Aggghhh Sarah Palin. I really need to just ignore her, because every time I get to talking about her a vein in my forehead starts throbbing and I rave like a lunatic. I really think she might haunt my dreams tonight.
But that’s not really the point of this post. I meant to tell you how I got a library card! Yes, despite my utter lack of appropriate visa passport stamps, I got a library card today at the (tiny) library up the street, an outpost of the larger, glass-ier downtown branch. There are actually quite a few public libraries in and around Brighton and Hove (yay) however, they charge you to check out DVDs and audio books (boo). Soooo, I was not able to borrow any audio French tutors. Instead I got a Beginners French book, Lonely Planet Spain, and To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf was born on my birthday (albeit 101 years before I was) in London and, after many years plagued by mental illness, she drowned herself in the River Ouse about 5 miles from my house! Yes, I seem to have a bad habit of reading literature by depressed local feminists whenever I move to a new place. Case in point: Sylvia Plath came of age in Boston, even riding the streetcar along the same route I took to work everyday! In fact, I was able to pick out several landmarks while reading The Bell Jar which, in case you are not familiar, is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever finished. In fact, I can really only think of one other book similarly depressing (I’m looking at you, Ethan Frome) and that only counts because I consider it a mere exercise in futility and fatalism.** (Hmm, perhaps all this literature is going to my head!) Anyway! I’m 14.2% through it and I’m not really sure how I feel about it, or even what’s going on exactly. I have a feeling it’s another book where not a lot really happens, and yet Virginia Woolf describes these non-events in the longest sentences I’ve ever seen. The first page is 3/4 text. The first two lines are each a separate sentence. The remaining paragraph (which occupies a full 2/3 of the page, mind you) is comprised of three sentences. Three. The last sentence on the page contains fourteen commas. Fourteen. Obviously, she was writing without a style guide. Suffice to say, by the time I finish a sentence I often find myself wondering how it started.If any of you readers have a favorite book you would like to suggest to me, please leave me a comment!
** As a side note, when I looked for Ethan Frome on Amazon, it listed the following as related searches: The Great Gatsby and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Throw in Grapes of Wrath and The Scarlet Letter and you’ve got yourself a veritable bounty of suicide-inducing books! (also known as Junior year lit at Westview High School)