Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Transformations" by Anne Sexton

I recently pulled this book out of a forgotten box of books in my basement. I had to read Transformations by Anne Sexton in college for a folklore and fairy tale class that I took. I reread it the other day and found myself amused by the poems.

If you can get past its creepy cover...

Transformations is a retelling of a selection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm through poetry by Anne Sexton. Included are the stories of Snow White, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, the Dancing Princesses, the Frog Prince, and several more. In the typical Anne Sexton style, these poems include references and images of controversial themes including adultery, incest, lesbianism, depression and even cannibalism. (For anyone unfamiliar with Anne Sexton, you can read her biography here).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"The Count of Monte Cristo": An "In a Nutshell" Review

I was planning out an elaborate post summarizing, analyzing, and reviewing The Count of Monte Cristo, but then too much time passed (one week?) and I lost the motivation to do it. So in a nutshell, here is what you need to know about the novel version of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo:

The writing of the novel: Dumas was known to collaborate with other authors, and was often accused of having not actually written the majority of the novels that he laid claim to. He "borrowed" from outside sources, including historical events and entire plot lines from other authors, all of which he out his own spin on. It is widely believed that for this novel, Dumas received entire plot outlines from a collaborator, and merely wrote them out in his own words. There are certain chapters in the book that, as one is reading, seem to be written by two different people, with two different styles. This collaboration may explain why.

Another obvious point about Monte Cristo is its painstaking length. It drags on for over 1300 pages, (give or take, depending on which translation you are reading) and there are many, many chapters (and characters) that the novel really could have done without. However, this is understandable since Dumas was actually getting paid by the word! So can you really blame the guy?

The Count of Monte Cristo is admittedly the story of a real man named Francoise Picaud. The novel is his life retold in Dumas' melodramatic fashion. As far as the main plot line is concerned, nearly everything that happens to Dantes, happened to Picaud.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For the Love of: Vintage Prints

If I had a room in my house to turn into my own personal library, I would want these restored book plates to decorate the walls:

Teaching My Little Sister
For the Love of Reading
Boy Enjoying a Lovely Book
Little Girl Reading

These restored prints were found at the shop, For the Love of Old Books.
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