Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Recent Reading

What I've been reading recently:
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel -- more complex than it initially seems; reminiscient of Old Man and the Sea, only more entertaining (in my opinion) and less pretentious, although perhaps I only find Hemmingway pretentious because of all the "it's so classic" hype he's given by today's alleged scholars
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris -- absolutely hilarious, a very quick read, highly recommended
  • A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka -- this one wins for bizarrest title; supposed to be a comedic drama filled with historical and cultural commentary but ends up being disappointing because of how transparent the author is in trying to make you detest, laugh at, and sympathize with her characters all one right after the other; worth reading if there’s nothing else around (like in Barcelona, where everything else on the shelf is in Spanish), but not my first—or even fifth—choice
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith – entertaining, but simply not as good as the hype; I think I appreciate its references to blending African American and British cultures even more coming from my Woodland Hills background and now currently studying in the UK

    And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: a poem from my 1730-1840 British Literature course! Our most recent reading section has been on 18th/19th century female British poets. I’ve selected one piece I’m sure you can all relate to. I most certainly can.

    Song by Amelia Opie

  • I know you false, I know you vain,
  • Yet still I cannot break my chain:
  • Though with those lips so sweetly smiling,
  • Those eyes so bright and so beguiling,
  • On every youth by turns you smile,
  • And every youth by turns beguile,
  • Yet still enchant and still deceive me,
  • Do all things, fatal fair, . . . . but leave me.

  • Still let me in those speaking eyes
  • Trace all your feelings as they rise
  • Still from those lips in crimson swelling,
  • Which seem of soft delights the dwelling,
  • Catch tones of sweetness, which the soul
  • In fetters ever new control;
  • Nor let my starts of passion grieve thee, . . . .
  • Though death to stay, ‘t were death to leave thee.
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