Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Forty - Far From The Madding Crowd - Part Four    
In this book:

Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who is beautiful and desired by men. (Seriously, who would name a child Bathsheba? Parents who want her to become a physicist?) Bathsheba was the original Everdene even though she spelled it differently. She was also stubborn, but I don’t reckon she did much hunting.

Gabriel Oak. He is like his namesakes and is a strong and sturdy angel. I adore Gabriel. He’s also a farmer.

The local pub has a huge two-handled mug called a “God-forgive-me.”

Desperate housewives and a stalker who was a fine upstanding man for most of his life but then went wrong and guess what caused it?

Hardy seems to be a feminist one moment and critical of women the next.

One woman “… could toss a pancake or twirl a mop with the accuracy of pure mathematics…” Now that’s talent, ladies and gentlemen. That’s talent.

The disturbance was as the first floating weed to Columbus — the contemptibly little suggesting possibilities of the infinitely great.
You write a lovely sentence, Mr. Hardy.

A character about whom not one good word is spoken. Ever.

Quick, embroider a pillow with this platitude:

But a resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.

I believe this to be true.

But this -

It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession; with totally differing aims the method is the same on both sides.

I do not understand.

___'s was an impulsive nature under a deliberative aspect. An Elizabeth in brain and a Mary Stuart in spirit, she often performed actions of the greatest temerity with a manner of extreme discretion. Many of her thoughts were perfect syllogisms; unluckily they always remained thoughts. Only a few were irrational assumptions; but, unfortunately, they were the ones which most frequently grew into deeds.
I like the description of women as Elizabeths or Mary Stuarts, though I prefer Elinors or Mariannes. Hardy used royalty and I use fictional characters. Those characters are Jane Austen’s, so they’re sorta like royalty. Plus, in my version there is no imprisonment and no murder. Win-win!

____ loved ____ in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.

Okay so one of my beefs with this time period and our own is that we do a poor job of teaching young women to make wise choices. As soon  as some woman somewhere throws a man back because he’s no damn good, another woman on the opposite bank fishes him back out of the pond. Why do we do this?

In the worst attacks of trouble there appears to be always a superficial film of consciousness which is left disengaged and open to the notice of trifles…

Yes. It’s a self-preservation thing and a mind over situation thing. You must be able to notice small things and/or to laugh so that you don’t lose your mind in a tragedy. You have work to do so you have to keep it together.

Why is the strong silent type considered more honorable than the gregarious? Frequently in literature the outgoing man is evocative of evil; this is a man with a well-practiced sneer and/or leer. Only the strong silent type is a man with much (good) to reveal. What about the strong silent jerk? Or the outgoing good guy?