...or maybe it's my inability to sleep?
This is just I. || Things I find interesting, things I do, things I read, things I eat, things I hate, things that go bump in the night, things with stars, things with no stars upon thars. || It's a crafty, full, soapy box; and I'm wearing handmade, slippery socks.


The Scarlet Letter is a doozy

I finally finished reading The Scarlet Letter.  I know, I know, but somehow I managed to escape it in high school.  My life was blissful until recently when I decided I needed to endure the classics in order to consider myself well-rounded.  I really wanted to read The House of the Seven Gables, but knowing Letter came first and that Gables was Hawthorne's response to the public's outcry at his dismal, if blasphemous, take on the morbid East Coast, I figured I should read them in order.  But hey, I've lived there.  I've seen Salem.  And I'll say that, although it takes me fewer words, Hawthorne has it just about right in Letter

I knew this was not going to be a pleasant read, as obviously everyone knows by now the general story behind this bleak cover.  What they might not know, however, is that there is nothing like Nathaniel Hawthorne to make you hate language and that this guy goes on and on and on for two chapters to describe one wall.  Everyone is whiny, the man she loves is a weird wuss, the man who's supposed to be seeking revenge is cryptic and complicated to the point that you miss the point, and everything is descriptive with very little interaction.  The few moments of saving grace come just after the middle of the book when we finally get some dialogue going between the characters. 

My big suggestion to you, if you must read this, is just sit down and get through it as quickly as possible.  You don't need to read "The Custom House" portion at the beginning unless you hate your life; all it tells you is that Hawthorne, while working in the Custom House, came upon the actual fabric of the scarlet letter (although not really... I know, right!?) in an abandoned room upstairs.  Yup, forty pages just for that.  The first half took me months to read because I kept picking it up, putting to down, picking it up, getting frustrated, forgetting what had already happened, losing track of which man was which and whom was whom and what was what, then putting it down, not wanting to pick it back up.  I got more enjoyment out of the second half after reading it on an airplane with no escape but the drooling, oversized man next to me.  So I was pinned, and that actually helped me get into it a little bit.  But no tears, no remorse for Hester's stupid life or anyone's pointless death.  The whole thing is just brutal, in story and in language.

I now have no desire to read The House of the Seven Gables.   Maybe during my next menstrual cycle when I hate myself.

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