Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bleak House readalong

Still bleaking.

KROOK IS MRS SMALLWEED'S BROTHER. Errrrrrbody is related.


So that gives Smallweed a leg up on whatever letters Krook had secreted away (unless they were in his spontaneously combusted pocket).

I love the Bagnets. 'Silence! The old girl...is correct - in her way of giving my opinions - hear me out!' Way to continue the charade of having a mind of your own, sir.

And I still love Mr George and find him not-boring, so I get all nervous when he and Mr Bagnet go to negotiate with Smallweed. There are NOT 'two people in England less likely to come satisfactorily out of any negotiations' with said Smallweed than those two. They should have brought the Mrs. 'If my old girl had been here - I'd have told him!'

So Esther is no longer blind, which is great for her, but WHYYYYYY have her go blind in the first place? Like, narratively speaking? Was it just for pathos? I feel like Dickens is too hung up on his own creative symbolism to just be like, AND SADLY BLIND FOR A BIT and now ok, for no reason. Also, Ada calling to Esther that she 'was cruel and did not love her' because she wouldn't let Ada be exposed to SMALLPOX is...not awesome. Be more awesome, Ada.

Boythorn forever. I sense that we will all comment on his assertion that if Esther does not come stay in his house, he will pull it down and not leave one brick standing on another. It's worth re-enjoying.

'a letter in my hand, without any ordinary beginning such as "My dear Jarndyce," but rushing at once into the words, "I swear if Miss Summerson do not come down and take possession of my hosue, which I vacate for her this day at one o'clock, P.M.," and then with the utmost seriousness, and in the most emphatic terms, going on to make the extraordinary declaration he had quoted.' 

Boythorn is nothing but declarations.

QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE: How did Lady Dedlock know Esther had been to visit the Two Broke Girls (With Abusive, Drunken Husbands And Babies Both Dead And Alive)? IS SHE HAVING HER FOLLOWED?

Woodcourt is obviously being set up as Good Enough For Perfect Esther, surround as he is by 'storm-worn people who had fallen at his feet and blessed him as their preserver.'

No one is, really, except Esther.

LOL DICKENS when Mrs Flite is like, All the most knowledgeable, imaginative, and humanitarian people are added to the nobility, which is 'the great reason why titles will always last in the land' and Esther is like, 'I'm afraid she believed what she said.' I ENJOY YOUR SARCASM, SIR.

Ada on Lady D's 'proud manner and imperiously chilling air': good thing Ada is a Kindness Archetype and doesn't have a shit-talking bone in her body, or this could have been rullll awkward.

Esther, only she would have put in the appropriate apostrophe.

Oh Richard on his profession doing 'as well as anything else, for a time.' My notes in this section are just 'bffffarrrrrrgle' because I just can't. Richard and Skimpole deserve each other, and I think they should get married and leave Ada and Esther to braid each other's hair.

Richard: If J&J is so corrupting, then how is Uncle John not corrupted?
Esther: Because [reasons]
Richard: 'Oh, because and because!' LOL Esther, I didn't ask you because I wanted an answer.

I feel like this happens a lot in books, where the girl is like, Seriously, if you actually (as you profess) want to make ME happy, you will shave that mustache/not go to that bar fight/'for ever turn...your back upon that shadow in which we both were born.' And the guy is like, I know what'll REALLY make you happy, girl, and ALSO my manliness depends on it. *grooms mustache/goes to bar fight/continues to pursue a court settlement that is in its bajillionth year*

'the dead sea of the Chancery suit and all the ashy fruit it cast ashore' - ten points to Dickendore for this description.

Krook's cat, Lady Jane, 'almost look[ing] as if she was Krook,' I mean, I know better than to suspect this is going that route but THAT IS FANFIC I WOULD READ.

Aaaaaand the mystery of Weevle's Dedlock portrait explained, in the Galaxy Gallery of British Beauty, i.e. Pin-Ups of the Nobility.

Dat ankle.

I flipped to the next chapter and was all, UGH, Doodle and Coodle. But then I realized that was in next week's section so suck it, next week.


Reading Rambo said...


Dude, for that line I was totally "ESTHER YOU ARE A SAUCEBOX."

Ashy fruit, girl. THAT IS A MILTON/PARADISE LOST REFERENCE. The demons or Satan's followers or whatever you want to call them turn into snakes and climb trees.

"greedily they pluck'd
The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam'd;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of Fruit
Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh'd thir jaws
With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as Man
Whom they triumph'd once lapst."

Red said...

Esther going blind was a cliff hangery bit right? Didn't Dickens publish his stuff as a serial novel. So that is like, season finale, to make sure everyone would tune in for the next season.

ADA WOULD RATHER HAVE SMALLPOX THAN NOT BE ALLOWED NEAR ESTHER. I'm going to be so mad when they don't end up together.

Laura said...

I was definitely like 'Esther has her sight back? Well, good for her, but also, anti-climactic much?' Dammit, Dickens.

Richard and Skimpole really DO deserve each other! I say, leave them to it. Idiots.

Megs said...

I really truly wonder now whether JK Rowling didn't model Filch and Mrs. Norris on Orion and Lady Jane. Really and truly I do.

Hey...hey, remember that part when Richard goes, "My dear Esther, how can you be so blind?" TOO SOON, RICHARD.

Megs said...

Oh. Well apparently Krook autocorrects to Orion. Now we know.

Trisha said...

Your posts are actually making me want to read this book just so I can totally get it.

Phinnea Ravenscroft said...

That picture of Michael Cera and Hitler's mother cracked me up.

And Two Broke Girls - why didn't I think of that?

And yeah, next section more Coodle Doodle, but not a lot. Too much Skimpole. Trying to think of an appropriate end for him. Leprosy on a prison hulk?