Thursday, March 8, 2012

All Tortoise, No Hare

Well, I wasn't expecting to have to give a "half time report" about Emma by Jane Austen, but the reading is going so slowly that I feel the need!  Emma is only about 400 pages, but it is taking me forever.  Right before I started reading, I was at my friend, Kim's house, trying to have a conversation with her.  It wasn't going so well because I couldn't take my eyes off of her TV.  Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone was on, and I couldn't help but watch it, even though I had seen it several times before.  Kim mentioned that she had heard that Clueless was based on Emma

Every once in a while a movie comes out that is supposed to be a modern day adaptation of a classic, and usually, it is hard to identify which classic they are trying to mimic.  In the case of Clueless, however, the adaptation is spot on.  As I read about Emma and Harriett, I am picturing Alicia Silverstone and Brittany Murphy.  In a clever jab at lawyers, Clueless replaces Emma's feeble and nervous father with Cher's distracted litigator dad.  Both daughters think that their dads are helpless without them, and so far at least in the book, they are right.  I just hit the 52% complete mark on my Kindle last night, so I still have a lot of story to cover.

I'm not exactly plowing through Helen of Troy by Margaret George, either.  When I checked it out of the library on CD, I knew that it was 30 hours of story of 25 CDs, but I wasn't expecting it to take quite so long.  I'm only on the 14th disc now, and I started listening almost a month ago.  Right now, the Greeks are just beginning to attack the Trojans.  In this story, which most modern scholars think is only a myth, a 25 year old woman falls in love and runs off with a 16 year old man.  If we adapted this story to modern times, Helen would be a teacher and Paris would be her student.  Instead of leading to war, the "love" would lead to jail  for the woman.  You would think that the story of Helen would be enough to remind young teachers that their enticing students are just not worth it.

In Other News:   Here is a great article about Jonathan Safran Foer turning 35.   It is framed in the form of questions, in honor of his recently released Haggadah.  The article is more personal than others that I have read, and explores his relationships with his parents and grandparents, most specifically in regard to his first book, Everything is Illuminated.  My favorite part of the article is toward the end, where the author, Aleksandar Hemon is discussing JSF's special attention to Hemon's 4 year old daughter after Hemon and his wife lost their 1 year old child in 2010.  "[Ella] has a huge plush shark which he sent to her around that time, which she calls Jonathan, and sleeps with the shark."  How could I not think of JSF's wife's book, Great House?  In that book, which was published in 2010, a character writes a story about people sleeping, and being attached by electrodes to a shark in a tank.  The shark absorbs all of their nightmares and things that are too difficult to bear, so that they can sleep in peace.  Sweet dreams, Ella.

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