an apparition, giving his friend clues of the real event!
🔵 An inaugural ball, a dance, a murder, and a ghost, all happens in a lonely small town, surely promise an interesting story. And it is interesting! But what interest me most is not that. It is the racism shade in this story.
🔵 Freymark is a mix-raced, his father is French, his mother Chinese. He's "socially ambitious and extremely sensitive of his Asiatic blood after having been blackballed at a club." He then went to Europe and let people assume him as Jewish. At the inaugural ball, Larry's wounded dog entered the hall, threw himself at Freymark's feet and uttered a piteous howl. At this, Freymark was madly enraged and cruelly kicked the wounded brute across the hall. The way Rodgers describe the incident isn't something that I can easily forget:
"There was something fiendishly brutal and horrible in the episode, it was the breaking out of the barbarian blood through his mask of European civilization, a jet of black mud that spurted up from some nameless pest hole of filthy heathen cities."
🔵 Now, when faced with racism remarks or allusions in a book, I'm never sure whether it's the writer's personal view, or whether he/she is criticizing society racism views through the characters. Therefore, I won't jump quickly to the conclusion that Cather is a racist, but I found the passage really unsettling. It's not a mere generalization of a race (which ignorance could lead a writer to write innocently about). But to me "some nameless pest hole of filthy heathen cities" sounds full of hatred.
🔵 Again, I'm not sure it's Cather's personal view of Chinese race, but to include such hatred in her hitherto comforting books is quite shocking to me. In short, the racism has marred my enjoyment of the story, and I truly hope to be back to Cather's usual quality in next month's short story!
Rating: 3 / 5
Do you often read books in audiobook
Do you have any suggestion for an audiobook-newbie, for whom English is a second language? Maybe your favorite apps or narrator?
"A common flower, a weed that
is one sees, yes. But for us, a noble thing, the Dandelion."
On Dandelion wine:
|[source of the picture]|
"The words were summer on the
tongue. Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of
course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in your veins
by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in."
What is Dandelion Wine, anyway?
Dandelion wine is a medicinal drink that also helps you feel buzzed. Dandelions are excellent for digestive health since they help detoxify the lungs and heart because the dandelion petals are rich in potassium, vitamins A, B, C, and D. Perhaps this was the very first wine that was genuinely beneficial to your liver. The taste of dandelion wine is slightly bitter with a dash of honey-like sweetness. [source]
It'd surely be a refreshing change after a gloomy Hardy, and so far I've been slowly savouring Bradbury's poetic narration in a bliss!
True, she's a little mean when she
reveals about the "hair chronicle" to Fitzpiers, in the last attempt
to ever win Winterborne. But that's the only moment of her spur
competitiveness, and it's quite understandable. Other than that, Marty proves
to be loyal and persistent in her life. And in the end, those qualities give
her peaceful mind and life improvement - in short, happiness.
Oh Marty, you rightly deserve to be happy, and I'm so glad of Hardy's ending to this story. It's always about a woodlander who is true to her heart and land, from the beginning to the end.
|Painting: Woman Walking on a Forest Trail by Vasily Polenov|
“Talking of books, I am in middle of one which pleases me…’Miss Cooper’s Journal of a Naturalist.’ Who is she? She seems a very clever woman & gives a capital account of the battle between our & your weeds”. - [source: Wikipedia]
"Three large waterfowl also passed along in the same direction; we believed them to be loons; they were in sight only for a moment, owing to the trees above us, but we heard a loud howling cry as they flew past like that of those birds."
"The Dipper must indeed be a very singular bird; instead of swimming on the surface of the water like ducks and geese, or beneath like the loons, or wading along the shores like many of the long-legged coast tribes, it actually runs or flies about at will over gravelly beds of mountain streams."
This would be a very slow read for me. So exciting to explore the birds and flowers together with Cooper, all through the four seasons! Will report back my final thoughts in the next few weeks - or more!
Blogger-Inspired Wishlist is a new
feature in Fanda Classiclit, where I post recent additions to my wish list,
which have been inspired by reviews from my fellow bloggers. It includes some
synopsis, as well as some excerpts of the review which have intrigued me,
complete with a link to the blogger's original post.
The first episode is Christmas edition; I've added three Christmas books to my wish list, ready for next Christmas reading!
It follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.”
Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked.
It’s obvious that they’re up to no
good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard
the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.
From Joel's review:
"... I read this book in less
than an hour. While it’s quite funny, I found the book to also be a touching
reminder of the true meaning of Christmas."
This would be a delightful and inspiring read!
A Country Christmas & Other
Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
Inspired by: Joseph @ The Once Lost Wanderer
• Merry Christmas • A
Christmas Dream and How It Came True • Becky's Christmas Dream • Kitty's Class
Day • Rosa's Tale • Tilly's Christmas • The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice
Treherne's Temptation • What the Bell Saw and Said • A Christmas Turkey, and
How It Came • The Little Red Purse • A Country Christmas
Actually Joseph only read one short story: A Country Christmas, but I found this collection in Google Play Book, and thought, why not? It seems a perfect Christmas read!
From Joseph's review:
"She creates interest and
empathy for her characters and paints picturesque visions of the quaint countryside
with mere words:
It was very lovely on the hill, for far as the eye could reach lay the wintry landscape sparkling with the brief beauty of sunshine on virgin snow. Pines sighed overhead, hardy birds flitted to and fro, and in all the trodden spots rose the little spires of evergreen ready for its Christmas duty. Deeper in the wood sounded the measured ring of axes, the crash of falling trees, while the red shirts of the men added color to the scene, and a fresh wind brought the aromatic breath of newly cloven hemlock and pine.
A Child's Christmas in Wales by
Inspired by: Robin @ A Fondness of Reading
Originally emerging from a
piece written for radio, the poem was recorded by Thomas in 1952. The story is
an anecdotal retelling of a Christmas from the view of a young child and is a
romanticised version of Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler
time. It is one of Thomas' most popular works.
From Robin's review:
"I felt like I was sitting by
the fire, being read to, and it made his childhood Christmas memories even more
Sounds delightful! The e-book copy I've added to my wish list comes with beautiful colorful illustrations too!
So, what do you think of this new feature?
Other blog features that might also interest you:
* Classic Character
* 1st Impression on... (coming soon)