Tag Archives: classics

Not to Bum You Out

I’m so tired of all these women dying.  I’ve nearly lost track of them, first it was Helen, then Emma, Alyona and Lizaveta, Anna, Eustacia, and now Lily. Why?  Why must we read so much tragedy?  Why the death?  What’s wrong with a happy ending once in a while?

Then I stumbled across this article in my facebook newsfeed.  Friends, it’s worth the read (it even mentions three of our authors.)  The subject is tragedy.  The context is Christian worship.  The backdrop is our life.

If you only click on one external link today, I encourage you to choose the one above.  You can even leave the arguments about worship behind, but I’d love to know what you think about the tragedy vs. entertainment question.

Is our WEM reading list reminding you that we live in the valley of the shadow of death?  Is it drawing you face to face with the world of iniquity from which we would rather shield our minds?  Are the authors and their sin-filled worlds making you cling firmly to the Author of creation?  Is the despair of the characters wakening a vision of the evil that surrounds us outside the pages of fiction?  Or, are the novels a source of pacification and escapism?  Are the classics entertaining?  Should the classics be entertaining?


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On Your Right You’ll See the Widget Bar

Classic Word of the Daycicerone – n.  a guide for sightseers

Classical Usage:  It turns out that James actually uses this word several times in the book, not nearly as much as invidious (have you picked up on his overuse of that former CWOD?)  The first time I encountered it was in Chapter XXII when Madame Merle visits her long-time friend Gilbert Osmund.  As the lady looks around his impeccably decorated home the homeowner remarks, “I don’t object to showing my things – when people are not idiots.”  She responds, “You do it delightfully.  As cicerone of your museum you appear to particular advantage.”

Classically Mad Usage:  If you’re a sightseer here at our blog, take off your fanny-pack and stay awhile.  We’d love to be your cicerones and show you around the classics.


Posted by on February 7, 2013 in The Portrait of a Lady


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Classic Personality Quiz

Eustacia and Egdon just don’t get along.  Not at all.  Hardy describes her life there like this,

To dwell on a heath without studying its meanings was like wedding a foreigner without learning his tongue.

But the onus here lies with the woman, not her beautiful and complex setting.  No, you see different women react differently to the dark environment of Hardy’s world.  To find out what kind of woman you are take Hardy’s little quiz.

If you stepped on the heath what would you become?
a)  a poet
b)  a devotee
c)  a psalmist
d)  thoughtful
e)  saturnine

If you answered a) you are contented, b) you are suffering, c) you are pious, d) you are giddy, and e) you are rebellious.

Don’t like the results?  Take it up with Mr. Hardy in Book First Chapter VII.

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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in The Return of the Native


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